Adrian Peterson on Tuesday said the Vikings have to take it "personal" in order to rebound from an 0-3 start in which the team has blown three straight second-half leads. The star running back also can't explain why he hasn't been getting the ball as much as many would expect.
"We have to take it personal," Peterson said in an interview with ESPNRadio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning." "I'm tired of losing, especially going to halftime with these leads. I'm sure my comrades, they feel the same way."
The Vikings have been outscored 67-6 after halftime after building a cumulative 54-7 advantage over the first two quarters of their first three games.
Peterson said Tuesday that the Vikings "know what we need to do" to turn their second-half troubles around, specifically citing the need to clean up penalties that "offensively hurt us from doing our jobs" and executing the plays that are called better.
As far as those calls involving him having the ball in his hands, Peterson didn't have an answer for why he doesn't have more touches.
"I really can't explain it," he said, going on again to say that the Vikings need to execute the plays that are called.
Peterson took the high road Tuesday, but his father, Nelson, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he can see his son is upset.
"I see the agony on his face," Nelson Peterson told the newspaper. "He was frustrated that they weren't going to him. He wanted to help them win the game. Five carries in the second half? That's 2½ carries per quarter. He thought that, with a 20-0 lead, he was ready to lead them to a victory. He's being a good sport about it, but he's upset."
Nelson Peterson went on to tell the newspaper that his son, who signed a $100 million contract extension before the season, has become the "league's highest-paid decoy."
Adrian Peterson has just one 100-yard rushing game this season -- Week 2's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the only game this season in which he has had more than 20 carries (25). He had just 16 carries in a Week 1 defeat against the San Diego Chargers and 17 in Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions.
Against the Lions, he had 12 carries for 73 yards in the first half but had only five carries (excluding a 14-yard gain negated by penalty) in the second half. And on a key fourth-and-1 run in the fourth quarter, Toby Gerhart got the ball instead of Peterson and failed to convert. The Lions, who trailed 20-0 at halftime, went the other way after stopping Gerhart and tied the game before winning by three points in overtime.
Coach Leslie Frazier vowed Monday to focus this week on ensuring that Peterson remains an integral part of the offense in second halves.
"I have to remind myself of this: Even if Adrian gets stopped for negative gain or two yards because they've got so many people at the line of scrimmage, he's such a great player that even against eight-man fronts he can still make something happen," Frazier said. "You can't ever forget that."
The Vikings visit the also-winless Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.