Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson Now Running Downhill at All-Time Mark

Matt ParkerContributor IIIDecember 16, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 16: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings hurdles one of his linemen while rushing against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 16, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

All Day is positioning himself to be all-time.

Needing 506 rushing yards over his final three games to break the single-season mark of 2,105 set in 1984 by Los Angeles Rams legend Eric Dickerson, Adrian Peterson ran for a season-high 212 yards on just 24 carries Sunday against St. Louis.  

His big day included an 82-yard bolt on the first play from scrimmage of Minnesota's third drive, giving the Vikings a 14-7 lead following the extra point. Then, with St. Louis threatening in the fourth quarter, Peterson got loose again for a 52-yard burst that set up kicker Blair Walsh’s fifth field goal, capping the scoring and giving the Vikings a 36-22 win.  

After tearing both the ACL and MCL in his left knee in a win against the Washington Redskins Dec. 24, 2011, he has defied the odds not only to return to action, but return to form as the league's premier running back.  

His season has put Minnesota (8-6) firmly in the NFC playoff race and given him heavy consideration for NFL most valuable player along with New England Patriots play-caller Tom Brady and the Denver Broncos' leader, Peyton Manning.  

With games remaining at Houston and home to division rival Green Bay, Peterson needs just 294 more yards to break the 28-year-old record.   

Considering he is averaging better than 164 yards per game over his last eight contests and holds the single game record for rushing yards as well with 296, he looks primed to eclipse the mark.

However, it will not be easy as the Texans and Packers field two of the best teams in the league with each having already clinched their respective divisions.  

The biggest test will be against Houston's defense, which has allowed the second fewest rushing yards this season. On the other hand, Green Bay’s run defense ranks in the middle of the pack and Peterson has already exposed it for 210 yards rushing in Week 13.  

Given the severity of this type of injury, this is one of the great storylines of the 2012 season.   

When asked after Sunday's win against the Rams if he thought he would break the all-time record, Peterson told Fox Sports with a smile, "Yeah, I honestly believe as a group we'll be able to get it done."