When a 33 year-old running back goes off for 120 yards and two touchdowns, some people may be surprised, but not all-pro left tackle Trent Williams.
“I’m so used to seeing him get off like that, it’s like every day life to me,” Williams said.
Williams is of course talking about his former college teammate, and longtime best friend, running back Adrian Peterson.
After managing just 20 yards on 11 carries in last week’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Peterson came back in a big way en route to a 31-17 Week 3 win over his old rival the Green Bay Packers.
Peterson got 19 carries on Sunday and turned them into 120 yards and two touchdowns in what was his 52nd career 100-yard rushing performance. His touchdowns put him at 102 career rushing touchdowns, good for seventh on the all-time list. Next up? Former Redskins Hall of Fame running back John Riggins at 104.
“It felt good to get into the 100 club. I have a little time off now, maybe I can look and see who I am approaching,” Peterson said. “Riggins is a guy I do remember seeing out there on the list and thinking about whether I am able to pass him eventually.”
Peterson gashed Green Bay in a number of ways on Sunday, but his two touchdowns came on similar plays in similar situations.
Two plays, two two-yard touchdown runs and they both came from a heavy formation with a fullback. Even though running back Adrian Peterson has stated in the past he prefers running without a fullback, he couldn’t deny the 100 percent hit rate the Redskins had Sunday when running with linebacker Ryan Anderson lined up at fullback.
“I think he’s doing an excellent job,” Peterson said. “He has been doing a great job of allowing me to get into the end zone.”
But Peterson did more than just punch it in the endzone on short-yardage-and-goal. He had five runs of seven yards or more, including a huge gain in the second quarter to set the Redskins offense up in the red zone.
With six and a half minutes left in the second quarter and with Washington leading Green Bay 14-3, Adrian Peterson busted a 41-yard run to put the Redskins in scoring range.
It was first down and Adrian Peterson lined up in a singleback formation with three tight ends to the right side. The Packers brought seven defenders into the box, anticipating a run on first down. Peterson got the handoff, made defensive tackle Kenny Clark miss in the backfield, cut to his right and bounced it outside, sprinting down the sideline for the 41-yard gain.
Four plays later, quarterback Alex Smith would cap the drive off with a nine-yard touchdown to slot receiver Jamison Crowder.
The play symbolized everything that Washington wants out of Peterson. He used his elusiveness to avoid the tackle for loss, waited a beat for the play to materialize and then when he saw the hole, he hit it at full speed.
To be exact, he hit the hole and then topped out with the fastest speed by any Redskins offensive player in Sunday’s game, over 20-miles per-hour according to Next Gen Stats.
Again, it may be surprising to many that the elder statesman at running back outran a bunch of 20-somethings, but it wasn’t surprising for Peterson.
“For me, it’s never [feeling] rejuvenated. It’s always ‘Give me the opportunity and I’ll show you what I’ve got,” Peterson told reporters after his big game at Green Bay.
His big performance didn’t come without a price, though. Head coach Jay Gruden told reporters Monday that Peterson sprained his ankle on Sunday during the game, but that he should be ready after the bye week the Redskins have this week.
Their next game is October 8 in New Orleans for Monday Night Football, and Gruden said he expects Peterson to be ready.