The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 6, 2012

Run-first plan remains guide for Vikings, Titans

MINNEAPOLIS — The pass-happy NFL is a trend the Minnesota Vikings have mostly ignored. Their style is Adrian Peterson, and they're sticking with him."Every team is different. Some guys are going to win throwing the ball, but right now running the ball is working well for us so we're going to stick with it until things change," quarterback Christian Ponder said. "We have the best running back in the NFL so we're just going to keep giving him the rock."

Minnesota's insistence on molding offensive strategy around the running game while teams all over the league have posted record passing numbers in recent years has appeared at times outdated and desperate. The Vikings, though, have evidence this plan can still be effective. They're 3-1, one of the early surprises of the season in part because of their commitment to balance when they have the ball.

The Tennessee Titans, who visit the Vikings on Sunday, believe in the same approach but haven't had much of a chance to make it work yet this year at 1-3.

There are several reasons the Vikings are a run-first team, the main one being Peterson.

Close to his pre-knee-injury form, Peterson is 10th in the league with 332 yards rushing. Most importantly, his tough running inside the tackles has loosened up the defense for Ponder to connect with his receivers when and where he needs to. He's the only starter left in the NFL who hasn't thrown an interception.

Lackluster passing is another factor in the direction the Vikings have tilted. Until Ponder's emergence this month, the Vikings haven't had the players with which to build a dangerous throwing game. Even during Brett Favre's age-defying 2009 season, Peterson finished fourth in the league with 314 carries.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen Resigns Control Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Jack White's Cub Face Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Eli, Giants learning new offense How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Boy With Life-Threatening Tumor Gets Wish To Visit PNC Park, Meet Cutch Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX James Rodriguez Joins Real Madrid Kluwe: How can Tony Dungy advocate felons, not Michael Sam Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Bowlsby talks cheating in NCAA Clay Travis On Mettenberger Punch & "Dumbest Fanbase" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Morosi: Lee could be a tough sell Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits English Captain Steven Gerrard Retires From International Soccer - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? McIlroy wins British Open, Tiger finishes 69th 105-year-old woman throws first pitch