Hayden Goethe, Published December 25 2010
Goethe: Peterson shakes fumble struggles en route to big seasonHow many times did you hear one of your friends scream, “Hold onto the ball!” during last season’s regular season and playoff run by the Minnesota Vikings?
Despite rushing for 18 touchdowns a year ago, all anyone could talk about was Adrian Peterson’s fumbling. He lost six fumbles in the regular season in 2009, plus he fumbled two more times in the NFC championship game loss to the New Orleans Saints (both of those were recovered by the Vikings).
As crazy as it sounds when revisiting it, I heard multiple Vikings fans last year tell me that the team should be starting Chester Taylor over Peterson – a Pro Bowl selection in every season of his NFL career – because of those untimely fumbles.
One year later, Peterson’s turnover troubles are all but over. He has 280 touches this season and hasn’t lost a single fumble.
Every week – and I mean every week – the Minnesota Vikings are grabbing headlines.
Let me count the ways:
The annual preseason Brett Favre, “Will he or won’t he,” saga.
A disappointing 1-3 start.
The return of Randy Moss.
The demise of Randy Moss, highlighted by the, “I wouldn’t feed this blankety-blank food to my dog,” comment.
The dismissal of head coach Brad Childress.
The deflation of the Metrodome.
The end of Favre’s consecutive games played streak.
The first outdoor home game in 29 years.
Has any 5-9 team ever gotten this much attention?
But I thought interim coach Leslie Frazier made a great point this week about the one big story with the Vikings that isn’t getting much publicity, and that’s the workhorse season being put up by running back Adrian Peterson.
“That’s a story that’s not been written about enough, the kind of year’s he’s having, even though our team is not having a great year,” Frazier told the Associated Press on Thursday.
Peterson’s numbers are great but not mind-blowing. He has 1,149 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns.
But on a team surrounded by scandal and uncertainty all season long, it has been Peterson who has been the calming presence in otherwise unsteady waters.
The Vikings ship may have sailed, but Peterson is quite possibly enjoying the best season of his career.
Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558