Seahawks bottle up Adrian Peterson, Cardinals’ running game in win
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Since Carson Palmer went down with an arm injury in a Week 7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Cardinals’ offensive game plan has been pretty easy to figure out.
Feed the beast.
Since acquiring Adrian Peterson from the New Orleans Saints in October, head coach Bruce Arians’ play-calling has been much more run-heavy.
That was the again the plan Thursday night as the Cardinals hosted the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium. The only problem was, the Seahawks didn’t want to play along.
Peterson got 21 carries for only 29 yards and the Seahawks were able to make Arizona one-dimensional on offense during their 22-16 win in front of 64,639 fans.
It was the first time Peterson has ever had more than 20 carries and less than 30 yards in his storied career and only the 18th time it’s happened in the NFL since 1950, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.
“It was hit or miss,” Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said when talking about the run game. “We knew it was going to be hard. We didn’t block as well as we did last week. There were one or two (runs) that looked like they were going to come out of there, but they didn’t.”
Peterson’s longest run of the night was nine yards, meaning he averaged 1.0 yards on his other 20 carries.
“It was some missed opportunities on my part, they did a great job defensively of containing us,” Peterson said. “We just really couldn’t get into a rhythm.”
Peterson, who was coming off a career-high 37-carry game against San Francisco last week, saw his night get off to a rough start. He fumbled on his first carry, which squandered good starting field position for the Cardinals at the Seattle 48-yard line.
“I have to do a better job of keeping it high and tight,” Peterson said, adding that he was going to watch the game video on his iPad in the parking lot to see what he did wrong on the play.
“After a great possession on the defensive side of the ball, and great field position, to give up that ball on the first play is unacceptable.”
The running game certainly wasn’t helped by an injury to left tackle D.J. Humphries in the first quarter. Arians believes the injury is to Humprhies’ right ACL.
“It’s just a shame,” Arians said. “Guy was playing fantastic. Second time in one year.”
Humphries was also injured in the season opener at Detroit, with an MCL strain in the first quarter. The resurgent running game was not only credited to Peterson’s arrival, but to Humphries and left guard Alex Boone returning from injury in time for the Tampa Bay game last month.
John Wetzel replaced Humphries at left tackle and did a decent job until late in the contest when the Cardinals had to rely on the passing game. Wetzel was dominated on a sack by Seattle defensive end Dion Jordan, one of the Seahawks’ two sacks in the game.