NFL Home Run Greats: Chris Johnson vs Adrian Peterson All-Out Comparison
Chris Johnson vs. Adrian Peterson, this debate will wage on for many years to come.
Both are without a doubt phenomenal, and it really comes down to what type of running back you want.
I complied a list of nine attributes all ruining backs should have. Adrian and CJ will go head to head and we will finally know who is better.
Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson? Place your bets now!
Strength: Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson wins the first category of this contest. Adrian is a much more physical, downhill runner. He seeks contact and will deliver a hell of a punch when he hits.
Agility: Chris Johnson
This was a close one. While Adrian Peterson bases his game off a power/speed hybrid, Chris Johnson builds his game entirely off his speed and agility.
No running back in the game today can make more sharp cuts and lightning-fast jukes than Chris Johnson.
Johnson is the most agile person in the league and the chances of catching him one-on-one in the open field are less than zero.
Balance: Chris Johnson
The ability to stay upright is very important. Running style and stance play major parts, and Chris Johnson wins.
Although Adrian Peterson has spectacular balance, he runs with his head down low, and that makes him susceptible to getting hit below the knees. CJ runs straight up,because of that, he spends a lot less time getting knocked down.
Elusiveness: Adrian Peterson
Many people will disagree with me on this, but Adrian Peterson wins this one.
Peterson is a much better running back when it comes to breaking off a defender. His strength plays a substantial part in this. CJ may be better at breaking off a defender in the open field and before contact, but when hit, he goes down.
Adrian Peterson, however, can do the same as CJ but is phenomenal at getting away from the defender after contact. Overall, he is a much more elusive back.
Blocking: Adrian Peterson
Neither Peterson nor CJ excels at this aspect. This is arguably the greatest weakness of all running backs. That being said, the edge goes to Peterson.
He is bigger and stronger than CJ, and I believe in Adrian's ability to hold up the pass rusher to give the quarterback more time to throw.
Again, the edge in this category, goes to All-Day.
Receiving: Chris Johnson
When the Titans started 0-6, somebody needed to step up and backpack the Titans.
Chris Johnson did.
He did this by not only rushing for over 2,000 yards, but by catching 50 passes for 503 yards.
Johnson led the Titans in receptions and was second in the league for receiving yards among running backs, only bested by Baltimore's Ray Rice.
Johnson's speed also plays a critical role; he is able to get out of the backfield much faster than Peterson is, and is therefore much more likely to be open.
He also just has better hands, plain and simple.
Speed: Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson wins this, no contest. Peterson is by no means slow, but Johnson is too fast to keep up with.
Remember the 40 yard dash times from each players respective combine. Peterson ran a 4.37, while Johnson ran a 4.24. That may not seem like much of a difference to some people, that 0.13 seconds that Johnson has on Peterson can be the difference between hitting pay dirt and getting caught.
Johnson is the fastest player in the league and possibly the fastest the NFL has ever seen.
Vision/Awareness: Adrian Peterson
Awareness is a sense of knowing where everyone on the field is the entire time you have the ball. This goes to Adrian Peterson.
As opposed to Chris Johnson's get the ball and book mentality, Peterson waits for the play to develop and has a much better sense of where everyone is.
The best example of Peterson's superior awareness was during the Vikings opening game of the 2009 season versus the Cleveland Browns. Peterson ran full speed down the sideline, stopped in stride, and threw defensive back, Eric Wright, right to the ground.
Peterson has better vision and awareness overall than CJ.
Ball Security: Chris Johnson
This is possibly the biggest run away attribute between these two. While Adrian Peterson is an amazing player, his refusal to learn how to effectively hold the ball has caused many headaches for Vikings players, coaches and fans.
During his three year career, Peterson has fumbled 20 times, 13 of those fumbles have been lost. Sadly, that doesn't even include the three fumbles he had in the NFC Championship.
Chris Johnson has played one less season, but has fumbled 16 fewer times.
That's right, SIXTEEN.
Johnson leaves Adrian Peterson in the dust in this category.
Winner: Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson is better than Adrian Peterson.
Don't let that get to your head Mr. Johnson. You and Adrian are 24 and 25 respectively, so we still have roughly another 10 years to see which of you is truly better.
To both of you, do not take your foot off the pedal. Me and every other football fan out there wants to continue watching you two embarrassing defensive players while frustrating coaches and coordinators for many years to come.