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Making his season debut on Sunday night, Titans running back Adrian Peterson failed to live up to his lofty standards.
“I felt like it was OK,” Peterson said after the game. “I think we left a lot out there as a running back group. I know I did as well. As we continue to get practice and get reps in, we’ll continue to build that chemistry with those guys up front.”
Peterson, 36, who signed with the Titans on Monday, was no Derrick Henry. He rushed for 21 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. The backfield as a whole couldn’t plow through, registering just 69 yards on 26 carries. Tennessee (7-2) fortunately didn’t need much from its offense, beating the Rams (7-2) at SoFi Stadium 28-16.
The Titans had a depleted offensive line with left tackle Taylor Lewan and right guard Nate Davis out with injuries. One of the lone stalwarts on the line, left guard Roger Saffold, took responsibility for the line not making things easy enough for Peterson.
“I want to create better opportunities for him and I think we left a lot of yards out there on the ground,” Saffold said. “I’m going to continue to try to focus on getting our running game back to where it needs to be and making him feel as comfortable as possible along the way.”
While the results weren’t on par for Peterson, head coach Mike Vrabel still came away impressed with the future Hall of Famer.
“I thought he played physical,” Vrabel said. “I thought he brought an energy and a professionalism… He was running behind this line and we didn’t have a practice that was a full-speed padded practice because of where we were in the season.
“I’m sure there are a lot of things that he would’ve liked to have had back or cuts. We were battling. I give our guys a lot of credit for competing.”