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Rookie Peterson moves up to first team

By Guy N. Limbeck

glimbeck@postbulletin.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Adrian Peterson has moved up to the first team.

The Vikings rookie running back has carried the team’s offense for much of this season. On Sunday against Philadelphia he made his first start of the season, however. Prior to the game he was considered the second-string running back to Chester Taylor despite leading the NFL in rushing.

"We just thought we needed to get the touches to him and increase that load," coach Brad Childress said.

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Peterson finished with 70 yards rushing on 20 carries Sunday. He has 740 yards on the season, second on the Vikings all-time list after seven games to Robert Smith with 745. Peterson had 746 yards until suffered a 6-yard loss on his final carry.

Taylor had six carries for 19 yards as the Eagles held the Vikings to 105 yards on 29 attempts (3.6 per rush).

"I wasn’t surprised, they have a good front," Vikings center Matt Birk said.

With the Eagles bringing blitz pressure and often having eight defenders in the box, Peterson struggled to get the ball in open space. The Vikings didn’t do much in creative terms either. He did not catch a pass and Peterson said he couldn’t remember any screens being called for him.

"I feel I have a chance to show it and I have pretty good hands," Peterson said of his receiving skills.

FIRST-DRIVE SUCCESS: The Vikings have scored touchdowns on their opening drive three times this year — against Kansas City, Dallas and Philadelphia — and then have not scored another offensive touchdown in those games.

"I wish I knew the answer because I’d like to bottle that," Childress said.

After a TD on their first drive Sunday, the Vikings managed just three field goals the rest of the way.

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TIGHT END SIGHTING: Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, in his first year in Minnesota, had his best game as a Viking. He caught five passes for 50 yards and a 9-yard touchdown catch on the team’s first drive. Shiancoe now has 14 catches for 157 yards.

He had talked to the coaches about having a bigger role in the offense after going without a catch in two games.

ON-SIDE KICK: After the Vikings scored on their first drive to take a

7-0 lead, they attempted and recovered (by Heath Farwell) an on-side kick

It was just the third time in team history the Vikings have tried an on-side kick in the first quarter and the first time it had been successful.

"We’re just trying to give them every opportunity," Childress said of his offense. "I’m trying to be aggressive."

After the recovery, the Eagles sacked Kelly Holcomb on first down and the Vikings were later forced to punt.

SOFT ‘D’: Donovan McNabb became the latest in a long line of quarterbacks who have thrown for 300 yards in a game against the Vikings. McNabb entered the game completing 59 percent of his passes. Sunday, he was

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23-for-36 (63.9 percent) for 333 yards with a touchdown and a 103.1 rating.

McNabb made a few good throws, but he often had plenty of time in the pocket and had easy looks and lanes to throw downfield. The Vikings defense struggled to get off the field on third down as the Eagles converted 6-for-13 (46 percent).

LIMITED BIG PLAYS: The Vikings defense did not force a turnover against the Eagles. They had a pair of sacks, one each by linebacker Ben Leber and end Kenechi Udeze. After the Vikings forced the Eagles to punt on their first drive, Philadelphia had a field goal, touchdown, touchdown and missed field goal on their next four drives.

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