Peterson Or Running Back By Committee?
When the Minnesota Vikings drafted Adrian Peterson with their first pick (seventh overall) in the first round of the NFL draft, not many people were terribly surprised. There were a number of people who anticipated Peterson going within the first three picks which leads me to believe that the Vikings were quite lucky to pick him up.  With an incredible performance from running back Chester Taylor last year, there has been a lot of talk about which of the two running backs would lead the Vikings in rushing. Having rushed only three times for eighteen yards before leaving the game with a hip injury, it appears as though Chester Taylor will assume his old role as a backup running back again.

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Vikings' head coach Brad Childress mentioned at the beginning of the season that the addition of Adrian Peterson allowed for the work to be split between the backs, as Chester Taylor had become the Vikings go-to back by the end of the 06-07 season. With 19 rushes against Atlanta in week one and 20 rushes against Detroit in week two for a total of 169 yards, Peterson's 4.3 yard-per-gain average is promising. His five receptions for 112 yards including a touchdown on a 60 yard pass in week one is very impressive though.

Though he self-admittedly needs a bit more practice with catching the ball, Peterson is quickly going to develop into a force to be reckoned with. Concerns surrounding a college injury have apparently been quelled by Peterson's positive attitude and willingness to get out and take hits. Though he needs a bit of work on lowering his shoulders when plowing into a crowd, his form has improved a bit with each game. While it's still early in the season, it's safe to say that Adrian Peterson is going to play an integral part in any success that Minnesota experiences.

With a lack of receivers in the Vikings' core and a defense that heavily contributes points to any Minnesota Vikings' win, there is no doubt that Adrian Peterson has a chance to lead the team in offensive scoring. Mewelde Moore did join the action in week two but did very little to take the focus away from Peterson, showing very little in the way of impressive running.  If Peterson continues to work on his catching, the combination of explosive speed, the ability to quickly change directions, and his nice size could propel Adrian Peterson to the NFL's leading rusher by his second season.

By T. Lloyd,
September 19, 2007