The big storyline going into last night’s Saints-Vikings game was the return of a Minnesota legend. A legend of the Purple and Gold, what would it be like to see him in different gear? Has enough time passed to heal the old wounds? How would the fans respond? I am of course referring to Randy Moss coming back to the Twin Cities and being inducted into the Ring of Honor last night. And it was awesome. Straight cash, homey.
Adrian Peterson coming back to Minnesota as a Saint? That wasn’t nearly so awesome. Straight trash, homey.
The dude who used the cancel Christmas looked about as fresh as a Christmas tree that’s still up in May. And of course, in the build up to the game, you got all the clichés: REVENGE GAME. CIRCLING THE DATE ON THE CALENDAR. How weird would that be to see him in a gold helmet? Would the Vikings defense be able to stop him? Or would he be so fired up and motivated to prove the team wrong that he would just run all over them?
Nothing ever lives up to the hype and last night certainly definitely did not. Didn’t even come close. 9 plays, 6 carries, 18 yards. That’s it. A career-low in carries and the third-worst rushing numbers of his career. I’m not sure what he had in mind for Vikings fans when he came back, but that wasn’t it.
When the schedule was released, I doubt he circled Week 1 and said, I’m going to go back in there and be the third-most productive Saints running back that night, behind Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara. I’ll show them.
To use that tired, overplayed metaphor of someone showing up at a party, wanting to show their ex what they’re missing, Adrian rolled in late, without a shower, spilled food all over himself, and fell asleep on the couch, and someone had to call him an Uber. He wasn’t the life of the party, he was a complete non-factor. It would’ve been better if he’d fumbled three times or done something. Anything. Because he was the worst thing you could be – boring.
That was like the Hollywood reboot that nobody wanted and nobody saw. What happened to the “Adrian specials,” the special plays that Peterson was asked about during the week? Because there was absolutely nothing special about his performance last night. I’m not going to damn a guy after just one game, especially one where his team fell into a hole, but Adrian Peterson looked like a 32-year old running back, which is exactly what he is.
Talk about a letdown. That wasn’t even interesting. The only interesting thing about it was Peterson appearing to unload on Sean Payton on the sideline. TV cameras caught Peterson appearing to yell at Payton late in the first half and then staring him down. Payton turned and appeared to respond, but afterwards, both men said there wasn’t an issue. Peterson said they were “just communicating” and that “One thing I said to him was let’s run this inside zone, and we came out and we ran it.”
Okay. Sure. You were just yelling out let’s run inside zone and then staring him down. Happens all the time. I’ll buy that. And if you don’t, Adrian’s got a little more for you.
“It’s not my first time being in situations where … people jump to conclusions and make their own assumptions when they didn’t have no idea what’s going on or what was said,” he said. “I could’ve said, ‘I love you.’ But it’s no issue. We have bigger fish to fry.”
Huh? First off, I don’t know how many running backs who are getting limited action shout “I love you” at their coach and then try to shoot lasers out of their eyes.
And by the way, what would he be getting bent at Payton for? Payton wasn’t the problem. Peterson was.
Again, it was just one game and not a particularly good one for any of the Saints, so I’m not ready to declare that Adrian Peterson New Orleans Saint is like Jerry Rice Seattle Seahawk or Joe Namath, Los Angeles Ram, but we’re on that highway and picking up speed.
If couldn’t even make it out of the first half of the first game of the season without getting pissed about his workload, that’s not good. Not good at all. If that’s really the case, than it’s either going to be a very long season in New Orleans for Adrian Peterson or a very short one.