Here Comes All Day … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

He is not called A.P. He’s called A.D. – as in All Day, as in if you are trying to stop Adrian Peterson, you are going to have an all-day problem. He keeps coming at you, all day.

That’s what the Chiefs defense will face on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium when the 0-3 Vikings come to town. Peterson is the top of the food chain when it comes to NFL running backs.

“He’s a big, fast back (6-1, 217), probably the best back in the league,” said Chiefs ILB Derrick Johnson. “He has good vision, he runs hard and he’s a workhorse. He’s a big guy too. You have to bring your lunch pail when you play against him; he makes you work all day.”

Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel’s defense have not faced a running back of this quality since the next to last regular-season game in 2010, when they went head-to-head with Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans. They held Johnson to 58 yards on 14 carries; he broke loose for a pair of 17-yard runs, but then got just 24 yards on 12 other carries.

“Offensively, they have one of the best runners in the league (in Peterson),” said Haley. “He’s the complete package. Arm tackles aren’t going to cut it with this guy. You need everybody doing their job and everybody getting to him because it generally takes more than one to get him down.”

Peterson came out of the University of Oklahoma in the 2007 NFL Draft and he’s been punching up yardage in chunks since. In that ’07 season, he had his only appearance against the Chiefs, running for 102 yards at Arrowhead in September. He also set an NFL record that season for rushing yards in a game when he totaled 296 yards against San Diego.

He didn’t stop there. In the last four seasons and three games, Peterson has:

  • Run for more yards than any NFL back 6,078 yards. Chiefs RB Thomas Jones is second at 4,803.
  • Scored 55 rushing touchdowns, 11 more than the No. 2 back, LaDainian Tomlinson.
  • Scored 57 total touchdowns, 5 more than No. 2, WR Randy Moss.
  • Run for the most gains of 10+ yards with 167, more than Chris Johnson of Tennessee with 122.
  • Totaled more yards from scrimmage than any other offensive player in the league with 7,294 yards. That’s ahead of No. 2, Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew with 6,341 yards.

Over his career, Peterson has averaged 95 rushing yards per game. If he continues that average for the rest of the regular season, he’ll finish with 1,531 yards and that would give him 7,313 yards in the first five years of his career. That would rank him behind only Eric Dickerson and Tomlinson for most yards in the first five seasons.

So far this season, he ran for 98 yards against San Diego, 120 yards against Tampa Bay and 78 yards last Sunday against Detroit. Peterson is averaging 5.1 yards per carry.

That’s the Vikings side of things. On the Chiefs side, they’ll put the 28th ranked rushing defense on the field, giving up an average of 123 yards per game. Haley is more than willing to say that his defense is still a work in progress.

“We’re trying to best figure out how we need to play to give us the best chance to succeed,” Haley admitted on Wednesday. “Defensively more than anything with the (Eric) Berry situation, we’ve had to adjust more so just because of what an integral part of how we had gone into this year’s thinking he was in the way we were going to play defense.”

In the first game, Buffalo’s Fred Jackson ran for 112 yards on 20 carries, while the Bills finished with 163 rushing yards. Detroit ran for only 89 yards and last Sunday, San Diego’s Ryan Mathews ran 21 times for 98 yards and two TDs. Overall, the Chargers had 117 yards on 30 carries.

“I think I’ve seen improvement each week with the run defense and the defense in general,” Haley said. “San Diego is a good running team with a couple of really good backs, but we didn’t do well enough. We’ve got to just do a better job of playing with technique, getting tackles made and not broken or missed, and that’s what we’re going to work on.

“When you talk about Adrian Peterson and even FB (Toby) Gerhart and you’ve got to lump Percy Harvin into it and Donovan McNabb, obviously, they’re at the top of the list for a reason in run differential. They run for a lot of yards. We’ve got to be at our best and it really takes all 11 every snap to have a chance to slow them down.”

One of the factors that hurt the Chiefs ability to stop the run is how much time they’ve spent in their sub-defense. The percentage of snaps between the base 3-4 defensive alignment and their 2-3-6 set for passing downs drops the front seven to just five bodies. That creates more opportunities for running lanes at the line of scrimmage.

“It can have a big effect, but that being said, we’ve got to play run defense whatever personnel group we’re in, whether we’re in base or sub because teams are going to run out of both sub and base-type formations,” Haley said. “Whether it’s because they think they have an advantage against us or it’s just their best personnel group, we’ve happened to see a bunch of it.

“We’ve studied both (defenses) and it doesn’t appear to be out of balance one way or the other too much. Some of those base-sub runs are coming on third-and-longs and things like that and you’ve got to factor in how much did you allow. We’ve just got to get better across the board, our whole team. We’ve just got to continue to make progress, our players need to understand how our coaches want it done and then we just need as coaches to continue to try to best put our guys in best position to succeed and play to their strengths.”

6 Responses to “Here Comes All Day … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • September 29, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Iam predicting a Chiefs victory on sunday. AP or not.

  • September 29, 2011  - aPauled says:

    Let’s see 8 in the box this week…a no brainer. A.P. (A.D.) complained about not getting carries last week, so he’s gonna work this week. The only starting QB throwing for less yards than McNabb is our own Matt Cassel. Stop the run, Stop the Vikes.

  • September 29, 2011  - el cid says:

    Figure game is winnable. Chiefs will run the ball and play field position with special teams. Succop cannot give up another miss this sunday. Defense must stop the run but hide safety from skinny posts and deep.

    Vikings must see if they have the receivers to get past our safeties. They need to run the ball and get their TE roaming deep. Don’t know about their defense or special teams but they must figure they can teat the Chiefs especially in the first half. Get up by 10 point and hang on.

  • September 29, 2011  - el cid says:

    Bob think it is time for a question and answer period again.

    Baldwin is due back but we have Horne and Colbert on the roster, No running back help, etc. Why has the process/the plan ended up here?

  • September 29, 2011  - ED J says:

    Colbert will be cut

  • September 29, 2011  - el cid says:

    Colbert has actually been on the field during a game. Horne would be the better choice, since he was on the street and the NFL was not beating a path to his door, except, of course, Pioli. Either one or both can hit the road.

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