When Adrian Peterson signed with the Saints in April 2017, he knew that the Saints would open the season on Monday Night Football against the Vikings in Minnesota. He didn’t know that the Saints would soon draft Alvin Kamara, institute a three-headed monster at tailback, and use Peterson sparingly in that game.
Peterson apparently wasn’t happy at the time, and he eventually was traded to the Cardinals. Now in his second season with Washington, he returns to Minnesota for the first time since that deflating evening three Septembers ago.
And although he has an ankle injury, Adrian Peterson is still Adrian Peterson. With coach Jay Gruden fired, interim coach Bill Callahan has embraced Peterson, making him the focal point of the offense. Tonight, Washington will need Peterson to churn up yards so that the offense can control the clock and keep what has suddenly become a well-oiled and perfectly-balanced Cook-and-Cousins complementary machine from systematically routing Peterson’s current team.
If Peterson can run well, then another former Viking (who arrived the year Peterson left) can take advantage of play-action opportunities and possibly make a game that has the Vikings favored by 16.5 points a lot closer than that.
And the Vikings should have some concern about a point spread that large. Last September, a 17-point margin against Buffalo became a straight-up loss. If Peterson and Case Keenum can do the same thing tonight, it may would be the wrong kind of Minneapolis Miracle.