Adrian Peterson Breaks 2,000 Yards Rushing in 2012-13

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

Adrian Peterson has become the seventh running back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season. The Minnesota Vikings star accomplished the feat in the third quarter of a pivotal Week 17 matchup versus Green Bay.

He finished the season with 2,097 yards after running for 199 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries versus the Packers on Sunday.

Peterson joins a select group of rushers that includes O.J. Simpson (who was the first to crack the 2,000-yard mark in 1973), Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Jamal Lewis and, most recently before "All Day," Chris Johnson.

The 27-year-old playmaker has posted some monster numbers during his already remarkable career, but his previous high for a season was 1,760 yards. He passed that mark while he was carving up the St. Louis Rams defense in Week 15.

There are a couple things that make the accomplishment even more amazing. First, Peterson suffered a major knee injury late last season, and it was feared that might sap his unmatched game-breaking ability. It certainly didn't.

The other factor, which hasn't received as much attention as his tremendous comeback, is the relatively mundane start he had. Through six weeks, he had gone over 100 yards just once, and nobody was even thinking about 2,000 yards.

Then he exploded for 153 yards against the Washington Redskins in Week 7 and has been unstoppable ever since. Twice over that span he has averaged more than 10 yards per carry.

He has done it all despite very little support from his teammates on offense. The Vikings' passing game has struggled without Percy Harvin, which means opposing defenses have stacked the box with extra defenders on a regular basis.

It hasn't been enough to slow down Peterson. His ability to run between the tackles or bounce it to the outside and go the distance is something no other running back can match.

Reaching 2,000 yards also improves his case for the Comeback Player of the Year and MVP awards.

Peyton Manning will challenge him for both honors, but Peterson's recent run of dominance probably gives him the inside track, at least for the Comeback Player of the Year award. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers might have something to say about the MVP.

The bottom line is Peterson has been outstanding this season. Crossing the 2,000-yard mark ensures nobody will forget what he accomplished in 2012.