GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Alex Smith carved up the Arizona defense for 255 yards and two touchdowns, Adrian Peterson rushed for 96 yards and a score and the Washington Redskins spoiled the Cardinals coaching debut of Steve Wilks with a dominant 24-6 victory on Sunday. "Not only do I do it for myself and my family, but I do it for my fan base, as well". But it was Peterson's 100th career touchdown, one that further cemented Peterson as one of the game's all-time greats.
The Redskins didn't have such flexibility last season because injuries depleted the offensive line and forced them to sign free agents off the street to play running back. He received a game ball for his 100th touchdown.
But since he has been with Washington, coaches and players have raved about Peterson, from the tips he provides other backs to just the shape he is in.
Smith, acquired from Kansas City in the offseason to replace Kirk Cousins, completed 21 of 30 passes without an interception and had TD throws of 13 yards to Chris Thompson and 4 yards to Jordan Reed. Guys trying to make plays when it's not their play, and they're getting out of their gaps. "Guy's going to get three to four yards no matter what". He's still getting in synch with his line; on one occasion, he almost ran into one of the pulling linemen going through a hole.
"They pay a lot of money", he said. "Conditioning, I felt strong".
Their first possession stalled after a couple of penalties moved them out of field goal range, but the Redskins then mounted three consecutive touchdown drives of at least 10 plays. "There were some missed holes there, some missed opportunities".
All preseason assessments of Washington's offense pegged Peterson as a luxury back, little more.
You might remember that Peterson also had big games against the Buccaneers and 49ers last season and was otherwise anonymous during his time with the Saints and Cardinals. He showed that he can still run with power and use his speed effectively, as he did on the run in which he surpassed Brown.
Thompson, who reportedly is not fully healthy after sitting out the preseason with a knee injury, had 65 yards rushing on six carries and another 63 yards on a team-high six receptions. On that play, he took a pitch to the left and beat the defender to the outside.
"It's not a like a new A.P. or anything", Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes said.
"There are some things I know have to work on personally to improve my game".
"When you get in a situation where you get behind, it sometimes gets you out of what you really want to do", Wilks said.
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