Saturday night, Matt Asiata was known to family, friends, a probably a handful of his Vikings teammates. But now, after starting for injured running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, Asiata is a household name, at least in NFL and fantasy football circles.
The former undrafted free agent out of Utah, who had three career carries coming into Sunday's matchup against the Eagles, ended the day with three rushing touchdowns as Minnesota whipped Philadelphia, 48-30.
Asiata managed just 51 yards on 30 carries (1.7 YPC) but no one thought he and Matt Cassel (26 of 35 for 385 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) would provide enough offensive to take down the high-powered Eagles while Adrian Peterson watched from the sideline in street clothes. But that's exactly what happened. (Of course it did -- welcome to the NFL.)
Some fun facts:
Adrian Peterson made more money to not play today ($868,750) than Matt Asiata will make all season ($480,000). #Vikings— Tyler Mason (@FSNtylermason) December 15, 2013
Matt Asiata had 30 carries for 51 yards. Fifth player in NFL history with less than 2 yards a carry on 30+ carries.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) December 15, 2013
Who knows how long the magic lasts; Peterson could return to the lineup next week.