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Involving Peterson in the Passing Game is a Win-Win for the Vikings

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 30: Cornerback R. J. Stanford #25 of the Carolina Panthers tackles running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings October 30, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Before the Vikings 24-21 win over the Carolina Panthers last week, Coach Leslie Frazier said that he wanted to involve Adrian Peterson more in the passing game.

One of the knocks on Peterson throughout his career is that he doesn’t catch passes as well as other running backs that remain on the field on third down. Peterson took a big step to add his name to that list Sunday by catching 5 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown, to go along with his 86 rushing yards.

Although Peterson didn’t crack the 100 yard mark, he was still able to have an impact on the final outcome due in part to a critical third down conversion and a touchdown reception in the 4th quarter.

Keeping Peterson on the field as much as possible, particularly on 3rd down will only help the Vikings chances of more wins in the second half of the season.

Peterson’s elusiveness and vision when he has the ball make him a threat for a big play every time he touches the ball. If he were to become a threat to catch the ball as well as run with it, imagine how differently opposing defenses would have to play the Vikings offense whenever the ball was snapped.

If this is a taste of things to come from Peterson with Ponder under center, then the Vikings appear to have a winning formula in place, and now just need to put players around their young nucleus.

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