As we all know, Adrian Peterson didn’t break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record on Sunday. It’s been jammed in our minds that he ended the regular season just nine yards short of the record.
Although Adrian Peterson was nine yards short, he ran (and Blair Walsh kicked) the Vikings into the playoffs for a chance to knock off the rival Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card Round on Saturday in Lambeau Field.
Obviously the game is on the front burner, but A.D. has a shot at another record on Saturday, another Eric Dickerson record. Let’s set the scene for the record: January 4, 1986. It’s 60 degrees at Anaheim Stadium in California. The playoff game between the 10-7 Dallas Cowboys and 12-5 Los Angeles Rams. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m as the Rams open up as two-point favorites.
The Rams showed why they were favorites.
Los Angeles beat Dallas 20-0, courtesy of two Mike Lansford field goals (33, 34 yards) and two touchdown runs by running back Eric Dickerson. Dickerson was, to say the least, dominant that January day.
Dickerson’s two touchdown runs were 55- and 40-yard rushes, respectively. That’s pretty good yardage alone, but Dickerson ran for more. He finished the game with 248 yards on the ground, the single-game playoff record.
26 years, one day and a handful of hours later, Adrian Peterson will take the field in his own playoff game. Peterson dominated the NFL in the regular season and is one of the front-runners for MVP, but he missed out on breaking an Eric Dickerson record.
He won’t miss again.
No one may be talking about it, but this record is breakable. Very breakable.
Adrian Peterson has a fire inside him and a passion that should never be doubted. He tore his ACL and MCL last Christmas and he’s already back and looking better than ever. If it wasn’t for Peyton Manning (and possibly Tom Brady), Adrian would be the MVP hands-down.
There’s a good chance Peyton Manning takes the MVP in this QB-dominated league. A playoff appearance is nice, but Adrian might really want to leave his mark on the league for his dominating season, and there's no better way than breaking a record.
In Peterson’s two games against the Packers this season, he has rushed for 210 and 199 yards. Short of the record, yes, but not out of reach.
It’s natural for football players to step it up in a huge way in playoff games and Peterson has that ability. If the Vikings want to win, he has to play well, maybe even out of his mind.
Christian Ponder has looked a lot better over the past couple of weeks, but there is no situation in which the Vikings want to depend on the young QB. They want to hand it off to Adrian Peterson just like the Rams handed it off to Eric Dickerson in 1986.
Dickerson’s backfield mate was Dieter Brock. Brock is in the Hall of Fame…The Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Brock only played in the NFL for one season and he didn’t put up the best numbers.
Dieter Brock, 1986: 16 touchdowns, 2,658 yards, 218 completions, 59.7 completion percentage.
Not exactly breathtaking numbers, especially if you have Eric Dickerson on your side. What if I told you Christian Ponder had better numbers this year?
Christian Ponder, 2012: 18 touchdowns, 2935 yards, 300 completions, 62.1 completion percentage.
Ponder is just another reason Adrian Peterson will break the postseason single-game rushing record.
Adrian Peterson will break the record because he’s playing against a beat-up Packer defense, he has a better QB than Eric Dickerson did, and most importantly, he almost has to if the Vikings want to win the game.
It’s not going to be easy breaking the record, but neither will this game for either side. Adrian Peterson is already a legend and the playoffs are where legends are made. Peterson is just running for fun now, but if he breaks this record and leads the Vikings on a playoff run, he just steps closer and closer to getting himself a statue outside the new Vikings stadium.
Maybe even getting a bust in Canton.