Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson Is The Face of The Franchise

David KindervaterCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 19:  Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings watches a replay on the scoreboard during the game against the Miami Dolphins on September 19, 2010 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

When Brett Favre joined the Minnesota Vikings last season, all eyes were on the future Hall of Fame quarterback to be the missing piece the Vikings needed to win a championship. And while Favre wasn't expected to carry the team, that Super Bowl scenario nearly played its way into reality.

But it's a new season and it brings with it a different set of circumstances—a return to the not-too-distant past, if you will, with a twist.

This was running back Adrian Peterson's team before Favre arrived. And when the living legend started taking snaps as the Vikings' QB, he was expected to primarily "manage" the games and let Peterson run wild as he had done three seasons previously. 

What eventually happened, however, was what Favre himself termed "magical." His Hail Mary completion to receiver Greg Lewis in the third game of the '09 season gave the Vikes a 3-0 record and set off a string of sensational games that propelled Favre to, arguably, his best season ever.

Peterson took a back seat, carrying the ball fewer times. He also had difficulty holding on to the rock when he did get it. His production dropped from 1,760 yards rushing in 2008 to a more modest (by his standards) 1,308 rushing yards in 2009.

With a passing attack in early season turmoil, 2010 has seen a renewed emphasis on the running game. Peterson has 70 carries for 392 yards and three touchdowns during the first three games. In Sunday's 24-10 win over Detroit, he carried the ball 23 times for 160 yards, including a career-best 80-yard touchdown run.

Maybe Brett Favre will eventually gel with his receivers and find the same form he enjoyed last year. But make no mistake—as long as Adrian Peterson is playing for the Minnesota Vikings, he will be the true face of the franchise.