The offensive line has excelled since Anthony Herrera was inserted into the starting lineup. Tarvaris Jackson is maturing, realizing that he needs to study more. It’s showing. And then there’s the rookie phenom of the decade, Adrian Peterson.
Peterson has amazed us since the first game of the season, long before our offensive line pulled it together and became an machine. So with the line opening up gaping holes, the receivers opening things up with their downfield blocking, and the credible threat of a passing game, could Adrian Peterson run for 400 yards in a game, as I suggested last week?
I really don’t see why not, especially today. While the 49ers are not the least effective team against the rush, they rank 27th in the NFL against the rush. They are giving up 124 yards a game to running backs not named Adrian Peterson. And there’s the rub.
Such gawdy numbers are not all that implausible when you consider that the guy had 361 all-purpose yards against the Chargers. All Peterson needs to do is rip of three or four long runs–a feat for which he’s entirely capable–and he’s easily within striking distance of four hundred.
The Vikings need to account for 49ers cornerback Nate Clements and their outstanding rookie linebacker, Patrick Willis. Willis has 128 tackles and the season ain’t over yet. He’s supposed to be a sideline-to-sideline terror so watch for the Vikings to run between the tackles today, right at him and bet that our offensive line and Adrian Peterson can overpower him.
I absolutely believe Peterson can run for 400 yards in one game. The greatest limitation to that accomplishment may very well be Brad Childress himself by pulling Peterson before he’s through.