GOAT: Vikings Legend Lands at the Top of Tyreek Hill’s List

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Tyreek Hill welcomed rookie Bijan Robinson this week on his podcast, It Needed To Be Said.

Robinson is fully expected to take the league by storm after drawing the generational tag in the pre-draft process. Running backs are not regarded as highly as they once were, but they are still respected amongst their peers. It is a physically demanding position, maybe even more so than every other position.

GOAT: Vikings Legend Lands at the Top of Tyreek Hill’s List

Vikings Legend Lands at the Top of Tyreek Hill's Goat List
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Hill and Robinson both named their all-time top 5 running back lists. The wide receiver of the Miami Dolphins started his list with Adrian Peterson as his top player, followed by Barry Sanders, Derrick Henry, Gale Sayers, and Eric Dickerson. Robinson named Barry Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marshall Faulk, Adrian Peterson, and Walter Payton.

When Hill was a teenager, Peterson was universally viewed as the league’s top runner. He came into the NFL in 2007. Hill was 13 years old at that time. Growing up watching and idolizing a player obviously puts him higher in personal rankings. Hill and Peterson have never faced each other on the football field.

The former Vikings franchise player is still not retired, news that was kind of surprising when it came out a few weeks ago.

Mentally, I haven’t officially hung it up. We’ll see what happens. My mindset is, if God’s willing maybe an opportunity presents itself and maybe it happens this season. I’ll go from there to your. But nothing happens this season. For sure, I will be hanging it up.

Adrian Peterson in the Fort Forth Star Telegram

Peterson turned 38 in March, an ancient age for a running back. RBs usually decline in their late 20s and retire in their early 30s, but Peterson has always been a little different. He led the league in rushing yards and touchdowns in 2015 at age 30 and racked up 2,097 yards in 2012, less than a year removed from a torn ACL. The second-most yards in a single season all-time, just 8 yards behind Eric Dickerson’s record.

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Carrying a suspect Vikings team into the playoffs led to a well-deserved MVP trophy. He was the last non-quarterback to be named league MVP before it completely turned into a QB-only award.

Peterson is also the all-time single-game rushing yard leader. He tore up the Chargers in his rookie season for 296 yards, and it could’ve been more if not for a horse collar tackle late in the game.

His 14,918 rushing yards rank him fifth in NFL history, and the 120 touchdowns even fourth. He needs three more scores to tie Marcus Allen in the top 3. 352 additional rushing yards would push Barry Sanders aside from his fourth spot in the yardage rankings.

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The four-time first-team All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler had his heyday clearly with the Vikings. In ten seasons with the organization, the former top-10 pick rushed for 11,747 yards and 97 touchdowns. Both are unquestionably the most in franchise history.

When the team moved on from him in 2017 and pivoted to Dalvin Cook, he became a journeyman, playing for six more teams – Saints, Cardinals, Washington, Lions, Titans, and Seahawks. Even hardcore fans struggle to name them all, as he made only minor contributions to some of them.

His statistically best post-Vikings seasons came with Washington. He rushed for 1,042 yards in 2018 and added 898 more in 2019. His career-long run also came in 2018 when he took off for a 90-yard score at age 33.

It can be doubted if a 38-year-old running back has something left in the tank, but if someone does, it is Peterson. He will be a sure Hall of Famer when he indeed retires at some point down the road.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt