With where the Arizona Cardinals are now, they are still facing an uphill climb to make the postseason. At 4-4, they are two games back in the loss column to the Los Angeles Rams and a game behind the division foe Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. There is still plenty of time to make up that ground, but given all of the injuries to key players the Cardinals have sustained to this point, staying in range to make a run at the postseason won’t be an easy task.
The only way they are going to be able to do it is to ride the back of a future Hall of Famer. No, not Larry Fitzgerald. I am talking about Adrian Peterson.
Peterson, at age 32, has shown a resurgence since coming to the desert, most recently toting the ball 37 times for an astounding 159 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. It would stand to reason that the Cardinals would want to limit the aging back’s carries as the season wears on, but that is the exact opposite of what they should do.
Drew Stanton is a serviceable quarterback at best. He may not lose you games with mistakes, but he probably isn’t going to win you games with his arm either. Because of that, other offensive talent is going to have to step up. Peterson is that guy. He still has the ability to push opposing defenses back and keep them honest as it pertains to play-action plays.
There isn’t really a long term worry with Peterson, either. It’s not like he is a core piece for the future at his age, especially with David Johnson set to come back eventually. So why not ride him while you can? He himself has expressed the willingness to carry the ball as many times as he can get his hands on it, so worrying about anything past this season as it pertains to A.D. would seem to be a fruitless exercise.
So continue feeding the beast, Bruce Arians and Harold Goodwin. Peterson is here for a limited time and if this team still has aspirations of making the playoffs, giving him the rock will be the only avenue that will allow you to to get there.