Sunday, March 1, 2015

Yo, Adrian

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson called Vikings running back Adrian Peterson "one of the best I've ever seen."

Yo, Adrian

Here's a prediction: By kickoff Sunday afternoon, you're going to be very tired of hearing about Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson.

The NFL's leading rusher this season, with 1,760 yards on 363 attempts, is the focus of talk about the Eagles' wild card opponents. Part of it is that Peterson really is a great, great player. Part of it is that the Vikings lack a true marquee quarterback or wide receiver, not to deprecate the merits of either Tavaris Jackson or Bernard Berrian.

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson Thursday called Peterson "one of the best I've ever seen ... a natural runner" who has "that Gale Sayers type of feel about the game."

The Birds had two really awful games against the run early this season, the 203 yards on 44 carries they gave up to the Redskins Oct. 5 and the 219 on 45 to the Giants Nov. 9. After that Giants game, the Eagles ranked 14th in the NFL against the rush. They finished the season ranked fourth. That's a pretty strong last six weeks, and most notably, the Redskins and the Giants were included in that string. So, as good as Peterson is, if the Vikings really need him to run for 150 yards or something to beat the Eagles, you don't have to be wearing green-tinted glasses to say that seems unlikely.

A better question might be whether that really is what the Vikings need to do to win. If their defense plays great and their dome is howling (dubious, because right now it looks to be half-empty), maybe they can make it a 10-3 game like the one the Redskins won a few weeks ago. And Jackson, despite having been benched for a long stretch, has played very well since coming back. The Vikings also have a very capable tight end in Visanthe Shiancoe; Eagles fans know that good tight ends tend to give the Birds trouble.

 

 

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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