Adrian Peterson has already made history this season, coming off of a gruesome knee injury in a way that no other player ever has, but is now approaching a point in the year that could potentially see him make records fall left and right.
Peterson currently leads the NFL with 1,600 yards. Over the next three games he only needs 160 more to break his own personal best achieved in 2008. He needs 400 more to become only the seventh player in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards.
He also needs 506 yards, an average of 169 yards per game, to best Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing record for a single season.
Heck, he may even shock the world and beat out Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for the league MVP award.
With the Vikings playoff chances very much in doubt, Peterson’s record busting pace is providing quite the excitement, and Peterson has been willing to talk about it. He has expressed interest in both winning MVP honors and toppling Dickerson’s high water mark.
While Peterson always has lofty goals, only some of which he shares publically, but he is the type of guy that always seems to put the team ahead of his own personal goals. The type of guy that would rather rush for three yards and get the win than go for 300 and lose. The type of guy that ridiculously shoulders blame for a Lambeau loss in which he gained 220 yards.
When reading some comments about Peterson’s recent media blitz I noticed that plenty of readers of other sites, including Vikings fans, felt that Peterson’s public statements regarding his desire to shatter records this season undermine the team goal of making the playoffs.
I think those people are preposterous.
First off, if Peterson gains 506 yards over the next three games then the odds are pretty darn good that the team is qualifying for the postseason.
Second, Peterson has already been credited by Vikings coaches for being an inspiration to every other player in the locker room this season, a leader of men. If he wants to demand only the best of himself, then perhaps that attitude will be contagious and we will see only the best come out of numerous others on the roster down the stretch.
Third, the effort that Peterson puts forth when it isn’t game day is what obviously sets him apart from every other player on game day. His work ethic and dedication, by most accounts, is second to none. I have a sneaking suspicion that Peterson was not satisfied with “only” drawing nine Bears defenders to the line on Sunday and places part of the blame for only 91 passing yards on himself.
Maybe Peterson is simply hanging a giant “kick me” sign on his back for the next three weeks with hopes of drawing even more attention his direction in an attempt to provide Ponder and company with even more of a chance to succeed.
Peterson is a treat to watch and I hope he meets all of his personal goals, that the team meets their collective goals, and that we get to see the whole team pursue even more goals after the regular season concludes.