Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
In the end, both of these players have had impressive seasons. But, Peterson does get the nod as the most impressive for two reasons.
First, his team is 8-6 and fighting for a playoff spot. Johnson’s team is only 4-10 and hoping for a playoff spot...next year. Setting a record is great, but setting one while helping the team be successful is even better. When Rice and Dickerson set their records, both of them made the playoffs.
Secondly, the fact that Peterson is doing this so soon after such an extensive injury is amazing. Not only has he come back so quickly after the injury, but he has been dominant as well.
His current 6.3 yards per attempt is by far a career best.
The final two weeks of the season will be exciting as these two great players continue to chase each record. Peterson will finish against the Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers. He rushed for 210 yards against the Packers a few weeks ago. While they will likely be amped up to stop him, they also will probably have nothing to play for either.
This should result in several players resting for the playoffs, which should allow Peterson to make up whatever gap remains. He needs 293 yards, an average of 146.5 per game, in order to reach the record.
With the way he has been playing, it is hard to bet against him breaking the record.
Johnson and the Lions will finish the season against the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears. Both teams will be fighting for playoff positioning when they play the Lions. Johnson will continue to receive most of the attention from the defense, but, he too should still be able to break the record.
With two of the biggest single-season records possibly falling in the same season, this will make the 2012 season a historic one.
PJ Sapienza is a featured columnist covering the Detroit Red Wings, as well as many other sports.
You can follow him on Twitter
Detroit Lions: Do Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz deserve another year?
Detroit Red Wings: One Step Closer to a New Arena
A Better Option to Roger Goodell's Kickoff Play
Will Darren Helm Live Up to His New Contract?