Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson is a one-man wrecking ball on the NFL gridiron. His seemingly impossible comeback from a torn ACL last season should forever silence all his doubters.
After he fell just eight yards short of the single-season rushing record in 2012, Peterson told ESPN's Bob Holtzman on SportsCenter's "Sunday Conversation" segment that he would "definitely" break it this year:
The 28-year-old Peterson ran for 2,097 yards on an average of six yards per carry and 12 touchdowns en route to being named the league's Most Valuable Player.
That was in spite of quarterback Christian Ponder's spotty play. Ponder certainly didn't perform all that well, averaging a dismal 6.08 yards per attempt despite facing very favorable, frequent one-on-one matchups thanks to Peterson's explosiveness.
When a quarterback's YPA is dangerously close to that of his top running back, it's usually a terrible sign. Thankfully, Peterson's prolific season allowed the Vikings to win 10 games despite low expectations.
If there is any improvement in Ponder's game at all in what will be his third season, the sky is likely the limit for Peterson. The addition of free-agent wide receiver Greg Jennings and first-round draft pick Cordarrelle Patterson should help, so Peterson shouldn't lose too many touches.
Peterson told Holtzman that he looked back on the final run he had in Week 17 against the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers, which set up a game-winning field goal.
Although that got the Vikings to the playoffs, it could have been a bigger gain, according to Peterson, had he possibly cut back inside or broke another tackle or two.
That type of self-scrutiny is what makes the best players truly great. Ever since his lightning-fast rehab from major knee surgery, it seems Peterson has kicked his game up another level.
With this entire offseason to work out, get in shape and stay healthy, there's little reason to doubt that Peterson will improve ever so slightly upon his monstrous 2012 performance and eclipse Eric Dickerson's 1984 campaign.
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