Adrian Peterson 'soul searching,' gunning for Browns
- By Marc Sessler
- Around the League Writer
- Published: Sept. 20, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.
- Updated: Sept. 20, 2013 at 12:19 p.m
Adrian Peterson's 96.5 yards per game put him on pace to finish the season with 1,544 yards, a figure that would delight most NFL running backs. But not Adrian.
After 100 of those yards came in a Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears, Peterson told The Star Tribune that he spent the week "soul searching."
"I was worried about the things that I left out there on the field and how much better I could've performed," Peterson said. " ... I was just able to confirm that I was hesitant on some (runs). Even though I didn't realize it when I was out there, I could see on film that I was trying to do too much instead of taking what the defense gave me."
Peterson's 193 rushing yards rank him third among his peers after two weeks of play, but take away his 78-yard gallop in the season opener, and he's averaging just 2.7 yards per carry since.
He told the newspaper he was "out of whack" against the Bears, but defenses relentlessly have keyed on Peterson. An NFL-leading 18 of his 44 runs have come with eight defenders in the box, per ESPN.
For a guy who said last week that "it's so easy to get 100" yards in a game -- and announced in April "I've got my bar set for 2,500 yards" -- he's not thrilled with the early results.
So here come the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, a team in free fall, but one that has played well against the run. No defense has allowed fewer yards per carry (2.0) than Cleveland after facing Miami's Lamar Miller and Baltimore's duo of Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Peterson said "it will be a good challenge for us. I'm excited for it."
It's outrageous that Peterson's numbers leave us wondering why he's gotten off to a slow start, but expectations never have been higher. That's the burden that comes with the being the finest runner in all the land.