Less than a year after tearing his ACL, Adrian Peterson will tear apart the record books.
At halftime vs. the Chicago Bears on Sunday, he had already rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns—and that’s against a top-10-ranked run defense. At that point in the game, he had compiled 1,571 yards on the campaign.
ESPN Stats & Info tweeted prior to the game that, at least when it comes to joining the 2,000-yard club, Peterson was actually ahead of schedule.
Adrian Peterson enters day w/ 1,446 rush yds. That's ahead of pace of 2 players who finished w/ 2,000 in season (Barry Sanders/Jamal Lewis)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2012
Forget 2,000, though.
Will AP break the single-season rushing record?
Eric Dickerson set it in 1984 with 2,105 yards.
Now, let’s just say—to make the math simpler—Peterson doesn’t rush for another yard the rest of the Bears game. To surpass Dickerson, he’d have three more contests to gain 535 yards on the ground. That would require him to record just over 178 rushing yards per game.
St. Louis’ run defense is mediocre. It entered this week’s action surrendering 114.4 rushing yards a contest—13th in the NFL. Houston’s stop unit will be Peterson’s greatest obstacle, as it ranks second.
First off, that 178-yard mark will drop as Peterson continues to trample the Bears. But even if it didn’t, the record would still be obtainable. Since Week 7, he’s averaged over 157 rushing yards per game.
Factoring in the fact that the Vikings would force-feed him the football with the record in range, his average is bound to increase.
Expect nothing less than Peterson capping off his miraculous comeback campaign by shattering the rushing record. But remember, there’ll always be a little asterisk next to it.
*Tore ACL and MCL eight months before season began.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.