The Minnesota Vikings came into the 2015 NFL season full of hope that this was the year they could kick on.
With Offensive Rookie of the Year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater under center, Mike Wallace leading the receiving corps after his trade from Miami, and Adrian Peterson back in action after a year spent on the sidelines, the Vikings had every right to be optimistic.
However, that all came crashing down last night as the Vikings left Levi's Stadium with their tails between their legs after being on the receiving end of a heavy defeat against the San Francisco 49ers. After the game, Peterson said he was "embarrassed" by the Vikings play.
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When speaking to reporters after the drubbing, via ESPN, Peterson said that while he was happy to get back out on the field after his absence, he was embarrassed with how the game went.
"It felt good to get out there, play some football, take some hits," Peterson said. "But [it was] definitely embarrassing to perform the way we did."
The Vikings lost 20-3 to the 49ers largely because the 49ers were able to run the ball more effectively. They piled up 230 yards on the ground and held onto the ball for more than 33 minutes, allowing them to control the pace of the game while holding Peterson to 31 yards on 10 carries.
Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer probably summed it up best when he said that he thought Peterson did "alright", while also admitting that AP was always going to struggle because the offensive line played so poorly and gifted him so few running lanes.
The return of Peterson isn't going to make the Vikings automatically a better team. They have to give him the tools to succeed, and with two starting O-lineman already out injured, it looks like the All-Pro star is going to struggle in 2015.