While the rest of the Washington Redskins offense faltered throughout the evening during their 29-17 loss Friday to the Denver Broncos, newly acquired running back and future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson made an auspicious debut in front of the FedEx Field faithful.
The former NFL MVP rushed 15 times for 56 yards, showing flashes of the brilliance that carried Peterson to almost 2,100 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012.
“My body feels good right now,” said Peterson, who just joined the team earlier in the week. “I responded well. Cardio is where it needs to be. I needed the workload.”
Washington head coach Jay Gruden said he was pleased with what he saw from Peterson.
“I saw a big guy running pretty hard, really,” Gruden said. “The thing I like about some of his runs is they look like they’re gains of ones and he’d fall forward for a gain of three. The first run of the day I thought was a three-yard gain and he ends up second-and-three. … I was impressed with Adrian and the way he played.”
Gruden could not have been impressed with the rest of the offense, especially the starting unit, which never got going in the first quarter. At one point, Washington’s passing attack had thrown for -3 yards.
Starting quarterback Alex Smith completed just three passes for 33 yards. By contrast, Denver starter Case Keenum was 12 of 18 for 148 yards.
“I wish we did a better job passing today,” Gruden said.
Only third-string quarterback Kevin Hogan accomplished anything, passing for 88 yards and two touchdowns against the Denver reserves.
Broncos kicker Brandon McManus had a great game, hitting five field goals, including one from 56 yards. Denver also scored two rushing touchdowns.
Washington (1-2) will head to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the Baltimore Ravens in its preseason finale Thursday before beginning the regular season on the road Sunday, Sept. 9 against the Arizona Cardinals.