When Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and MCL late in the 2011 season few thought he would be ready to start the 2012 season on time let alone be the best running back in the NFL through ten weeks.
Peterson is leading the NFL in rushing with 1,128 yards and is averaging 157.3 yards rushing over his last four games. With how well Peterson has been playing and how strong he seems to be getting as the season goes on, the question must be asked: Can Adrian Peterson run for 2,000 yards this season?
It will be a tough task for Peterson to gain over 800 yards over the course of the next six games, but if anyone can do it, it is Peterson. He would need to average 145.3 rushing yards per game for the rest of the season and it would come against some of the stingiest run defenses in the NFL.
The Minnesota Vikings play both the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers twice, the Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams the rest of the way. The Bears, Texans and Packers all rank in the top-10 in run defense in the NFL.
Peterson leads the NFL in 20-yard runs with 13 and will need plenty of those to gain the yards to eclipse 2,000 yards. He has not needed many carries to gain his yards. He has gone over 20 carries just four times this season while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Of players with at least 100 carries that ranks first in the NFL.
It will be tough for Peterson to do it but at the pace he is going he will have a shot. In years past he has slowed down towards the end of the season but with the Vikings in the thick of the playoff chase in the NFC they will rely on Peterson and he should have plenty of opportunities.
It is likely that Peterson will have a couple of big games and a couple of less than stellar ones the rest of the way and he will come up short of 2,000 yards. Regardless of whether or not he gets there he is still on pace to run for over 1,800 yards which would be quite the accomplishment after many thought he would not even start the season.
He has emphatically shown he is the best running back in the NFL and showed that with hard work and dedication you can return from a devastating knee injury better than ever.