EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —
“They brought me in here to make life a little easier on him, and I like to say I’m doing that,” said Felton, a fifth-round pick out of Furman who spent last year with Carolina and Indianapolis. “He gives me an opportunity to show what I can do to the league and hopefully, vice versa, I make life a little easier on him. Definitely a lot of pride in that.”
Peterson has long preferred a one-back set to better see the space in front of him, but with Felton in the game the results have clearly been favorable this year.
“He can run in any system. He’s going to be a great back regardless, but all I’m trying to do is make life a little bit easier on him,” Felton said.
Without any sustained success from the passing game, defenses have naturally stacked a safety in the box around the line of scrimmage to try to stop Peterson. This makes clearing the first level more difficult but if he gets past the linebackers in time, there’s a greater chance of breaking a long gain. Three of the 10 longest carries of his six-year career have come in the last six games.
“We’ve been prepared offensively, and we’ve still been able to run the ball,” Peterson said.
He ran 31 times for 154 yards in last Sunday’s win over Chicago. That started with a 51-yard scamper on the first play from scrimmage, a simple dive play the team calls “Doctor” that involves a double team on each side of the field. Guard Brandon Fusco and tackle Phil Loadholt handled one on the right. Tight end Rhett Ellison, in as a fullback, sealed his man. Tight end John Carlson took his took the turf. And Peterson, who picked up a little extra at the end after a hustle block by wide receiver Jarius Wright, was off.
“That’s our bread and butter,” Fusco said.