By Harvey Hoffman
So, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, what did you think of last night’s 31-15 loss to the Bears at Fed-Ex Field?
“Disbelief,” said Peterson who carried the rock 12 times for 37 yards, “because we have so much talent and this is the third week in a row that we’re just sitting here like, ‘God.’ You know, [if] we can just get it going for four quarters. We have a really good team. Thinking about everything that happened today, four, five turnovers, just missed opportunities in the run game, the pass game. I think the defense did an outstanding job, we put them in some terrible positions. There we are with seven minutes in their territory and we just need to convert to put points on the board and we have a game, it’s six minutes left. That’s how close we are. It’s all about just learning from this. I know guys realize how good we are. Tonight was the perfect example of coming back out second half, having a different energy to us and we weren’t giving up. We can tell with how we played and how we put ourselves in position, of course we need to execute. We just gotta improve on the things can improve on.”
The offense definitely had more punch in the second half, culminating in a drive that seemed to be destined to cut the Chicago lead from 28-0 to 28-15 to 28-22. That drive ended with quarterback Case Keenum‘s up-and-over-the-pile fumble on fourth and short. That play was needed only because Peterson didn’t get a yard on third and one.
“I have to be better in certain situations,” Peterson said. “The one that stands out the most to me, that third-and-one. Just staying true, keeping front side. Cramming for the first down. I saw the flow [of the defense] and decided to take it backside and kinda got tripped up on [an offensive lineman]’s feet and I thought I got the first down. Me, that’s a game changer, first down, new set of downs, seven minutes to go. [That] would have put us in position to score seven, now we’re down six with six minutes to go. So, that’s huge when you think about that. And think about how the game went in the first half and leading up to that point and not being able to execute.”
In Peterson’s defense, he’d become (again) the forgotten man in the offense before coach Jay Gruden called Peterson’s number in a big spot. The overall lack of use (12 carries for 37 yards) underscores the perception that Gruden isn’t a fan of Peterson’s running style.
Indeed, Gruden told reporters when discussing the key third-down failure that “we called our short yardage play and AP [Adrian Peterson] couldn’t get a yard.” Which hardly seems to be a glowing endorsement of the future Hall of Famer. Which continues to call into question Peterson’s role on the team, and his value in the eyes of the team’s head coach.