Chasing History: Can Adrian Peterson Break 2,000 Yards Again?

By Justin Henry
June 08, 2013 5:00 pm
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Records are made to be broken. Eric Dickerson knows this; he broke O.J. Simpson's single-season rushing yards mark in 1984 with 2,105 yards, more than 100 yards past the record.

Dickerson also knows that, had Morgan Burnett not dragged Adrian Peterson down at Green Bay's 10-yard line on December 30, "All Day" would have shattered Dickerson's 29-year-old record.

Peterson was dropped at the 2,097 mark. Had he made it to the 2-yard line, he and Dickerson would share the wealth. Any further, and Peterson swipes him off the apex.

The run that got Peterson to 2,097 went for 26 yards, a breakaway jaunt that had fans in Minnesota screaming themselves hoarse. Sure, the run had playoff implications, but even non-NFC North fans were cheering Peterson on with wide-eyes as he galloped toward history.

Short as he fell, there's no shame in his mark. He achieved an MVP-year one season after tearing his ACL, making his spire-season all the more impressive.

Adding what could just be good-natured bravado, Peterson says he feels even better now than he did last season, having suffered a faintly-reported-on sports hernia in November.

And so I good-naturedly ask the question: if Peterson can break 2,000 yards on a repaired leg, with a sports hernia to boot, can he break 2,000 again?

Nobody's ever broken 2,000 twice. Of the entire 2000 Club, Barry Sanders had the closest "second best" season of the seven, running for 1,883 yards in 1994.

But Peterson's already defied naysayers who said he wouldn't be the same in 2012, if ever again. While he's on a streak of defying expectations and convention, could a double-2,000 be next?

Here's how Peterson looked in 2012, game by game.

WeekOpponentAttYdsYPAOpp Avg YPA
1Jacksonville17844.944.12
2Indianapolis16603.755.14
3San Francisco25863.443.70
4Detroit211024.864.47
5Tennessee17885.184.22
6Washington17794.654.22
7Arizona231536.654.33
8Tampa Bay151238.203.50
9Seattle1718210.714.49
10Detroit271716.334.47
11BYE----
12Chicago181086.004.20
13Green Bay2121010.004.54
14Chicago311544.974.20
15St. Louis242128.834.25
16Houston25863.444.00
17Green Bay341995.854.54

Only three times in sixteen games was an opponent able to hold Peterson under their average. Given that Peterson averaged a whopping 6.03 yards a carry, it was inevitable there'd be some resistance from even the stingiest D's.

 

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