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  1. #1
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    Two carries are enough for Peterson

    DECEMBER 17, 2012 2:20 PM • BY JOE STRAUSS, POST-DISPATCH SPORTS COLUMNIST

    Adrian Peterson looked up from his Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Rams and reflected on what he had just accomplished. The greatest back of this or maybe any other season recalled the 212-yard gash he left in a previously solid rush defense and asserted, “I could have had over 300.”

    He very well might be right.

    When the Rams saw the Minnesota Vikings at the Edward Jones Dome, they could be accused of looking at themselves across the line.

    With the Vikings absent injured feature receiver Percy Harvin, both teams seek to pair playmakers with young quarterbacks. Both teams are more defense than offense. Both teams required tortured math to describe their playoff hopes. But only the Vikings have Peterson, who makes X-Box football resemble a reality show.

    Because of him the 6-7-1 Rams no longer need concern themselves with such postseason calculus.

    For 22 of his 24 carries Peterson resembled a mere mortal as the Rams stacked him for 76 yards, a measly 3.55-yard average. However, Peterson used his remaining two carries to crush their playoff aspirations, if not their will, in a game that rarely seemed as close as its 36-22 final.

    Peterson did to the Rams what he has impossibly done to the rest of the NFL a year after requiring surgery to repair a shredded anterior cruciate ligament. He prods and he slams. He reverses field. He slips two tackles within a 3-yard gain. Then Peterson breaks away, too powerful to muscle, too fast to catch.

    Peterson amassed 134 yards in two runs, one an 82-yard touchdown and two momentum shifts. On those plays he turned a defense into mere props.

    “Today came down to two runs and maybe three or four plays,” said Rams strong safety Quintin Mikell. “But that’s life in the NFL. That’s what it usually comes down to.”

    Peterson pushed his season rushing total at 1,812 yards with two games remaining and is 293 yards shy of matching Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record set in 1984.

    “It’s been in my sights,” Peterson remarked when asked about the record Dickerson set a year before Peterson was born. “It’s in the back of my head. I definitely want to accomplish that. I’m going to let the chips fall where they may. I look at today’s game and I could have had over 300. It wasn’t meant to happen.”

    On a day when the Rams treated Steven Jackson’s 10,000th career rushing yard as little more than a footnote, Peterson stole the show, or at least the last three quarters.

    “We were prepared for him to make some plays,” said defensive end Chris Long. “Clearly, 83 yards is not in the game plan. But he’s that good. He’s going to break a long run. You just try to contain him.”

    This is what the Rams did to Peterson during Sunday’s first quarter:

    Four of the great back’s first five runs went for negative yardage, leaving him with a minus-three cumulative following his first five rushes.

    Defensive ends William Hayes, Long and Robert Quinn actually left Peterson with negative yards on four straight attempts on the Vikings’ opening drive, which still resulted in a touchdown when quarterback Christian Ponder shrugged off Quinn’s too-high tackle before scrambling 5 yards for the score.

    Peterson finished the first quarter with a pedestrian 8 yards on eight carries, roughly the equivalent of Albert Pujols enduring four strikeouts and a pop up or Kevin Durant going scoreless for 12 minutes.

    Maybe this would be another round of Rams-Niners, a grinding game of field position and field goals in which squandered opportunities became more prominent than take-your-breath-away exploits.

    Then again, maybe not.

    Long realized Peterson’s containment was transitory. This was a back who entered Sunday’s game with 43 rushes of at least 10 yards, 18 of at least 20 yards and five of 50 yards or more.

    Peterson’s previous runs of 20-plus yards had averaged 37.6 yards. To put those 50-yard carries into context, the league’s other 31 teams had managed 24 combined.

    When he added to the total on the Vikings’ first snap of the second quarter, Peterson exacted maximum effect. With one untouched burst covering 82 yards against the wrong defense, he turned the Rams’ best momentum of the game into a rout.

    This is what the Vikings did to the Rams in the second:

    Peterson’s 82-yard breakout gave the Vikings their second lead by not allowing the Rams to maintain a 7-7 game for one snap. It began a nightmare lasting three minutes and nine seconds that featured Rams quarterback Sam Bradford coughing up a fumble that led to a field goal, then throwing an interception run back for a touchdown. A team that had scored 20 points in two of its previous 10 games found itself trailing 24-7.

    To quote the late, great crooner Don Meredith: Turn out the lights. The party’s over.

    Rams head coach Jeff Fisher conceded the wrong defense was in place on Peterson’s touchdown. On first down the Rams inexplicably dropped their linemen while conducting an overload blitz from the defense’s right side. It’s a pass defense. When Peterson broke the line of scrimmage he was gone.

    “Honestly, every defense has a certain play that can be very damaging against it,” Mikell said. “And that was the one.”


    Long thought it a defensive “perfect storm.” Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar called it “very demoralizing.” Worse, the Vikings then jacked their lead 10 points in only 189 seconds while the Rams’ defense allowed minus-4 yards on three snaps.

    The Rams don’t score points. They give birth to them. Their labor pains on offense aren’t conducive to bridging 17-point spreads, even with more than a half remaining.
    And when they stirred, Peterson again found a way to restore order.

    Two touchdowns against a softer Vikings defense brought the Rams within 33-22 with almost eight minutes left in regulation. Dreamers could envision a quickie touchdown, a two-point conversion and a last-minute field goal creating overtime.

    But this being Peterson’s dream season, Bradford’s former Oklahoma teammate responded to his touchdown throw with an improvisational masterpiece.

    Stacked up to his left on a first-down run, Peterson reversed field, then cut over right tackle. Mikell, Fisher and several teammates recounted a nasty hold against the safety that went uncalled. From behind, Dunbar couldn’t hold on to Peterson’s shoulders. Once through the line, Peterson wove his way left before being run down after 52 yards.

    “He’s really good,” Fisher said. “You can never relax. Every time he touches the ball he’s got a chance to go. Yes, we played a lot of good, solid defensive snaps. But we had two that were not good.”

    Only two. But on this day within a historic season, two equaled a billion.


  2. #2
    Curly Horns's Avatar
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    Re: Two carries are enough for Peterson

    Rams head coach Jeff Fisher conceded the wrong defense was in place on Peterson’s touchdown. On first down the Rams inexplicably dropped their linemen while conducting an overload blitz from the defense’s right side. It’s a pass defense. When Peterson broke the line of scrimmage he was gone.

    “Honestly, every defense has a certain play that can be very damaging against it,” Mikell said. “And that was the one.”
    I think it was good of Fisher to take the blame on this.

    I hope we get a new DC next season. One that has recent experience and success with the chess match that goes on during the game.




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    Re: Two carries are enough for Peterson

    For 22 of his 24 carries Peterson resembled a mere mortal as the Rams stacked him for 76 yards, a measly 3.55-yard average.
    Gosh, that sounds so familiar. Where have I heard this before?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Two carries are enough for Peterson

    Rams head coach Jeff Fisher conceded the wrong defense was in place on Peterson’s touchdown. On first down the Rams inexplicably dropped their linemen while conducting an overload blitz from the defense’s right side. It’s a pass defense.
    If the Vikings could have called the Rams defense for one play, this is the exact call they would have made. The Rams were guessing pass, and that was (as the play will show) shockingly wrong.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Two carries are enough for Peterson

    if our defense would have held him to minimal yards the horns keep single season rushing record
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

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