Highlighting the 8 Best Plays of Adrian Peterson's Minnesota Vikings Career
It's tough to whittle down the career of a player like Adrian Peterson to eight plays. But that's exactly what we did here.
Peterson may go down as the NFL's best running back and will certainly be in the discussion when he's done if he keeps up his current pace.
He's been powerful. He's been quick. He's been elusive. He's the best back of his era.
Plays were selected for this slideshow based upon the "wow" factor, not to mention video availability. Scoring a touchdown certainly enhanced a play's consideration, but there are plays here that don't end in the end zone. Yardage was also a factor, but there are two plays under 30 yards here too.
The plays are listed in descending order, starting with No. 8 and leading up to the No. 1 play.
8. Peterson Runs Through San Diego's Arm Tackles (2007)
This 64-yard score was the long rush of the day for Peterson on the day he set the single-game NFL rushing record of 296 yards. As a rookie.
On this play Peterson bobbed and weaved his way through San Diego's arm tackles to his second rushing touchdown of his historic day.
Peterson rushed for 296 yards on 30 carries (9.9 yards per carry) with three touchdowns. The Vikings won, 35-17.
7. Peterson Brushes off Packer Defenders (2012)
This is one of the plays that sums up the 2012 Green Bay Packers defense.
Props to Peterson for taking this one the distance (82 yards), but plenty of credit should go to the Green Bay defense.
The unit had roughly four opportunities to bring down Peterson, but all that was brought upon the 2012 NFL MVP were attempts to play pat-a-cake.
Peterson finished with 210 yards on 21 carries (10 yards per carry) and one touchdown. The Vikings lost, 23-14.
6. Peterson's First NFL Touchdown vs. the Atlanta Falcons (2007)
Peterson made his presence felt from day one. And this is a rare receiving highlight for the former Oklahoma Sooner.
With Tarvaris Jackson bull rushed by Atlanta Falcons, he dumps this swing pass to Peterson who takes it 60 yards to the house to open up a 17-3 lead over Atlanta.
Peterson finished with 103 yards rushing on 19 carries (5.4 yards per carry) to accompany his one grab for 60 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings won, 24-3.
5. Peterson Rolls Through Big "D" (2013)
The physics-defying nature of this play is what makes it special.
Peterson appears to be heading toward the ground after a Dallas defender gets him in the air. But with a little help from Chase Ford and the will to not go down, Peterson overcame the would-be tackler and carried a few more with him into the end zone for the 11-yard score.
Peterson finished with 140 yards on 25 carries (5.6 yards per carry) and a touchdown. The Vikings lost, 27-23.
4. Peterson Weaves Between Seattle Defenders (2012)
In this masterpiece, Peterson displays a little bit of power, agility and speed; although, he does get brought down just before the goal line.
Peterson stiff arms two would-be tacklers in the backfield before cutting and juking his way 74 yards down the field to the Seattle 1-yard line.
Peterson finished with 182 yards on 17 carries (10.7 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. The Vikings lost, 30-20.
3. Peterson Reverses Field on the Bears (2007)
This play was neck and neck with No. 4 on this list, but this one got the edge because of the defender who misses the clear-cut tackle about 10 yards down the field and the ability of Peterson to fight on.
Just like No. 4, this play demonstrates a little bit of the power, speed and agility Peterson possesses. And all that chalked the Bears up for 74 yards on this play.
Peterson finished with 224 yards on 20 carries (11.2 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. The Vikings won, 34-31.
2. Peterson Says "Hello and Goodbye" to Pittsburgh's William Gay (2009)
It was really tough not to make this the No. 1 play, but it gained fewer yards relative to the other plays on the list, and definitely fewer than No. 1.
I remember watching this play live and replaying it a few times because the hit combined with Peterson's ability to shake it off and get more was monstrous.
This over-the-middle pass from Brett Favre went for 29 yards and is one of two passing plays on this list.
Peterson finished the day with 69 yards rushing on 18 carries (3.8 yards per carry) and a touchdown to accompany four receptions for 60 yards. The Vikings lost, 27-17.
1. Peterson Throws Aside Cleveland (2009)
When asked about this particular play, Peterson told Fox Sports North it ranked among the top three of his career at any level.
I opted to take it to the next level and declare it his No. 1 play as an NFL player.
The highlight of this gem is when Peterson stops to violently throw a Cleveland Browns defender to sideline about halfway through the run. After, he displays his blistering breakaway speed.
Unlike any other play in this list, it truly reveals Peterson's s well-rounded abilities.
Peterson finished with 180 yards on 25 carries (7.2 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. The Vikings won, 34-20.