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No Grand Sequel For Adrian Peterson

Posted Oct 22, 2017

Running game fizzles following great opening act against Buccaneers

Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson struggled to gain yards on the ground Sunday.

LONDON, England – Adrian Peterson took to a podium Wednesday and compared last week’s electrifying debut with the Cardinals to a storybook.

Alas, J.K. Rowling still has the England market cornered on exciting sequels.

Peterson followed up his 134-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Buccaneers with a dud on Sunday. Peterson had 11 carries but managed only 21 yards in a 33-0 loss to the Rams.

“Obviously we weren’t blocking well enough, and Adrian missed some holes,” coach Bruce Arians said.

The Cardinals looked they had a Harry Potter-like mega-hit with Peterson heading into this one, but as is often the case in the NFL, a team and player’s fortunes can change quickly from week to week.

On Sunday, the holes weren’t as plentiful and Peterson wasn’t able to get away when bottled up.

“I’m sure they came in with the game we had last week – 150-something yards – watched some tape to see how we could run the ball and be successful,” Peterson said. “Still, with that being said, there were some opportunities that I missed. Today they just got the best of us in the run game. We’ll see these guys again, and I promise you, we’ll all be focused on establishing that running game.”

Peterson had only 11 rushing yards in the first half, and after some early ineffectiveness, the Cardinals started going more to the air in the second quarter – as had been their modus operandi in the first five games of the season before he arrived.

It was a theme they didn’t want to return to but Arians felt like he needed to because the running game wasn’t putting the offense in advantageous positions on early downs.

“We just didn’t get it rolling,” right guard Earl Watford said. “We didn’t execute.”

Quarterback Carson Palmer broke his arm in the second quarter when he was hit by linebacker Alec Ogletree. The Rams intercepted the floating pass on the play, scored on the next one and cruised. Palmer will miss at least eight weeks because he needs surgery and may not return this season.

Backup quarterback Drew Stanton will be the fill-in for the foreseeable future, and if the Cardinals have any chance of staying afloat, the running game may need to be great.

“Until we can get our backup situated, of course running the ball will help us out a lot,” Peterson said.

The Cardinals had one fantastic game on the ground this season, but the rest of the year has been a slog. It’s going to be even tougher now with Palmer on the shelf.

The players were dejected in the locker room after the game, and Peterson believes the bye week is coming at a good time. He has already been a focal point of the offense since being acquired and now could be the team’s best chance at winning games.

Peterson hopes to get the issues sorted out before the team returns to the field against the 49ers in Week 9.

“We need some time to sit back and re-evaluate things,” Peterson said.

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