NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during warms up against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
It is impossible to correctly estimate the amount of yards Adrian Peterson will rush for in 2013. Every year Peterson blows his season’s expectations out of the water. Injuries can’t hold him back. Opponents try to stop him, only to end up on the ground watching the back of the legendary twenty-eight jersey run through three more arm tackles then burst down the sideline for six more Vikings points.
First off you should know, Adrian Peterson has played with the Vikings for 6 years and has rushed for at least 1,200 yards in all but one of those seasons. Now factor in an injury in 2007 and knee surgery in 2011, which cost him half the season. Your left with a fairly spectacular career resume, an MVP, a rookie of the year, and a rookie season rushing record to show for it. Not to mention the nine yards short he was of Eric Dickerson’s single season rush record of 2,105 yards. A record that has been seemingly untouchable since 1984.
His career started off with a splash. He became the fourth back to lead the league in yards per game in his first two seasons. He joined an illustrious list including Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, and Eric Dickerson. He holds the record for most rushing yards in a single game with 296 yards. A record he passed in his rookie season.
With Adrian in the starting lineup the Vikings have a whole new dynamic offense. Without him the offense is atrocious. He runs for a majority of his yards when the entire defense knows he is getting the ball. This uncanny ability opens up the passing game when eight and nine defenders are in the box. The play-action game that Christian Ponder thrives off of is lights out when Adrian sells the play fake perfectly. Balancing his running attack with the arm of Christian Ponder can give the Vikings offense a solid approach to winning football games.
Adrian is very hard on himself. He has set a high bar the upcoming 2013 season when he was quoted saying, “I’m going to let the chips fall where they may. I’ve got my bar set for 2,500 [rushing yards]. If I get close to that, the record’s shattered.” It’s easy to laugh it off and say, “Very funny Mr. Peterson.” However, deep down inside you honestly believe it’s an attainable goal for the All-Pro running back after the season he had last year. All joking aside Adrian sets goals in his mind and does everything in his power to make it happen.
The best thing about Peterson is whether he runs for 500 yards or 2,000 yards in a season the only thing that really matters to him is that his team makes the playoffs and ultimately wins the Super Bowl. That was most evident in the 2012 week 17 game against the Packers in a win and your in scenario where Peterson came into the game needing 208 yards to pass Dickerson’s record. After the overtime game concluded and the Vikings were victorious, Adrian was being interviewed by Fox Sideline Reporter, Pam Oliver. She was the first to tell him that he had come up short by nine yards and you can see it in his eyes that the win meant exponentially more. The record was icing on the cake for a guy who fights every week for his team to win.
His ability to run full speed on every rep paired with a mentality to run people over until the whistle blows puts him light years beyond the opposition. However, the question still remains. How many yards will Adrian Peterson run for in 2013?
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