Adrian Peterson's Yards Per Carry Average Has Plummeted

John Maakaron

The arrival of future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson was intriguing when Detroit signed the veteran running back in September.

Unfortunately, over the course of the past five weeks, Peterson's average yards per carry has declined steadily after his stellar 6.64 YPC average in his debut. 

Against the Falcons, Peterson only averaged 2.6 YPC and the Falcons defense was able to stifle his forward progress behind the line of scrimmage in key situations. 

Not all of the blame should fall on the shoulders of the veteran running back. 

It has become quite apparent for opposing defenses how and when offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell wants to use Peterson. 

There is no question that Detroit's offense wants to emphasize the run and Peterson was given carries on first-and-second down on numerous occasions on Sunday. 

Peterson was not as effective on the second-down runs than he was on first-downs. 

It will be imperative for Bevell and the coaching staff to become less predictable in their play-calling and to incorporate Peterson and rookie D'Andre Swift in different manners going forward

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Comments (4)
No. 1-2

Terrible run production. The OC was too predictable. He should have used Cabinda as the lead runner or lead blocker in short yardage situations. The single set back formation was bad strategy especially since the Falcons were stacking the line. Better yet play-action using Agnew, Swift, or Johnson, would have been a good option.


Watching AP in this game was by far the most frustrating part. I fundamentally DO NOT understand the continuous effort to give him the ball when it's 3rd or 4th and short. For the love of everything good and holy at least run a play action just to keep the defense guessing.

Or put Kerryon Johnson out there in short yardate situations. He's only been on the field in passing situations due to his ability to block. Therefore, you can throw the defense off a bit by actually giving him the ball, or have him go out for a short pass. At least in this scenario it forces the defense to think a little bit.