Getting Peterson under wraps
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson had a memorable day. He rushed for 120 yards on 25 carries and scored two touchdowns. And he made a little history, surpassing 6,000 career yards and setting a franchise mark for rushing touchdowns (54).
In the first half, he was his typically overpowering self. But in the second half, he looked ordinary. The credit goes to the Bucs defense, which tackled better, with a little help from S Cody Grimm, who played near the line of scrimmage for the balance of the game.
Peterson, after rushing for 83 yards in the first half, was limited to 37 on 10 carries in the second half. It was a chief reason the Bucs were able to rally because the consistent defensive stops put the ball in the hands of QB Josh Freeman.
The secret wasn't complicated. "Tackle," coach Raheem Morris said. "There was no key. Hit the man like you hit anybody else. Tackle him and get him on the ground, and the guys came out ready to fly around and tackle."
"It was simple as that," DT Gerald McCoy said. McCoy took Peterson to the ground on the first two plays of the second half, the first a 1-yard gain up the middle, the second a tackle after 6 yards that prevented Peterson from reaching the second level.
They weren't plays that will be celebrated in a game of many big plays, but McCoy provided the spark that the defense needed. Later in the half, Peterson had two negative plays, on tackles made by LB Geno Hayes and DT Brian Price. "I had to do that," McCoy said. "Somebody had to step up and get it going and set the tone."
|About the writer|
Stephen F Holder has been writing additional Buccaneer features and daily blog reports on the team for several seasons now for The St.Petersburg Times.