LaDainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson Best RB in the NFL?

John LewisSenior Writer IJune 11, 2008

The past couple of years there was no doubt amongst fans and players who the league's best running back was...LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers

But this year that title is up for grabs and one second year player is looking to run away with the top honors. 

Last season Adrian Peterson, no not the one that plays for the Chicago Bears, changed the way defenses played the Minnesota Vikings, and now he's looking to improve on his rookie season.

Peterson was on pace to break Eric Dickerson's rookie record of 1,808 yards rushing but injured the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in a game against the Green Bay Packers.  Peterson returned almost a month later and picked up where he left off, scoring two touchdowns and running for 116 yards.

His nicknames include "A.D." (All Day) and "Purple Jesus" and his list of accolades includes two two-hundred rushing games, most yards in the first eight games, 1,036, most yards rushing in a single game, 296, 2008 NFL Pro-Bowl MVP,  2007 NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, 2007 Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year and Two 2007 Player of the Month awards.

Peterson finished the year with 1,341 yards rushing, 12 touchdowns and 5.6 yards per rushing attempt.

LaDainian Tomlinson is now looking over his shoulder, but few will hesitate to call him the best.  All he's done over his career is make five Pro-Bowls and been a six time All-Pro selection in his seven seasons.

LT hit the ground running when he was named the starting running back in his rookie season and hasn't stopped working.  He's run for more than 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns in every season.

His greatest season came in 2006 when he ran for 1,815 yards, had 508 yards receiving, ran for 28 touchdowns and caught 3 more scores.  He set an NFL record by scoring 19 touchdowns in a six game span that included three games in which he scored four times.

That season he also became the fastest player to score 100 touchdowns and even threw for two more scores, which didn't count toward his record breaking total.   

Tomlinson would finish his remarkable season with 2,323 yards from scrimmage (combined rushing and receiving) and 31 touchdowns (28 rushing, 3 receiving).

So is there even a question at this point who is the top runner in the league? 

Well just think of it this way, Peterson missed two games and still had almost as many rushing yards and touchdowns.  He did have more yards per rushing attempt and averaged more yards per game.  The biggest difference could be that Tomlinson was on a much better team. 

What do you think?