The Minnesota Vikings plan to be a good running team in 2015.
Despite averaging just 2.97 yards per carry in the pre-season (ranking 28th in the NFL) Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner is convinced they will definitely be able to run the ball when the regular season opens and Adrian Peterson returns.
"I think it's really difficult to make an assessment of the running game in the preseason," Turner told reporters Tuesday. "It's not been something that we've gone into any of the preseason games and said, 'Hey, we're going to run the football. We're going to run it 25 times in the first half and get this done.' We've tried to do enough things in all areas to evaluate our players and give them a chance to go function in a lot of different areas."
Obviously Peterson is a big part of the Vikings ground game. ESPN ranked the 30-year-old running back 11th in this year's poll of the top 100 NFL players.
But, blogger Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders isn't buying it. He names Peterson as one of the most overrated football players in the NFL.
"Peterson was incredible in 2012. Nobody can argue with that. He was pretty darn good in 2013, as well. But now it's two years later, and Peterson is 30. They say Father Time is undefeated, and there's nobody he picks on more than running backs."
Schatz says there's little evidence to support or counter the voters' belief that a year without taking a hit only makes defending Peterson even scarier.
Schatz notes that most backs even after a year or two off are never the same, but Peterson could be different since his absence dealt with an off-the-field matter and was not the result of an injury.