Adrian Peterson is having an MVP caliber year coming off of an ACL injury. Through 13 games he has ran for 1,600 yards which has him on pace to finish the season with 1,969 yards. Just 31 shy of the exclusive 2,000 yard club. It also leaves him 136 yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s single season record of 2,105 yards.
This morning, Dan Patrick asked AP if Dickerson should be nervous.
“I think so,” Peterson said. “I think so…. The guys in front of me are doing a great job of blocking. I feel it’s possible.”
Patrick asked about the knee that has so many people surprised with the season Peterson is having.
“It’s stronger than it was before,” Peterson said.
And aside from the surprise that is how strong his knee is, Patrick asked Peterson if he was suprised at how successful he was running the ball, when teams know it is coming.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Peterson said. “We come in and we want to run the ball. It’s all about mindset.”
It might seem like a herculean task to run for 505 yards in just 3 games but it’s do able. In the 1984 season when Eric Dickerson set the record he had ran for 1,643 yards after 13 games. Just 43 ahead of where Peterson stands right now. He also was averaging 5.61 yards per attempt, Adrian Peterson is averaging 6.01 yards per attempt right now.
Peterson has a tough road ahead of him with games in St. Louis and Houston before hosting Green Bay in the season finale, all who have defenses against the run ranked in the top half of the league. St. Louis is 13th against the run allowing an average of 110.3 yards per game, Houston is 3rd against the run allowing 90.8 yards per game, and Green Bay is 15th against the run allowing 116.7 yards per game.
If he finished with those averages he’d only accumulate 318 yards, well short of the record. But Peterson is above average so let’s dive into some numbers.
He started off slow, only eclipsing the 100 yard mark once in the first 6 games of the season. In fact, it took till week for to pass 100 yards and he did so barely gaining 102 yards in that game. In September he ran for 332 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, in October that increased to 443 yards with 6.2 yards per carry, and in November to 461 yards with 7.4 yards per carry. So far in December he has 364 yards at 7 yards a carry.
In the last 7 games he has ran for 1,101 yards.
In the last 7 games he has only ran for less than 150 yards in 2 games. He would need to average 169 yards per game to break the record, a mark he has passed 3 times in the last 7 games. In his trip to Lambeau two weeks ago he ran for 210 yards.
If you’re curious, Eric Dickerson finished that season with 462 yards in the last 3 games.
It won’t be easy, but it’s definitely within reach.