Vikings forgot about Adrian Peterson in second half

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At halftime of Sunday’s Lions-Vikings game, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson had 12 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown, and the Vikings had a 20-0 lead. Surely, the Vikings would run Peterson over and over again while they protected their lead in the second half, right?

Wrong. Peterson had five carries in the second half, and the Lions won 26-23 in overtime.

The Vikings’ first three drives of the second half were three-and-outs on which they called two Peterson runs and seven Donovan McNabb passes. The Vikings’ fourth drive started with Peterson running 14 yards, but that run was called back on a holding penalty, and that drive ended with the Vikings’ ridiculous decision to hand off to Toby Gerhart, not Peterson, on a fourth-and-1 run that the Lions stopped.

After the game, Peterson declined to criticize the decision to put the ball in Gerhart’s hands on the crucial play.

“Yeah, I wanted the ball, but you know what? I have a lot of faith in Toby,” Peterson said. “He’s a great back. I was confident that he would get it. Their defense made a play, and we have to live with it.”

But the question is, why don’t the Vikings’ coaches have more faith in Peterson? He’s having another strong year, averaging 5.1 yards a carry, but the Vikings aren’t using him enough, especially after they’ve built up double-digit first-half leads in all three games.

Which is why they’ve lost double-digit first-half leads in all three games.

76 responses to “Vikings forgot about Adrian Peterson in second half

  1. These 2nd halves of the Vikings games are getting beyond comical to watch. Best RB in the league and they still manage to piss away a lead 3 games in a row? Wasn’t Frazier supposed to be better than Childress?

    Skol Vikings!

  2. I have faith in Toby too, but isn’t there a saying, when the game is on the line you want the ball in the hands of your best player. If they had the same result with AP no one would of questioned the play

  3. Peterson has 70 yards and a TD, Vikes have a 20 point lead and they have McFatty throw the ball? They deserve to lose playing like that.

  4. Vikings suck, when they picked up McNabb it was a statement about the lack of talent, the lack of coaching though is horrendous

  5. It’s a sign of an inexperienced and overanxious head coach.

    With a 20-0 lead at half time a coach needs to take the long view. Concentrate of strangling the other team slowly instead of putting the quick dagger in. Just run the ball, take time off the clock, and make the other team go on long drives to score and 9 times out of 10 that’s enough to just make the other side run out of time or force a mistake. Hell, with Peterson, he’s one of those guys who can actually deliver a dagger with the running game so you never know.

    The coaching staff just clamped up with the big lead instead of calming down.

  6. The Vikings wasted a heroic effort from Jared Allen and Brian Robison. The Lions o-line was taken apart by those guys, and they got the sacks on Staford everyone said they needed. But Fraizer seemed to forget he has a human wrecking ball as a running back and put the ball in McNabb’s hands instead. BTW, nice to see Jared Allen back to form this season. Not sure what happened last year, but he is off to a fast start this time.

  7. When you start protecting a lead or go away from what got you the lead at halftime, you’re just asking for it, coaching’s version of the prevent defense, the prevent winning strategy. Grade F for Frazier.

  8. 2-3 of the times AP ran in the 2nd half he was stuffed for negative yardage. McNabb can’t stretch the field so the defenses are loading up on Petersen. The cure is a QB that can throw the ball. He missed a wide open Berrian for 6 two weeks running now. Bench him.

  9. Theres nothing to figure out, run Peterson. Everyone and their mother knows it except the Vikings apparently.

    Musgrave is trying to fool the opposition to who is getting the ball when you dont need to. Trick plays are for a weaker team to upset a more dominant team. When your the dominant team you let your players outplay the weaker team. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR RUNNING BACK IS ADRIAN PETERSON.

    Musgrave needs to be fired asap. He went to the same offensive coordinator school as Childress.

  10. I must be going insane watching these 2nd-half meltdowns, because a little voice alternately whispers to me the words “Andrew Luck”…
    “Jon Gruden”… “Los Angeles”…

  11. Agree about Mcnabb, even Frerotte was more effective than Mcscrubb. and he had berrian as well (cant believe i just made a point for berrian /wrists)

    However even if Peterson is stuffed on a couple attempts, the next one he will break for 12 yards. Hes done it all the time. You have to run him more!

  12. Disclaimer: I’m a Packers fan.

    I hear what this article, the media, and Vikings fans are saying – but you can’t have it both ways either. When the Vikings lose using Peterson a lot, there’s criticism for the play calling, saying they ran it on first and second down too much. When they lose NOT running on first and second down, there’s criticism for not using AP enough.

    The Vikings real problem here is that their passing game is just straight up ineffective. It was pretty clear that the Lions were playing the run almost exclusively on first and second down in the second half, and the running game was totally shut down in the Vikings early second half drives because of it. With no credible downfield passing threat, how the Vikes use AP is not going to matter. It’s been the same story to some extent for the last five years, with the exception of the brilliant Favre NFC Championship season. But again, the difference there was the ability to pass downfield.

  13. The Lions needed to win and they went to Matt Stafford and their stud WR Calvin Johnson. The Vikes needed to win and they went to the backup RB and a Duante Culpepper impersonator – anyone but their stud RB.

    Makes no sense to anyone but Frazier.

  14. If this was the first time…okay, they had a “senior moment” and forgot they had Peterson, but they did the same thing last week (19 carries, 92 yards and 2 TD in 1st half; 7 caries 28 yards 0 tds in 2nd) and that become a trend!

    Someone needs to get the head out of their ass!

  15. I mean, I can totally understand why the Vikings would forget about Peterson. It’s not like he’s their best player or anything…

  16. Surprising to me that no one is talking about what happened before that 4th and 1 play. Frazier had the field goal unit coming onto the field to do the smart thing, take the sure points — which would’ve won this game, as it turns out. Adrian Peterson starts making a scene and waving them back and Frazier caves to his player’s demands. And a running back, of all people! AP’s not a play-caller, he carries the mail. He’s a horse, not a strategist. What kind of message does that send? You can’t let the inmates run the asylum, when you’re a coach you make your decision and you roll with it. So that was mistake #1. Handing it to Toby was just rubbing salt on the wounds.

  17. they didn’t forget about him, the problem was they couldn’t convert on 3rd down. go back and look at the drive charts from the 3rd and 4th quarter. they gave him the ball but they were 3 and out 4 of the first 6 drives. kind of hard to run the ball when it’s 3rd and long.

  18. Michael,

    Are you available to coach the Vikings? We really need a new head coach, and you seem to know exactly what the Vikings need to do to win.

    Just let me know. I will tell my source close to the organization that an armchair quarterback who regurgitates third-hand information on an Internet blog is available to coach the team.



  19. Adrian Peterson waives off the special teams unit on 4th-and-1, then the offensive coordinator decides to hand the ball off to Toby Gerhart?

    Screaming at the TV and I’m not even a Vikings fan.

  20. As much as I’ve enjoyed watching him during his career, Donovan McNabb is not a quarterback that can win you games anymore, he can simply do enough to not lose them. You have two dynamic talents in Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson. The misuse of these two guys is just appaling, and I’m not even a Vikings fan.

  21. eastsideballa says:
    Sep 26, 2011 9:56 AM
    We comin for u packers!!! I WANT THAT BELT!!! GOOOOOOOOOOO LIONSSSSSS
    —————————————————————————————————————————— slow down there boy, worry about your next game first. the lions have learned how to win that’s for sure. but it’s a long season and anything can happen.

  22. @minnesconsin…You are completely right…if the Vikings kick the field goal instead of listening to Peterson, they win the game. Vandenbosch’s hustle on that play would have stopped AP too, who got the carry is a moot point.

  23. Their “Dynamic” talent Harvin took himself out of the game because he felt “sick” But felt good enough to go back out there for the coin toss. He’s Dynamic alright, dynamically F’d up in the head.

  24. The Minnesota Vikings released a statement after their three game second-half collapses, seemingly apologizing for not being able to finish games:

    “We’ li t sinc apolo t ou fa conce ou sec ha shortc, an prom t tr har i th fut. We’ ge i tur aro bef ne wee ga agai th Kan Ci Che. Don McN wi rem ou star quarte, howe Chri Pon wi b rea t ta ov i nee.”

  25. This happens EVERY week, they go away from adrian. He had 65 yds after the first quarter & then they stop giving him the ball. Frazier is a bad coach along with the rest of the coaching staff. Frazier says ALL the time, it starts with 28, well maybe it should end with him to!! As one viking fan to the rest, get ready for a 2 win season at best!!!!!!!!

  26. I get the concept of going opposite your gameplan to build a lead, but Minnesota’s secondary isn’t capable of holding down the fort once teams start throwing to play catch up.

    McNabb clearly isn’t doing any favors for the Vikes offense.

    I just feel for Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen. 2 years ago they were the most talented, and arguably the best team in the league, but now they’ve let key personnel on both sides of the ball walk and they are a meddling, flawed team.

  27. Wasn’t this the same bunch that thought Mcnabb would be brought in and be a great fit for this team….Red Flags galore. Andy Reid let’s him go to a division Rival? What you thinking boys.

    Over reached for your first round pick who is buried behind Web on the Depth Chart?

  28. Stupid Vikings.

    I grew up in Minnesota and suffered through games like this all of my adolescence and early adulthood. In 2004, I finally kissed the stupid Crykings goodbye, in part because I wasn’t living in Minnesota anymore and moreover because it grew tiresome being a Vikings fan. Games like this don’t surprise me at all. I think the Vikings head coach, whoever he may be, gets possessed by the ghost of a dead squirrel whenever the game is on the line.

    Btw, the Vikings also did this against the Bucs the previous game. With only five minutes left in the game, the Vikings were trying to hang onto a three point lead. They had just gotten a first down and with the clock going “tick tock tick tock tick tock,” what do the stupid Vikings do? Throw an incompletion instead of running the ball. Stops the clock cold.

    Stupid stupid stupid.

  29. I have to say, this result did not surprise me. It is obvious that Wilf needs to make a call on Frazier. Put Webb at QB and let him get knocked around for the rest of the year as Ponder learns the system.
    Once again the Vikings get laughed at and deservedly so…we are a joke of a franchise. If I hear McNabb say one more time that we got to get back at it and Frazier try to defend the way he uses Peterson and Harvin, I think I will puke.
    Come on WILF, show up and fire somebody!

  30. Here’s the problem. The entire team never showed up in the second half. It wasn’t just bad play calling.

    In the first week, against San Diego, the Vikings went to the half with a 10 point lead. In the second half, they ran the ball and were stopped. All I read all week was how the playcalling was horrible. This week, 20 point lead at halftime, the Vikings try to keep the foot down and the Lions come back and win also. This time, they’re criticized for not continuing to run.

    As a Lions fan, I’m glad for the win. But this was a collapse by much more than the plays that were called. It was also a great adjustment from the Lions as well. Lots of second half screens that took away the rush in the second half.

    I’d actually be more concerned that the defensive co-ordinator put single coverage on Calvin Johnson. That was the downfall.

  31. The ONE basic rule of offensive play calling is: When something is working, you ram it down the defense’s throat until they find a way to stop it.

    I am not a Vikings fan, so I don’t know who their offensive play caller is, but he should be fired immediately. He is not a competent coach just from this post alone.

  32. I think the Vikings got caught up in all of the press hype about the historically explosive Lions offense and figured they would need alot more points than 20 to win.

    Way to have faith in your defense.

    Even if they did fear the Lion offensive juggernaut, wouldn’t it have been better to keep feeding it to Peterson to keep them off the field?

  33. I couldn’t agree more with Ridle9. McNabb is really bad. Very slow, incredibly inaccurate. Put in Webb, let Ponder learn for a year. As much as it may pain some, Frasier is safe and probably Musgrave but an immediate change is necessary. Put in Webb, run Peterson and get Percy on the field. That is 3 athletes – let them compete. McNabb needs to be put to pasture, he was done a few years ago.

  34. I’m CERTAIN Christian Ponder can hand off to this guy. I know (at least) THAT is not a reach.

    Just play the kid, and give us something to watch.

  35. *I am a Packer Fan

    Holy Cow…the lions stuffed AP all day long except for one run….

    I liked the Toby call but he needs 3 or 4 yards to get going. If you are going to run that play have mcnabb go straight up the middle. Tired of all the arm chair QB’s…

    Go get a coaching job if you think you know better.

  36. #1 the throwback jerseys looked mint as usual. Those should be our full time jerseys.

    As much as I love Webb… get Ponder in there. If dude sucks it up then it means we go after Luck or another QB coming into the draft. You invested you #12 spot to him so let him run around. He also got Musgrave’s playbook during the draft when they had the temporary lift. His throws couldn’t be more inaccurate than McNabbs.

  37. Come Guys, they only needed 4 inches! The real problem is a line that can’t get four inches when they need it. Detroit actually did a good job bottling up AP. They dared McNabb to pass and we failed play after play. It is the weak O-Line and an ineffective McNabb that is the heart of their problems. Teams only need to play the run against the Vikings. I feel sorry for AP. I’m also so sick of 2 yard passes on 3rd and 5.

  38. Was thinking about you all yesterday in mid-air as I snatched any one of my 8 catches…Of course, my only though was “wow, these Seattle fans are way louder. Who needs a roof?”



  39. It’s easy to look at the stats and see Peterson only had 5 carries in the second half and blame the playcalling but if you watched the game, the problem is clearly McNabb and pass protection. He’s by far the most inaccurate qb in the league. Vikings had 1 first down in the second half up until that 2 minute drill which they tied it up. That’s 5 posessions and 4 3 and outs. It’s hard to get carries when you can’t move the sticks. The only issue i have with playcalling is the 4th and 1. The FB quickie hasn’t worked since 1961, give it to the best RB in the leage.

  40. The FB quickie hasn’t worked since 1961, give it to the best RB in the leage.

    Chris Johnson plays for Tennessee, Jamaal Charles is out for the season and Darren McFadden is makin’ babies in Oakland. Giving any one of them the ball won’t help, silly.

  41. Frazier is in over his head if he can’t see from watching game films how inaccurate McNabb is as a QB. You cannot go 3 and out and give your opponents great field position the entire 2nd half of games and expect your defense not to get gassed

  42. On the plus side, Jared Allen, wearing that headband, looks as if he’s ready to be the frontman for a Loverboy tribute band.

  43. I had to listen to the game on the radio…it sounded like the Lions had 8 men in the box for most of the second half. That will shut down a RB.

  44. Relax. They are not trying to win… they are playing only for 2012 draft position. My guess is that the only game they will try to win is Packers @ Vikings, and frankly, I hope that’s the one they win.

  45. vikingssoxfrustration says:
    Sep 26, 2011 1:55 PM
    I believe it’s a case of the coaches thinking they are smarter then they actually are…

    I agree. If the Viking coaches were coaching the Lions, they would have used Calvin Johnson as a decoy in that final drive.

  46. 54 first half pts…. 6 2nd half pts…. look to fix this on the offensive side of the ball. whether its musgrave, mc5, or ? …. It is getting ridiculous.

  47. i was always familiar with the strategy of running the ball with a big lead? guess you can make it all the way to the NFL without knowing the easiest way to protect a lead…

    if i wasn’t a lions fan, i would feel bad for this season for you guys, but i have had this my whole life on this side lol.

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