By Mike Sherman
I’m still waiting for a reasonable explanation for the Vikings’ decision to give Adrian Peterson only 12 carries last Sunday in Dallas. My friend Berry Tramel offered one in his Monday morning column and in the weekly great debate known as the Press Row podcast.
Like I said, I’m still waiting.
Peterson leads the NFL in rushing with 670 yards on 108 carries. There are 13 running backs with more carries, including Cedric Benson, LenDale White and Marshawn Lynch (who like Peterson is a rookie). Ridiculous.
No one is advocating 30 to 35 carries a game for a player stalked by injury questions.
But the guy OU fans came to know as “All Day” isn’t even All Game yet.
Here’s why sanity will prevail this week.
– The Vikings have lost four of five.
– They’re playing a winable game at home Sunday against Philadelphia.
– This week, instead of Tarvaris Jackson, they’re starting a real NFL quarterback in Kelly Holcomb. Stop snickering. Holcomb started a playoff game for the Browns in January 2003, and became only the third quarterback in NFL playoff history to throw for 400 yards. Honest, I didn’t dream this. Then again, Tommy Maddox was the winning quarterback in that game.
– Chester Taylor, a journeyman back who is suddenly being confused with Walter Payton, has a groin injury.
– I’m pretty sure Vikings head coach Brad Childress is interested in keeping his job.
Full disclosure: I drafted Peterson for my son in a fantasy league, but endured two rounds of his “take him now” pleading before picking him in the third round.
But this is more than a fantasy owner’s wish, more than a hunch and much more than an every-other-week trend (Peterson’s carries the last three games: 12-20-12). All indicators say Peterson is due for another big day. Conservative estimate: 20-plus carries, 110-plus yards and at least one TD against the Eagles.
Don’t be shocked if he has another game like he did against the Bears (3 TDs, 224 yards rushing) two weeks ago.