The Vikings are not who we thought they were. Heck, at this point in an out-of-whack season, the Vikings are not who they thought they were, or wanted to be.

A run-oriented throwback team built on Adrian Peterson’s “famine, famine, feast” mentality has been more absorbed finding its quarterback of the future than feeding its greatest running back of all time. Last year’s victories and commitment to the run have disintegrated into a 1-5 pile of rubble lowlighted by last week’s misguided “famine, famine, fling it 53 times” approach in a 23-7 loss to the winless Giants on “Monday Night Football.”

“It’s something we’ve talked about,” said coach Leslie Frazier, whose team faces the first-place Packers (4-2) in an NFC North game on Sunday night at Mall of America Field. “We’re going to have some zero runs, some 1-yard runs. But we can’t get away from it. We know in order for us to be good at running the football, we got to stick with it. So we realize that we need to be more patient with our run game. For sure.”

But here’s the conundrum: Something also is desperately wrong with the running game, which has dropped into the bottom half of the league rankings (No. 19). Yes, Peterson’s 511 rushing yards are 12 more than he had through six games a year ago. But Peterson isn’t judged by what he did through six games in 2012, but rather by what he did in the final 10 games once his surgically rebuilt left knee returned to full strength and beyond. In those final 10 games, Peterson ran for 1,598 yards and 10 touchdowns on 235 carries (6.8).

Unlike many superstars, Peterson never could be described as a malcontent. But his frustration with the coaching staff’s sudden lack of patience with the running game is palpable.