Without any sustained success from the passing game, defenses have naturally stacked a safety in the box around the line of scrimmage to try to stop Peterson. This makes clearing the first level more difficult but if he gets past the linebackers in time, there's a greater chance of breaking a long gain. Three of the 10 longest carries of his six-year career have come in the last six games.
"We've been prepared offensively, and we've still been able to run the ball," Peterson said.
He ran 31 times for 154 yards in last Sunday's win over Chicago. That started with a 51-yard scamper on the first play from scrimmage, a simple dive play the team calls "Doctor" that involves a double team on each side of the field. Guard Brandon Fusco and tackle Phil Loadholt handled one on the right. Tight end Rhett Ellison, in as a fullback, sealed his man. Tight end John Carlson took his took the turf. And Peterson, who picked up a little extra at the end after a hustle block by wide receiver Jarius Wright, was off.
"That's our bread and butter," Fusco said.
Notes: Peterson was limited in practice Wednesday because of an abdominal injury. CB Antoine Winfield was held out to rest a knee that's been causing some discomfort. CB A.J. Jefferson didn't participate, either, because he hasn't passed his post-concussion tests after a hit to the head in Sunday's game. LG Charlie Johnson, who sprained his left ankle but remained in Sunday's game, also was limited. ... Peterson was honored as the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season and the seventh occasion of his career, the most among active RBs. ... If Jefferson can't play this week, rookie Josh Robinson would start next to Winfield at CB in the base defense and Marcus Sherels would play CB in the nickel package.
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