MINNEAPOLIS — Following the Minnesota Vikings‘ 38-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, a game in which Adrian Peterson carried just eight times for 18 yards, the running back made a clear declaration of something he hinted at two weeks ago: He needs more carries.
Peterson said the Vikings were outcoached “in so many different ways” Sunday, and when asked if he thought eight carries were too few for him, Peterson said, “What do you think?”
“As one of the leaders on the team, seeing how the running game has been all season, you definitely want to be able to go out and establish the run and let things feed off of that,” he said. “To finish with eight carries, it’s tough. I feel like we’re able to sit back, evaluate some things again and get back to what we do.”
A league source told ESPN that Peterson met with coach Mike Zimmer to share his concerns after he got just 13 carries in the Vikings’ 30-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 22. The Vikings gave Peterson the ball 29 times last weekend, and he gained 158 yards in a win over the Atlanta Falcons. But on Sunday, he had a season-low five carries in the first half, and the Vikings got away from the running game after falling behind 21-0.
The NFL’s leading rusher has been the bedrock of the Vikings’ offense all season, and while three of the team’s four losses are by 17 points or more, Peterson’s frustration Sunday seemed to stem from how early Minnesota went away from the run against the Seahawks. The Vikings were down 21-0 at halftime but gained fewer yards (57) in the second half than they did in the first (68). Peterson carried the ball on the first two plays of the second half but had only one carry after that.
“You don’t want to go in down 21 at halftime, but we should be able to bite down and come back in some type of way,” he said. “We just weren’t able to do it. We don’t have to look at it [on film]. We know what it was. We just made a mistake. We’ve just got to bounce back, pick it up. I can’t say what came to mind, but we have to bite down and just realize some things and come back ready to play Thursday.”
The Vikings (8-4) matched their third-most lopsided home loss in team history, and they’ll have to forget about it quickly. They head west to face the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.