Tom Powers: Adrian Peterson’s terrific day: New son, two TDs
By Tom Powers St. Paul Pioneer Press On Sunday morning, Adrian Peterson became a father. In other news, the sun rose in the east and a Frenchman made a rude remark to an American tourist. Little Axyl Eugene Peterson weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounc...
By Tom Powers
St. Paul Pioneer Press
On Sunday morning, Adrian Peterson became a father. In other news, the sun rose in the east and a Frenchman made a rude remark to an American tourist.
Little Axyl Eugene Peterson weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces at about 9 a.m. It’s the second child for Adrian and wife Ashley and the seventh (roughly) overall for A.P. So the extra point was good.
Duly inspired, Peterson was equally fruitful on the gridiron, rushing for 126 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Vikings to a solid 31-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers. Furthermore, Peterson carried 20 times and did not fumble. So, overall, it was a lovely day to be a Vikings fan and enjoy the game without a permanent seat license.
“My son was born early this morning, so that right there just kind of put things in perspective,” Peterson said. “It was just like, wow, this is what life is really about.”
Apparently, it never gets old.
“Coming in here today and just having the support from my teammates and just going out there and having fun, there was only one way to end this today,” he added. “A victory.”
Coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t totally sure he would have his star running back for the Chargers game. He heard from Peterson at about 8:30.
“He called me early this morning,” Zimmer recalled. “Basically, I said, ‘Are you not going to be at the game?’ And he said, ‘I can’t say.’ And I said, ‘Well, I need to know by a certain time.’ Then he texted me and said, ‘I’ll be there.”
The confirming text came at about 9:45 a.m., according to Zimmer. Kickoff was at noon.
“I knew that I had to get here and get ready for the game,” Peterson said. “I was able to coordinate things.”
I don’t know how. There are some things that just can’t be coordinated. No pep talk can hurry a baby along. But maybe he has frequent flyer deliver room points and was able to somehow upgrade. In any event, the timing fell into place.
“It worked out,” Peterson said. “I got in here and was able to get dressed, get warmed up and play. I was able to make it. We got a great win today.”
Part of the delay might have been in coming up with a name. The Petersons weren’t quite sure about it all.
“He was already out and we were still sitting there thinking: What are we going to go with?” Peterson said. “So it wasn’t something set in stone. It’s nice. It’s different. Sounds like a superhero.”
It beats Dogra Peterson.
The Vikings won by a surprising 17 points. They could have won by more had Ragnar been there to deliver his usual, inspirational motorcycle sprint. Minnesota’s blitzing defense was extremely effective. The blocking was very good, especially considered the banged-up line.
“These guys are just hard workers,” Peterson noted. “They’re determined. Even though we’ve been shorthanded with some injuries, guys have stepped in. They’ve been working hard during the week to improve, and it’s been showing the last two weeks at game time.”
Perhaps most important, Peterson appeared to be back in top form.
“My legs felt lighter today,” he said. “The body felt good. The mind was in a great place. Yeah, I think I’m back.”
He looked OK against the Lions the week before, too. It’s just that he seemed to wear down at times.
Said Zimmer: “On Tuesday he came in and he was doing a bunch of sprints. Trying to get his wind back. He was trying to get everything back into football shape.”
“The biggest thing, I made sure I did some conditioning,” Peterson said. “Last week, I felt like my conditioning wasn’t where it needed to be. I’m not saying I wasn’t in shape. I probably was in better shape that 80 percent of the guys that were out there. But I wasn’t able to really run the ball and recover like I was used to. So I was able to identify what it was, took care of that and came out today and felt so much better.”
It was a productive day all around for him. Maybe he is sort of a serial parent but he really was fired up about the latest addition. And we can see now why that contract extension was so important to him. Hey, as long as he plays the way he has the last couple of weeks he deserves it.
The Vikings will be in good shape if Peterson can stay as productive on the field as he is off of it.
The Pioneer Press is in a media partnership with Forum News Service.