Adrian Peterson on season-opening game against Rams: ‘Touchdown, first run’
Adrian Peterson has never shied away from bold proclamations throughout his NFL career. During his seven-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings, he has consistently declared that he is the best running back in the league, something few disagree with at this point.
Following his MVP season in 2012 when he came just nine yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s all-time, single-season rushing record, Peterson said heading into the following season that not only would he break the 2,105-yard record the next year, he’d shatter it, saying, “I want to make it the 2,500 club.”
Peterson of course did not achieve the goal he set out to accomplish, rushing for 1,266 yards, but that does not mean anyone should necessarily doubt him going forward. And that includes the rather bold statement Peterson made this week heading into the Vikings’ Week 1 showdown with the St. Louis Rams.
Peterson, who said last week he’d be willing to “give up everything” for a Super Bowl title, clearly wants to get the season off to a good start. And while a trip to the Super Bowl almost definitely not in the cards for the Vikings this season, that does not mean Peterson isn’t planning to make a big splash come Sunday.
He says he’s taking his first carry to the house.
“I might as well speak it,” he said Thursday, according to the Pioneer Press. “Touchdown. First run.”
While some may snicker at such an arguably cocky proclamation, Peterson does have some experience with taking his first rush of the season to the end zone.
Just last year in Minnesota’s opening game against the Detroit Lions, he rumbled 78 yards on his first carry for a touchdown.
Peterson relayed how he had a similar feeling heading into that Lions game last year during a discussion with then-Vikings back Toby Gerhart and current running back Matt Asiata.
“I think that Tuesday or Wednesday, me and Toby and Matt Asiata were talking, and I was like, ‘I’m going to take the first carry, I’m going to take it to the house,’ ” Peterson recalled. “I really didn’t think about it. I said it and really meant it when I said it, and then when it happened, I came to the sideline and they reminded me of it.
“They were like, ‘Oh man, you said that you were going to do that.’ So I kind of remembered it,” he continued. “So, hopefully, I will try to say it again and hopefully it will work on the same way.”
Peterson may have a little extra motivation for sticking it to the Rams as well. When Minnesota last played St. Louis on Dec. 12, 2012, Peterson says he was like an angry “talking assassin” that day after some smack talk from Rams players at the beginning of the game ticked him off.
Peterson was largely unsuccessful on his first few carries of the game, losing yardage on six of his first eight carries. That brought the trash talk. And it got Peterson going.
“What I do remember about that game is that it’s first time in eight years, I’ve ever talked off to players,” Peterson told the Star Tribune. “Those guys had me so hot, like I haven’t ever been that mad playing football.
“They were just yapping at the mouth,” he said. “I’m talking about from the defensive front to the second level to the secondary. Those guys were just yapping.
“I can’t even remember, but they said enough to make me fire back,” he said. “Normally, I’m an assassin out there. I was a talking assassin that time. From the secondary on down, those guys were talking so much noise. Then we ripped a long run on them and things got quiet. Hopefully, things play out the same way.”
Peterson was referring to his ninth carry of the game, when he busted off an 82-yard long run for a touchdown, a career-long.
“It got a little quite then,” he said.
So … any doubters that he might bust off a touchdown run on his first carry Sunday?