Purple Jesus Heads to the Desert

The Arizona Cardinals are 2-3 on the season, which doesn’t sound too bad. They’re only one game out of first in the NFC West, but let’s not let the standings fool us. Those two wins came against a bad Colts team in overtime and a winless 49ers team. Their -44 in points differential is only beaten by the Browns, Colts and Bears.

The offensive line is a joke. They can’t protect Carson Palmer, who has been sacked a league leading 19 times and the team is last in rushing yards. In fact, their 259 total team rushing yards is less yards than 18 individual running backs have produced, including Alex Collins (261) and I don’t even know who that is.

This explains why they just traded away a 2018 conditional pick for Adrian Peterson, who was last scene gaining about one yard per carry down in New Orleans.

For the Cardinals, if they can’t run it with Peterson, they ain’t running it. For Adrian, this is probably his last chance to show he is still worthy. The 32-year-old former Viking was once the best backs in football, producing over 11,000 career rushing yards from 2007-2015. He led the league in rushing three times, including 2012 when he delivered 2,097 yards on the ground.

However, after missing almost the entire 2016 season due to injury, he was free to leave Minnesota, where he strangely signed with the Saints, a team that already had a feature back in Mark Ingram.

In four games with New Orleans, Peterson has had about the same amount of impact on the Saints as my weekly income has on the overall economy. He’s third on the team in rushing, behind both Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara. He’s got 27 carries, averaged just three yards per carry. He’s never sniffed the end zone and the highlight of these season has been his sideline argument with head coach Sean Peyton.

Washed up…would be a understatement.

Can he rebound in Arizona?

I doubt it. He just doesn’t have it anymore. Watching him run the ball, he’s struggled to pick the holes in New Orleans and often failed to shake off the first tackler. I will say that he’ll get about 15 carries per game, since Chris Johnson was let go, which makes him a valuable back in fantasy. While Ellington will continue to be the third-down back, Peterson is a clear two-down back with goal line opportunities. While I doubt his average yard per rush will creep above four, he could become a legit RB2 due to volumn, putting up about 75 yards and an occasional score.

However, a warning label should be slapped on his head for any fantasy owner looking to save their season with Peterson. David Johnson will be back. In fact, he is expected back in week thirteen, so while the former Sooner might get you to the playoffs, he’s not going to win you any titles this year.






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