Adrian Peterson is one of the greatest runners ever to wear a an NFL jersey. He came back from knee surgery to lead his Minnesota Vikings to a playoff berth in 2012. He also came dangerously close to relegating Eric Dickerson to second place on the single-season rushing title.
Now, Peterson has gone one step further in his quest to be the greatest running back ever. In an interview with Al Michaels, aired during half time of their third preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, A.P. had the gumption to make the prediction that he will run for 2,500 yards in 2013!
This may seem like more than a bold prediction, but coming from a seemingly humble Peterson, it just sounds like a confidence that comes from the knowledge that he can do just about anything he sets his mind to do.
He talked with Michaels about the need to "take advantage of missed opportunities." A.P. talked in a manner that belies the near impossibility of the feat he appears determined to accomplish.
For the Minnesota Vikings, this may be just the motivation they need to rally around their young quarterback and take Christian Ponder to the next level. Quite often, it is just such a boldness that makes the difference between falling out of contention, and making a serious run deep into the playoffs. And that is exactly what I think Adrian Peterson wished to accomplish with his bolder than bold statement.
Michaels pointed out that achieving such an outrageous number would require over 150 yards per game in a league that tends to be dominated by elite passers, not one-man-show runners. But runners like A.P. don't come around every year, or even every decade.
Peterson may just be the guy to do what he claims. And if he does, history is on his side to hold the title for a very long time. I can't predict if he will do it, but chances are that NFL defenses will do everything in their power to prevent him from making good on it.