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Adrian Peterson Breaks 10,000-Yard Mark, Solidifies Place in NFL History

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Adrian Peterson Breaks 10,000-Yard Mark, Solidifies Place in NFL History
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
Adrian Peterson broke 10,000 career rushing yards on Sunday, only the 28th player to ever do so.

Although this season has been another forgetful one for the Minnesota Vikings, the one constant positive has been Adrian Peterson.

The seven-year vet carried his team to victory once again by putting them in a position to win through his 211 rushing yards. Peterson's 11-yard run in overtime set up a game-winning field goal by Blair Walsh. He trucked, juked and spun around defenders in a way that only Peterson can.

Those 211 yards pushed his career total to 10,057, making him the third-youngest player in NFL history to reach that mark. Past all the yards and all the touchdowns, what's most impressive about Peterson's numbers is that he's achieved them without a great supporting cast around him. He's never had a great quarterback to complement him or a stellar offensive line, yet he's proven himself as one of the best running backs ever.

As the third-fastest player to reach this mark, he's in pretty good company; only Eric Dickerson and Jim Brown reached 10,000 yards faster (91 and 98 games respectively). Peterson spoke on his most recent feat after the game (per Brian Murphy, TwinCities.com):

Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson are the guys that I looked up to, the guys that motivated me to be better than them, and I still have a long way to go. I've reached this mark and it's great, give God all of the glory for blessing me and to be in a position to accomplish all of the things that I have accomplished so far, but I still have a long way to go to surpass those guys.

 

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Peterson has remained extremely productive this season, even when faced with mounds of adversity. From playing through injury to the untimely death of his son to the simple fact that he's just on a bad team, Peterson has been a trooper to say the least.

If Peterson maintains his average of 100 yards per game, then he'll finish the season as the 24th leading rusher in NFL history, putting himself in a prime spot to move way up in the rankings next season. He's averaged 1,493 rushing yards a year since coming into the league, and if he keeps up with that statistic then he will finish the 2014 season as 16th on the all-time list.

Of course, that's reading into things a bit, but it's not at all out of the question with Peterson. If anything, there's a solid chance he could do even better than that, but we'll see. For now, he's one of the most dynamic and respected players in the NFL, and for good reason. 

 

*All stats courtesy of ESPN.com*

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