Gruden saddled up the veteran workhorse on the second possession, riding Peterson to the tune of seven consecutive carries for 28 yards and a 15-yard penalty on a chain-moving field-goal drive.
The highlight of the first half came two series later when the entire stadium knew the ball was going to Peterson on fourth-and-inches. The partisan crowd promptly erupted with euphoria as the seven-time Pro Bowl selection scampered outside for a 15-yard gain and a fresh set of downs.
"I saw a big guy running pretty hard really," Gruden said after the game. "He had a five-yard average, I believe, had a couple good bounces, and, you know, the thing I like about some of his runs is they look like they're like gains of ones [yard] and he'd fall forward for a gain of three. ... I was impressed with Adrian and the way he ran."
Although Gruden has insisted that Rob Kelley is entrenched as the starter, Friday's performance gave us reason to believe this an eminently fluid situation. In fact, Redskins sideline reporter Clinton Portis might have let the cat out of the bag when he began a late-second quarter interview with the following statement to Peterson: "We already know you're probably going to be the starting running back, Day 1."