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Peterson: Team Effort Will Jump-start Running Game

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Adrian Peterson showed off his humorous side Thursday afternoon in the Vikings locker room.

When asked if he knew who was starting for the Vikings at quarterback on Sunday against the Packers, the running back quipped that he might line up under center.

"This week I've been laying back and getting my shoulder warmed up and taking some snaps from the quarterback position," Peterson joked. "We'll see how things go and hopefully they give me the nod and I'm able to be the starting quarterback for us."

Most of Peterson's time with the media was spent addressing a more serious topic, how to jump-start a rushing attack that was held to 65 yards on 28 carries.

Peterson got the majority of the work in that game, carrying 19 times for 31 yards against the Titans. He was taken down behind the line of scrimmage five times for a combined loss of 12 yards.

"First off, give credit to the Tennessee defense because they presented a tough challenge for us," Peterson said. "We didn't win every battle up front. We had our share that we did win.

"In the midst of that, there were a couple opportunities, I'd say three, maybe four, where I think patience and using our vision more would allow for some big chunks," he added. "That's what I was able to kind of take from it. In the NFL, you're going to have games when it's rough. We're going to look back and say, 'What did I miss? How can I correct myself and be better?' That's when those three of four plays pick up in the run game … and make big plays happen."

Peterson, who was held to what tied for the ninth-lowest total of his career, shouldered some of the blame for the running game woes behind an offensive line that was playing together for the first time. 

"I don't think it was that big a deal at the end of the day," Peterson said of the new-look line. "It was still four or five plays that I missed, just flat out missed, that were 50- or 60-yard plays."

A key member of the offensive line, however, said his entire unit needs to be better to help get Peterson going, especially since the Vikings know opposing defenses are going to crowd the line of scrimmage.

"You know you're going to have nine-man boxes and sometimes 10-man boxes," said left guard Alex Boone. "You still have to move people out of the way and make a hole for him and get him through."

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said after Thursday's practice that everyone is accountable for success, including tight ends and fullbacks.

Running back Jerick McKinnon echoed his coach's words.

"Every play there's always going to be something wrong. Everything is not going to be perfect," McKinnon said. "Everybody can do better and take away from that.

"It's building as a unit. It's not one person's fault or something like that," he added.

Peterson also rushed for 31 yards in the 2015 season opener, and rebounded to lead the NFL in rushing with 1,485 yards.

The Vikings all-time leading rushing has also fared well against Green Bay in his career, rushing for 1,760 yards and 13 touchdowns in 16 career regular season games against the Packers.

Plenty of eyeballs will be watching Sunday night's prime-time game. Boone said it's up to him and his teammates to give them something worth watching. 

"We've addressed it, and we're working on fixing it now," Boone said. "We've got to get Adrian loose.

'He's such a threat that people being able to shut him down shuts down a lot of our offense," he added. "We as an offensive line have to take ownership in that and play a lot better."

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