The Arizona Cardinals wanted to run the ball against the San Francisco 49ers. Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin talked about giving Adrian Peterson a lot of carries and commented on how the running game is like an old stove.
That plan became reality. The Cardinals leaned heavily on Peterson and were rewarded. Peterson carried the ball a career-high 37 times for 159 yards.
His previous career high for carries in a game was 35 and that was in 2013.
He himself did not score, but the team’s commitment to the run and his performance protected quarterback Drew Stanton. Stanton threw a pair of touchdown passes and was not sacked. In the Cardinals’ last game against the 49ers, they sacked Carson Palmer six times.
Perhaps there is concern for Peterson having such a workload when the team has a game in four days at home against the Seattle Seahawks, but coach Bruce Arians joked how “the ball ain’t heavy.”
Stanton was in awe of Peterson, who is 32 years old.
“He’s not a normal 32-year-old running back,” he said after the game, according to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss.
For one game, it was exactly what the Cardinals needed. Peterson produces, the Cardinals win. So far, in three games with Peterson in the lineup, that has been the pattern. Two great games, two wins. One subpar game, one loss.
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