Found December 10, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Putting together one of the most remarkable seasons for a running back in NFL history, Minnesota Vikings' star Adrian Peterson is rightfully gaining attention nationwide as a possible MVP candidate. Peterson's legend grows with every 50-plus yard run, every 100-yard rushing game. Meanwhile, one of the big reasons Peterson could become just the seventh player in league history to run for 2,000 yards quietly goes about his business, content and proud in what he's helping Peterson to accomplish. Fullback Jerome Felton receives very little fanfare, even locally, as the lead blocker in the league's third-ranked rushing attack. Felton won't gain notoriety from his statistical line -- zero rushes this season, two catches but as Peterson blows through defensive fronts loaded up to stop him, it's often Felton getting the initial punch to set Peterson free. "They brought me in here to, like I said, make life a little easier on him, and I like to say I'm doing that," Felton said Monday, after helping Peterson to his seventh straight 100-yard rushing game in Sunday's 21-14 win against the Chicago Bears. "He gives me an opportunity to show what I can do to the league and hopefully vice-versa, I make life a little easier on him. Definitely a lot of pride in that." According to Pro Football Focus' grades this season, Felton is the second-best blocking fullback in the league this year, only behind Baltimore's Vonta Leach, who's been a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro the last two seasons. Felton's impact on the Vikings has been mostly under-the-radar from the very beginning, the only bump in the road being an arrest for driving under the influence in June. But he's been a quiet off the field and a steady performer on it since, and is doing just what he imagined when signing in Minnesota. "I remember when I was sitting in Detroit, we always had tough games against Minnesota and I used to watch when Minnesota's offense was on the field and I was like, 'Man, if I could ever team up with (Peterson), I think it could be something special,'" Felton said. "That was a big thing. Just to have the opportunity to come here and be able to block for him, he's obviously a future Hall of Famer. That was something special and something I was obviously very interested in doing." Minnesota left many fans dismayed when it wasn't aggressive last summer in free agency; only signing backup tight end John Carlson to a multi-year, big-money deal. There were one-year deals passed out to offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz and receiver Jerome Simpson. They even had made a deal with backup running backfullback Lex Hilliard before getting Felton to sign on the dotted line. Felton, signed to just a one-year contract himself, has made the biggest impact. "Jerome at the fullback position is an unsung hero," coach Leslie Frazier said. "We're playing a lot more two-back than we played a season ago and it's really helped us. We went into this offseason saying that we wanted to be able to find a fullback to really be a lead blocker for Adrian because we felt like some of his best runs have come when he has a lead blocker." And there's the rub. Peterson does prefer to run out of single-back sets, re-stating his position just two weeks ago. "My preference is to be back there by myself," Peterson said on Nov. 29. "But we've had some good plays with the fullback in there, whether it's pushing him to the safety and clearing him through, but I'm comfortable either way." With good reason. Take Peterson's first touchdown on Sunday, Felton was first into the hole created by the offensive line and obliterated Chicago safety Major Wright, opening a simple lane for Peterson. Or look at Peterson's career-long 82-yard touchdown run the previous week when Felton took out linebacker A.J. Hawk to spring Peterson, who did the rest of the work himself. "(Adrian) might differ with (being better with a fullback), but you put the tape on and you see that that's true," Frazier said. "Jerome has done a terrific job of doing everything we've asked him to do as a lead blocker. He's had a lot to do with the success we've had running the football." And Felton hopes, in some ways, he could be changing Peterson's mind about wanting a fullback in front of him. "I'd like to think so," Felton said. "One thing with Adrian and I think all great running backs, they like what works. As the season has developed, he's gotten more comfortable with it. I think he's enjoyed it more and obviously I enjoy it a lot. He can run in any system, he's going to be a great back regardless, but all I'm trying to do is make life a little bit easier on him." In the meantime, Felton might just be earning himself a new contract and the security that would come with it. Felton signed a contract that paid him 700,000 in base salary this season after bouncing between two teams last year. An original fifth-round draft choice by the Lions, he felt he had established himself with Detroit in his first three seasons but was waived early last season and claimed by Carolina when Minnesota tried to claim him. He last nine games with the Panthers before being waived and claimed by Indianapolis. Now, he's happy in Minnesota and says he'd like to stay with the Vikings. "Obviously last year was a tough year for me, kind of being in an offense that really didn't use a fullback," Felton said. "It's all about the timing of the situation, being in the right place at the right time. I feel like this is the right place. It would definitely mean a lot to me." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.

Peterson: Dickerson should be nervous

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said that he believes he can break the single season rushing record set by Eric Dickerson in 1984.

Peterson now fourth in Pro Bowl balloting

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Putting together one of the best seasons ever for an NFL running back, Minnesota Vikings' star Adrian Peterson is now fourth in voting for the Pro Bowl. Peterson, a Pro Bowler each of his first four years in the league before injuries cut short his 2011 season, leads the league in rushing with 1,600 yards and is trying to become just the seventh player in...

Minnesota's Adrian Peterson Is The Real-Life Terminator

Adrian Peterson is the midst of an all-time great season. No surprise considering he’s well on his way to becoming an all-time great himself. Bar none, my buddy Nick is one of my best friends on Earth. But we absolutely hate each other from September to August. Blame it on the NFL. Blame it on [...]The post Adrian Peterson, The Real-Life Terminator appeared first on The Sports Fan Journal.

Leslie Frazier says he could bench Christian Ponder: Why won’t he?

The Vikings were able to fend off the Chicago Bears and keep their playoff hopes alive, but their Week 14 victory isn’t what’s making headlines; Adrian Peterson’s quest for 2,000 yards isn’t either. Instead, the media and fans are growling just a little louder about Christian Ponder’s role as the team’s starting quarterback. Head coach Leslie Frazier has addressed Ponder’s...

X-and-O Show: Peterson for 51

The Vikings set the tone for Sunday’s game on their first offensive play of the day: a 51-yard scamper by Adrian Peterson. We go to the film room to find out what went wrong on this crucial snap.

Adrian Peterson Wants to Break Eric Dickerson’s NFL Rushing Record

Adrian Peterson went down with a torn ACL right around this time one year ago. Now, the NFL’s premier running back is looking to make history. With three games left in the season, Peterson is within rushing distance of 2,000 yards on the ground. In fact, he’s just 400 yards away from becoming the seventh back to accomplish the feat. But Peterson won’t be happy with merely joining...

Report: Peterson says Dickerson should be nervous

Twenty-eight years ago, Eric Dickerson set an NFL single-season rushing record that still stands. Thursday morning, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was asked on "The Dan Patrick Show" whether Dickerson has reason to be nervous that his 2,105 yards will be eclipsed this season. "I think so," Peterson said. "I think so." Peterson needs 506 yards in...

Adrian Peterson: I can beat Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105 yards

Adrian Peterson has completely defied science with the Minnesota Vikings this season. Despite suffering a torn ACL at the end of last season, Peterson has bounced back to enjoy one of the best seasons of his career. Most players take at least a year to return to form after an injury that significant, but A.P. has shown that the knee is a non-factor by rushing for 1,600 yards in 12...

Superhuman effort from Peterson sinks Bears

MINNEAPOLIS -- It has gotten to the point where Adrian Peterson's teammates are wondering. Can this really be happening? Or, more simply, as Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder said after Sunday's 21-14 victory over Chicago at Mall of America Field: "I don't know if he's human or not." He would be running back Adrian Peterson, who continued his march...

Peterson thinks Dickerson should be nervous

Twenty-eight years ago, Eric Dickerson set an NFL single-season rushing record that still stands. Thursday morning, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was asked on "The Dan Patrick Show" whether Dickerson has reason to be nervous that his 2,105 yards will be eclipsed this season. "I think so," Peterson said. "I think so." Peterson needs 506 yards in...

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings point spread, line and odds

A few weeks ago the Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings at home. On Sunday the Bears travel on the road for a game scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. EST. The comeback story of Adrian Peterson from his torn ACL at the end of last season is nothing short of amazing. Peterson is again one of the NFL’s most explosive and dependable players. Peterson has topped 100 yards rushing...

NFL Comeback Player of the Year race: Peyton Manning versus Adrian Peterson

When is the last time people were this divided over a Comeback Player of the Year race? Usually this is a pretty cut and simple decision but Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning and Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson have made this year’s Comeback Player of the Year award an actual race.It’s hard to remember when two names as big as Manning and Peterson...

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings: Five Things We Learned

The Minnesota Vikings (7-6) defeated the Chicago Bears (8-5) by a final score of 21-14 at the Metrodome Sunday afternoon.With the victory the Vikings put themselves right back in the thick of the playoff race in the NFC. The Bears' loss combined with the Packers' victory dropped the Bears out of first place having lost four of their previous five games.  It was a game...

The Best Award Race in the NFL: Comeback Player of the Year

For as long as I can remember, there has not been a comeback player of the year race like the one we are witnessing this year between Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning. Before we get into what they’re doing on the field this year, let’s flashback to why they are being considered for comeback player of the year. (AP) We go back to Christmas Eve of last season when the Vikings...
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