AP, O-Line motivated to get to 1,000 yards

Brian Tinsman
December 20, 2018 - 5:23 pm
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Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson might be the player most affected by Alex Smith's injury. Or maybe his borrowed time ran out.

Through the first 10 weeks of the season, "All Day" averaged nearly 75 yards per game, on pace for 1,194 for the year.

Since Smith's injury, Peterson is averaging just over 50 yards per game. His 90-yard run in Week 13 helps prop up that average, as he has failed to reach 90 yards total in any other game over that span.

Now playing behind the team's fourth option at quarterback, Peterson needs just 77 yards to reach the 1,000-yard plateau for the year, and two games to reach it. That threshold is motivation for both him and his primary blockers.

"The way he works out," offensive tackle Morgan Moses said, "it's kind of made for that Week 14, 15, 16, 17 grind.

"Obviously, he's done a great job running the ball downhill and fighting for tough yards. I know he's close to it. I know with the schemes that we have, I know him and how he runs the ball, we'll definitely get it."

Trent Williams shared his line's optimism, expressing regret that the team fell off Peterson's early-season pace.

"We probably should've had him there earlier, but as long as we get there," he said. "I think it's an outstanding accomplishment for a guy who was said to not have anything left."

The Redskins' next opponents (Titans 12th and Eagles 11th) are slightly above league average at defending the run, but the Redskins' game plan is anybody's guess.

Quarterback Josh Johnson had 25 passing attempts last week, proving that the Redskins can win by throwing the ball. Peterson had 19 carries but was itching for more.

"I was on the sideline and I found myself at the end of the line just making some type of eye contact (with Jay Gruden) like, 'Hey, let's make sure we continue to run,'" Peterson told reporters this week. "He does a great job to try to balance things out and adapt to the situation that we're in. 

"I'm gonna be ready to roll and I'll be by his side again. You can tell a lot with the eyes. Inside, I'm just trying to show him the passion that I have. I can get it done. That's the energy that I'm passing along to him. He felt it last week."

Just 77 yards to go before Peterson's amazing comeback story reaches an ending that everyone involved can embrace.

 

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