Adrian Peterson is back in a big way.
On his first drive as a member of the Cardinals, Arizona’s new featured back rumbled for 54 yards off four carries against the Buccaneers, capped by Peterson’s hard-charging, 27-yard touchdown gallop. Peterson’s big day continued from there as he finished with 134 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-33 win.
“I was like ‘That’s one,'” Peterson said about scoring on his first drive. “The reason I say that is because my son is playing flag football. [He] scored two touchdowns on Friday. So right now I think his total is six touchdowns. He was like ‘Dad, how many touchdowns do you have. I don’t got none but I’m going to catch up with you.’ So I’m four behind now. That’s one of the things that went through my mind for sure.”
After a month of uninspiring play in New Orleans, Peterson — acquired this week for a conditional 2018 sixth-round pick — ran with power and speed, looking fresh as he blasted his way through Tampa’s front seven.
“[I] can’t say enough about what Adrian Peterson added to us this week,” coach Bruce Arians told reporters after the game. “You can see the energy. We blocked better but he made some guys miss. A couple of times it looked like three but it was seven. It opened up a lot of things down the field.”
The Cardinals have all sorts of issues on offense, especially along their overwhelmed line, but Peterson gave this attack an entirely new feel out of the gate.
This was the worst ground game in the NFL one day ago, but everything has changed in a hurry for the Cardinals.