Adrian Peterson receives NFC Offensive Player of the Week honor after his debut with Arizona Cardinals week six.
For the first time since 2012, Peterson’s MVP season, “All Day” has received a NFC Offensive Player of the Week honor. Week six in Arizona Peterson ignited what was the NFL’s worse rushing attacking prior to his arrival to an offense thriving off the run game where the passing attack could effectively run play actions. That week, Peterson had 26 carries rushing for 134 yards and two touchdowns leading Cardinals to a 38-33 win.
Winning the honor reminds Peterson how far he’s come.
“When I was a young child [I wanted] to play in the NFL. Once I got this opportunity my mindset was to be the best to ever do it,” Peterson told reporters in London. “You have to have that mindset, ‘hey, put the ball in my hands and I’ll get it done.'”
During the post game press conferences head coach Bruce Arians, quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald all spoke of Peterson’s immediate impact.
“We blocked better but he (Peterson) made some guys miss and a couple times it looked like three but it was seven,” Arians said. “It opened up a lot of things down the field.”
Palmer had his highest completion percentage and quarterback rating of the season. He completed 81.8 percent of his passes, going 18 for 22, with 283 yards through the air with three touchdowns and one interception comprising a total quarterback rating 139.4.
“It was a great lift for us,” Palmer said of Peterson starting. The team saw eight guys in the box much more often, Palmer added.
One particular play Peterson’s presence helped the passing game was when Cardinals ran a play action, fooling the defense that Peterson was going to run, Palmer found Fitzgerald in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Fitzgerald finished the day with 10 catches, 138 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Accustomed to seeing Peterson’s impact on offense Fitzgerald is glad “All Day” is one of the birds now.
“You give him a little alley, you give him a little space and he’s going to do the rest,” Fitzgerald said of Peterson. “There’s a reason his nickname is ‘A.D.’ He’s an all-day performer.
“I wish he would have been here from the beginning. I [would have] had a Super Bowl ring already…his demeanor in the huddle, I think it’s reinvigorated everybody.”
Only three running backs in NFL history have more than Peterson’s eight Player of the Week honors, according to NFL.com. LaDainian Tomlinson and Barry Sanders with 11 and Emmitt Smith with 10.