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Thread: Thomas: Vikings' Peterson Poses Huge Threat To Rams

  1. #1
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    Thomas: Vikings' Peterson Poses Huge Threat To Rams

    Vikings' Peterson poses huge threat to Rams

    13 hours ago • By Jim Thomas

    The last time Adrian Peterson visited the Gateway to the West, he was totally shut down in the first quarter at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Five of his first eight carries that day went for negative yardage. Entering the second quarter, he had eight yards to show for those eight carries. The Rams’ defense was all over him, physically and verbally.

    “I think that’s the first time in eight years I’ve ever talked noise to players,” Peterson said on a conference call Wednesday with St. Louis reporters. “Those guys had me so hot — I haven’t ever been that mad playing football.

    “They were yapping at the mouth. I’m talking about from the defensive front, to the second level, to the secondary. Those guys were just yapping and they were doing pretty good initially.

    “And then when I gutted them that one time, it got real quiet. ... I hope they come in talking a lot of noise this time, too.”

    Peterson gutted them to the tune of an 82-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Not only did it break a 7-7 tie, it broke the Rams’ backs, starting a run of 26 unanswered points for the Vikings, who went on to win 36-22 in 2012.

    By day’s end, Peterson had 212 yards rushing — his last carry of the day went for 52 — en route to a 2,097-yard season, the second-highest season total in NFL history.

    The mid-December loss ended any hopes of a playoff berth in Jeff Fisher’s inaugural Rams season; the team had been flirting with wild-card status at the time.

    Even though the Vikings were playing it ultra-conservative at the time with quarterback Christian Ponder, de facto Rams defensive coordinator Blake Williams called a blitz on the play — a strange call on a 1st-and-10 from the Vikings’ 18.

    Williams, the son of current defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, was not retained at the end of the season. At the Senior Bowl five weeks later, Blake told the Post-Dispatch that he thought that call may have led to his dismissal.

    “We were in the wrong defense, obviously, ” Fisher said after that game. “We were expecting pass ... and so I think as coaches we have to take that.”

    Exactly why the Rams were expecting pass remains a mystery because the Vikings were the league’s 32nd-ranked pass offense at the time.

    In any event, the Rams sent safety Quintin Mikell and linebacker Rocky McIntosh in from their right on a blitz. Compounding matters was the fact that defensive tackle Kendall Langford dropped off the line into coverage. All of that left Peterson with a huge hole once he reached the line of scrimmage — and he knew what to do with it.

    But back to the chirping. Did Peterson’s run quiet the Rams?

    “I guess that’s his opinion,” linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar said. “That’s all right. Maybe we got quiet; maybe we didn’t.”

    “Well, you know, when you take the ball 82 yards to the house, there’s not much to say after that,” linebacker James Laurinaitis said.

    So Laurinaitis was impressed with the play?

    “There’s a lot of plays that Adrian has that I’m impressed with,” Laurinaitis replied.

    There’s no doubting that. In the Rams’ defensive team meeting Wednesday, Gregg Williams told the players they were facing the best back in football in Sunday’s season opener at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Defensive end Chris Long explained why.

    “He doesn’t avoid contact, and if you’re a DB, he’s gonna find out if you like to hit people or not,” Long said. “And he’s gonna figure out who wants to tackle.”

    Coupled with that punishing style is excellent vision and tremendous open-field acceleration.

    “There’s some great backs just as good as him in the tackle box,” Long said. “But when he gets in the second level and when you let him out into the back end of your defense, he’s the best. And that’s what separates him.”

    So for all the hype about the Rams’ pass rush and the #SackCity nickname, Sunday’s game figures to be more a test of how well the Rams play run defense.

    Can they neutralize Peterson?

    “That’s the only way you can give yourself a chance to win the game,” Dunbar said. “Neutralize him, which is easier said than done. We know the type of challenge that he brings. We know his attitude, and the running style. He can change the game obviously.”

    Peterson comes to the dome with fresh legs.

    As has been the case in recent years, he didn’t play at all in the entire preseason. He hasn’t carried the football once in exhibition play since 2011.

    In fact, his only exhibition action over the past three years was two snaps in Game 3 against San Francisco. (He was a decoy on a pair of play-action passes.)

    Peterson spent his game nights this August chewing sunflower seeds — Ranch flavor — on the sideline.

    “Two bags, man,” Peterson said. “I try to not have a dip in (of tobacco), so I constantly have to have the seeds in the mouth.”

    Peterson, who turned 29 in March, is closing in on 30 — the age when many running backs fall off the cliff in terms of production. His yards per carry dropped from 6.0 during his superhuman 2012 season to a still very respectable 4.5 last season.

    After the 2,000-yard campaign, he rushed for “only” 1,266 yards last season, missing 2 ½ games late in the year with groin and foot injuries. Peterson underwent offseason groin surgery, but says he’s fully healthy.

    Healthy and ready to quiet the dome Sunday afternoon. Not that the Rams’ defense is going to change its tune.

    “No,” Langford said. “We’re going to be us. We will keep talking. We’re gonna hit, we’re gonna stick, we’re gonna talk (stuff).”

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    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Thomas: Vikings' Peterson Poses Huge Threat To Rams

    inferring Langford's actual words at the end there.... i love that quote

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    Re: Thomas: Vikings' Peterson Poses Huge Threat To Rams

    lapse of defense killed the Ram and play adjustments...the Rams never adjusted on both sides of the ball. Its a game that still ticks me off and put doubts in my mind about Schotty; who opted to continue trench warfare where the Yikes opted for mobile.

    This time around am counting on a better D-line and tighter coverage in the middle of the field--its really the only options the Yikes have...power run and quick throws. But I think what will make the difference for the Rams on D is the ability to rotate fresh bodies. The worry is the offense not putting enough plays together to rest the defense

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    Re: Thomas: Vikings' Peterson Poses Huge Threat To Rams

    Peterson has promised to score a TD on his first run from scrimmage this season.

    Not this time guy. Not against this defense.
    laram0 and LA Rammer like this.

  5. #5
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    Re: Thomas: Vikings' Peterson Poses Huge Threat To Rams

    Headline: Vikings Peterson Poses Huge Threat to Rams, Packers, Dolphins, Saints, Cowboys, Bears, Seahawks, Browns, Texans, Chargers, etc., etc., etc.

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    Re: Thomas: Vikings' Peterson Poses Huge Threat To Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Headline: Vikings Peterson Poses Huge Threat to Rams, Packers, Dolphins, Saints, Cowboys, Bears, Seahawks, Browns, Texans, Chargers, etc., etc., etc.
    How about RAMS front 4 poses huge threat to the Vikings Matt Cassell?!
    r8rh8rmike likes this.

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