I’m not sure if this is even a hot take or not, but everyone seems to have very different expectations of Adrian Peterson this season. That’s mostly because we never really got a chance to see him last season — which is precisely why AP is not only going to have a career year, but an all-time year.
Peterson is coming off a 1,266 yard/10 TD season in 2013, fantastic numbers, but not the elite numbers we’d grown accustomed to. But consider this, AP tore his ACL in 2011, then returned to action in 2012 to play in all 16 games, racking up 2,097 rushing yards (eight yards shy of the single-season record) and 12 touchdowns. On top of the 348 carries it took to reach the 2,000-yard mark, Peterson also had 40 catches that season (the second most in a season in his career).
The man is a beast, but that 2012 workload (coming off a serious injury) means he was also likely, and understandably, dead tired in 2013.
AP may have missed 15 games in 2014, but not due to injury. His body had time to simply rest, something no other 30-year old RB has had the chance to do. There’s a huge distinction between sitting a season to rehab and sitting a season completely healthy. It’s safe to say we can shake off the “running backs are finished at 30” tag with AP this season.
Peterson, assuming he can stay healthy, will break Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 single-season rushing yard record in 2015.
Everything is in place for him — Teddy Bridgewater is making a lot of noise as one of the most improved quarterbacks in the league, Minnesota is expected to have one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, and (most importantly) nobody is going to be able to keep up with Peterson’s fresh legs.
Maybe the only aspect that would make it more entertaining were if he had the chance to do it with a star on his helmet playing for Jerry Jones. That may have given us too much drama for our own good, though.
The Vikings are going to surprise a lot of people this season, and I believe that’s going to be the case in all aspects of the game. But when it comes to Adrian Peterson and the ground game, watch out. History is going to be in the making.
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