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Adrian Peterson returned from injury for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday to carry just 10 times in a 42-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The All-Pro running back apparently expected a bit bigger role in his return.
Peterson spoke to the media on Monday about his lack of touches, and according to ESPN 1500's Judd Zulgad, the Vikings running back didn't seem pleased.
"I don't know how to explain 10 carries," said Peterson, who gained 60 yards on the ground and not catch a pass. "I don't know. I was ready to roll. I just do my job when I'm called upon. I go out there and try to execute. The game, we got behind, so we kind of had to turn more into a passing team but that didn't work either."
"They knew I had the injuries so maybe different plays they wanted to keep me out. I'm sure they didn't expect the game to get out of hand like it did. I'm sure they had a strategy in mind, too. Just unfortunately we got down ... when we did, it happened pretty quick so they had to switch it up."
If Peterson is able to rush for 105 more yards in the last two games of the season, the veteran running back will break Robert Smith's franchise record with 6,819 rushing yards in his career.
In many of the first 11 losses the Minnesota Vikings suffered in the 2011 season, at least you could say they played their opponents close. However, you certainly couldn't say that about what could be the second-to-last game the team plays in the state of Minnesota.
New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees torched a severely undermanned Vikings' secondary for five touchdown passes and 412 yards on Sunday afternoon, as the Saints thumped the Vikings by a final score of 42-20 at the Metrodome.
Brees had more different targets on the afternoon (nine) than he had incompletions (eight) as he blistered a Minnesota defense that, despite all its issues, did not put cornerback Cedric Griffin on the field on Sunday afternoon. Griffin, who was benched after the second defensive series in the Vikings' loss to Detroit last week, was apparently warming up on the sideline at one point in time, was active for the game, but was benched in favor of Asher Allen and Benny Sapp. Even after Allen left the game with concussion-like symptoms in the first half, Griffin remained on the sideline, with the Vikings instead going with Sapp and Marcus Sherels at the cornerback spots and rookie Brandon Burton playing the nickel role.
It probably wouldn't have made much difference who the Vikings threw at Brees, however, as he was never in danger of being sacked on the day, and threw five touchdown passes in a game for the fourth time in his career. He also became the first opposing quarterback to register a 400-yard passing game against the Vikings since November 26, 2006, when Minnesota gave up 405 yards to Matt Leinart in a 31-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Adrian Peterson made his return for the Vikings and gained 60 yards on ten carries, and expressed disappointment with his workload afterwards, saying that he was "ready to go" and was hoping to get more work in. Peterson's backup, Toby Gerhart, scored both of Minnesota's touchdowns on the afternoon on passes from Christian Ponder. One of them came from 10 yards out on a shovel pass to get the Vikings within 14-13, and the other came from 16 yards out long after the game had been decided.
Ponder looked like a mess for most of the game, and his final stat line (14/31, 120 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) belied how bad he looked for most of the afternoon, much of which was spent running for his life from an aggressive New Orleans defense. Ponder wound up getting sacked four times on the afternoon.
With the loss, the Vikings fall to 2-12 on the 2011 season, and are perilously close to "earning" the worst regular season record in Vikings' history. To date, the worst team the Vikings have fielded since the advent of the 16-game schedule was the 3-13 effort from the 1984 team. Today's loss also marks the first six-game losing streak the team has endured since that 1984 season.
The Vikings also set another ridiculous NFL record on Sunday afternoon, as they failed to record an interception for the ninth consecutive game. Going into the game, they were in a three-way tie with the 1996 Atlanta Falcons and the 2009 St. Louis Rams for that dubious distinction.
Minnesota will play its final road game of the season on Christmas Eve, as they travel to the nation's capital to battle the Washington Redskins.
The Saints have put their backups into the game, but if you're playing fantasy football. . .well, the stat sheet doesn't care about that, now does it?
After a missed field goal attempt by John Kasay, the Vikings moved 60 yards in 6 plays, concluding with a 16-yard screen pass from Christian Ponder to Toby Gerhart. It was the second touchdown pass of the day for Ponder, who has looked like an absolute mess for the majority of the day, and they've both gone to Gerhart, who now has three touchdowns in his last two games.
So, it makes it a little less ugly on the scoreboard, but not much, as the Vikings are still losing 42-20 with five minutes left and just failed at an onside kick attempt (while managing to commit two penalties on said onside kick). With some of the things that have been going on in the NFL today, the Vikings could be back in play for not just the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, but possibly the top spot as well.
After another bad showing from the Minnesota offense, the Saints went on another long drive. New Orleans even faced a 3rd-and-25, and appeared to actually get a stop. . .until Fred Evans was called for an illegal hands to the face penalty that gave the Saints an automatic first down.
The New Orleans drive continued, and the Saints found themselves at the 2-yard line. Brees turned around and handed the ball to Pierre Thomas, who found his way into the end zone, and the Saints went up 42-13.
Brees has completed 32-of-40 passes for 412 yards and five touchdowns. This marks the first time the Vikings have allowed a 400-yard passing game since November 26, 2006 when they allowed 400 yards to. . .Matt Leinart.
Yes, that Matt Leinart.
We're grinding through the fourth quarter in Minneapolis, ladies and gentlemen, and the Vikings trail the New Orleans Saints by a score of 42-13.
Brees just hit his fifth touchdown pass of the afternoon, a 47-yarder to Lance Moore to complete a three-play, 53-yard drive. It is Moore's second touchdown of the afternoon, and it gives Brees the fourth five-touchdown game of his career. Brees is now 24-of-29 on the afternoon for 332 yards and five scores.
The afternoon got off to a decent start for the Minnesota Vikings, but things are getting ugly against one of the NFL's best teams.
With a little more than ten minutes left in the third quarter of play, the Minnesota Vikings trail the New Orleans Saints by a score of 35-13.
The Minnesota Vikings got the ball first coming out of the locker room at halftime. . .not that anybody really noticed, because they gave it back to the New Orleans Saints almost immediately, and the Saints took advantage.
Following a three-and-out for Minnesota that featured an intentional grounding penalty on an increasingly shaky-looking Christian Ponder, the Saints went to work at the Minnesota 44-yard line, and it didn't take them long to reach the end zone from there. In fact, it took them just four plays to move those 44 yards, with most of the damage coming on a screen pass to Darren Sproles. On the last play of the drive, Brees found John Gilmore for his fourth touchdown pass of the afternoon, this one coming from two yards out.
Brees is now 23-for-27 for 285 yards and four touchdown passes already. He has thrown six touchdowns in a game once, and five touchdowns in a game three separate times. It appears as though he will do that much damage this afternoon as well. . .at least.
With a little more than twelve minutes left in the third quarter of play, the Minnesota Vikings trail the New Orleans Saints by a score of 28-13.
Drew Brees has gotten his third touchdown pass of the afternoon after moving the Saints 76 yards in 13 plays in 5:26, concluding with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles. Brees is on fire this afternoon, as he has completed 20-of-24 pass attempts for 247 yards and those three touchdowns. Those 22 pass attempts mean that the Minnesota Vikings' defense has now seen 253 pass attempts since the last time they intercepted a pass.
That also means that the Minnesota Vikings are one half of football away from setting a new NFL record. . .one that they don't necessarily want any part of. If they don't intercept a pass in this game, they will have gone nine consecutive games without an interception, taking sole possession of a record they currently share with the 1996 Atlanta Falcons and the 2009 St. Louis Rams.
As it stands right now, we have just gone into halftime at the Metrodome, and the Minnesota Vikings trail the New Orleans Saints by a score of 21-13.
Adrian Peterson is back this afternoon, and he put the Minnesota Vikings on the doorstep on Minnesota's most recent drive, but it was his replacement that got the ball into the end zone.
After the Saints attempted an onside kick and failed, the Vikings set up shop from their own 39-yard line. Facing a 3rd-and-1 from the 48, Peterson took a handoff from Christian Ponder and blasted through the line, getting dragged down after a 39-yard gain and setting the Vikings up inside the Saints' red zone.
Following a couple of unusual play calls that saw Joe Webb line up at quarterback with Ponder in a running back spot, the Vikings faced 3rd-and-7, and Ponder flipped a shovel pass to Toby Gerhart, who plowed his way into the end zone for a Minnesota touchdown from ten yards out. Ryan Longwell hit the extra point, and the Vikings once again find themselves trailing by a single point at 14-13.
Peterson now has six carries for 52 yards for Minnesota on the afternoon, and Gerhart now has receiving touchdowns in consecutive games.
With seven minutes left in the first half of play at the Metrodome, the Minnesota Vikings trail the New Orleans Saints by a score of 14-13.
The Vikings allowed Darren Sproles to take a screen pass for a huge gain of 39 yards, which was aided by a "late hit" on safety Jamarca Sanford, even though Sproles still appeared to be in-bounds when he got hit. On the next two plays, however, the Saints were hit with consecutive penalties to give themselves a 1st-and-25 situation. However, all of that was negated by a pass interference penalty on linebacker E.J. Henderson, who was somehow covering Marques Colston in the end zone to give them a 1st-and-goal from the 1.
The Saints just attempted an onside kick, and the Vikings wound up jumping on it, so they have good field position near midfield as a result. The Vikings haven't done anything with good field position thus far, so we'll have to see if they can do anything here.
The latest turnover came on a bad snap in Saints' territory, as New Orleans' center snapped the football before Drew Brees was ready for it, and the ball went right past him. Everson Griffen recovered for the Vikings at the New Orleans 30-yard line, and the Vikings were in business once again.
However, the Vikings' offense threw things firmly into reverse, losing ten yards on the drive and forcing themselves to settle for another Ryan Longwell field goal attempt. The Vikings' kicker drilled it from 49 yards out to cut the Saints' lead to 1 point at 7-6.
If the Saints are going to keep handing the Vikings the football, Minnesota needs to start doing something on offense, because field goals aren't going to get the job done against an offense like the one the Saints have.
However, as we play through the first half, the Minnesota Vikings trail the New Orleans Saints by a score of 7-6.
The Saints appeared to have a big 40-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Robert Meachem, but that play was negated by a holding penalty on Saints' fullback Jed Collins. However, the Saints kept plugging away, and eventually found paydirt when Brees found Lance Moore on first and goal from the 5-yard line to give the Saints a 7-3 lead.
The Vikings' defense is missing a lot of tackles so far this afternoon, and that trend can't continue if they want to have any chance against the Saints' offense. In addition, the Vikings have now seen 239 pass attempts since the last time they intercepted a pass on defense, even though they are currently +1 in the turnover ratio to this point in the game.
With a little less than three minutes left in the first quarter of play, the Minnesota Vikings trail the New Orleans Saints, 7-3.
On the Saints' third play from scrimmage, Brees found tight end Jimmy Graham wide open for an 18-yard gain to the New Orleans 48-yard line, but Graham was stripped of the football by safety Jamarca Sanford. Rookie Mistral Raymond scooped up the fumble, and returned it to the New Orleans 26-yard line for the first fumble recovery of his young career.
Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn't do much with it, as they only moved the ball one yard in three plays. That was good enough for Ryan Longwell, however, as he drilled a 44-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter at the Metrodome.
Good start for the Vikings so far, but it remains to be seen if they can capitalize on their early momentum. Keep it tuned right here for all of the latest updates on this one.
One of Brees' favorite targets, tight end Jimmy Graham will play on Sunday while dealing with a minor back injury. Graham leads the Saints in receptions, yards and touchdowns which is pretty impressive considering the dynamic offense New Orleans brings to the field each week.
Rookie running back Mark Ingram leads the Saints in rushing despite missing last week with a toe injury. The bothersome toe injury has not healed forcing Ingram back on the inactive list this week. New Orleans will rely on their running back depth with Darrren Sproles and Pierre Thomas offering some nice running back options to pick up the load in Ingram's absence.
Here is the inactive list released by the Saints.
The Vikings get some good news with running back Adrian Peterson not making an appearance on the inactive list while expecting to start against the visiting Saints. Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder was pulled out of last week's loss after trying to play through a hip injury. Backup Joe Webb used his feet to spark a rally, but Ponder will give it a go again today with his injured hip and is also expected to start.
The Minnesota Vikings continue fighting for their third win of the season after coming up just short the past couple of weeks. The Vikings have dropped five games in a row while dealing with the absence of AP in the backfield for the past three games.
Here is the official inactive list from the Vikings.
At this point in the season, any fantasy owners playing Christian Ponder are looking for the Minnesota Vikings quarterback to push them to a win by adding to big numbers compiled at other positions. The rookie quarterback has had his ups and downs this season, but this week offers a good chance for a productive fantasy week from Ponder.
For starters, running back Adrian Peterson returns to the backfield for the Vikings which takes some pressure of Ponder. Even though AP is not 100 percent, he sparkles like a disco ball before the snap of the ball drawing the attention of defenders eyes out of habit.
Also, Ponder will be working against a New Orleans Saints pass defense that ranks 30th in the NFL in yards surrendered. After a frustrating finish in last week's loss to Detroit, Ponder will look to keep putting the ball in the hands of Percy Harvin and Devin Aromashodu in space to make big plays.
Ponder projects to have an average day with numberFire.com expecting the Vikings' signal caller to complete 19.62 of 31.56 passes for 215.76 yards with 1.30 TDs and 0.82 interceptions. Ponder will need to surpass those numbers for the Vikings to finally earn that elusive third win after coming close in the past couple of weeks.
Adrian Peterson has a chance to alter the landscape of fantasy football leagues everywhere while becoming a fantasy legend in the process. That is, if Peterson's owners have survived his three-week absence to remain in playoff contention in their respective leagues.
Peterson expects to play for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints after missing the last three games with a high ankle sprain. While he considers himself "85 percent" healthy, Peterson has season goals to strive for but also wants to treat his fantasy owners right, as he joked on Friday.
But that's not the only reason Peterson wants to come back after missing the past three games because of a high left ankle sprain.
"It's very important, especially for my fantasy team owners," Peterson said with a smile. "They've been giving me a hard time."
Peterson needs 128 yards rushing to tack on another 1,000-yard rushing season to his career accomplishments. According to numberFire.com, Peterson doesn't project to be that productive which makes sense when you consider the "85 percent" healthy situations. Peterson projects to have 15.75 carries for 69.13 yards and 3.31 receptions for 27.25 yards with 0.6 TDs.
Minnesota may need more than that from AP to beat the Saints but it will be nice to have the running back on the field once again.
For more on the Vikings, check out Daily Norseman.
The Vikings are set to get their workhorse back on Sunday vs. the Saints -- Adrian Peterson was a full participant in practice on Friday and is officially listed as probable for the game. Peterson has missed the last three games with a high ankle sprain.
The only casualty for the Vikings this week on the injury report is cornerback Chris Cook, who has been out since Week 6, due to being in trouble with the law.
Here is the full injury report for the Vikings in Week 15:
|Cook, Chris||CB||Not Injury Related||Out||Out||Out||Out|
For more on the Vikings, visit SB Nation's Daily Norseman.
Saints' running back Mark Ingram (turf toe) and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (knee) did not practice on Thursday and haven't practiced at all since Week 13, making it highly unlikely that either will play on Sunday vs. the Vikings. Chris Ivory saw the majority of carries at practice as a result of Ingram's injury. Ivory received the brunt of the rushing load in the other two games he was activated while Ingram was out this year.
LB Jonathan Casillas (Knee) -- Did Not Participate In Practice
RB Mark Ingram (Toe) -- Did Not Participate In Practice
DT Sedrick Ellis (Hamstring) -- Full Participation in Practice
TE Jimmy Graham (Back) -- Full Participation in Practice
CB Tracy Porter (Wrist) -- Full Participation in Practice
LB Scott Shanle (Shoulder) -- Full Participation in Practice
DE Turk McBride (Ankle) -- Limited Participation in Practice
LB Jonathan Vilma (Knee) -- Limited Participation in Practice
After missing a few weeks with a high ankle sprain, the Minnesota Vikings are expected to get their star back on Sunday vs. the New Orleans Saints. Adrian Peterson's status won't be known until Friday, but he was a limited participant in practice on Thursday and is planning to play on Sunday for his fantasy owners.
Christian Ponder, who played through a hip injury last week and then was pulled in the third quarter for Joe Webb, was a full participant in practice. He is expected to be under center on Sunday vs. the Saints.
Here is the full Minnesota Vikings injury updates:
CB Asher Allen (Shoulder) -- Full Participation in Practice
QB Christian Ponder (Hip) -- Full Participation in Practice
WR Greg Camarillo (Concussion) -- Limited Participation in Practice
DT Letroy Guion (ankle) -- Limited Participation in Practice
LB E.J. Henderson (Shoulder) -- Limited Participation in Practice
S Jarrad Page (hip) -- Limited Participation in Practice
RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) -- Limited Participation in Practice
CB Chris Cook (Not Injury Related) -- Out (Definitely Will Not Play)
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