EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Two seasons ago, a meeting between Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson, two of the NFL's premier running backs, would have been a highlight on the NFL's weekly schedule.
Sunday's game, with Johnson's Tennessee Titans visiting Peterson's Minnesota Vikings, would have been billed as a matchup involving perhaps the game's biggest breakaway threat in the speedy Johnson and the best combination of power and elusiveness in Peterson.
The two have been linked since Johnson debuted in 2008 with a 1,228-yard rookie season. Peterson, a year earlier had rushed for 1,341 yards as a rookie. The yards piled up until both players signed massive contracts before the start of the 2011 season, making them the two highest-paid running backs in the NFL.
Now, with Peterson trying to get back to top form following major knee surgery and Johnson in the midst of his worst NFL season, Sunday's game lacks some of the appeal it might have held not long ago. But...