Fresh off a 180-yard rushing performance that included a remarkable 64-yard touchdown run, Adrian Peterson will be gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated this week.
The magazine is due to hit newsstands on Wednesday and will feature the Pro Bowl running back on the cover with the headline: Dominator: "I want people to remember me as the best to ever play the game."
Sports Illustrated senior writer Damon Hack spent time around the Vikings and Peterson last week. Here's an excerpt from the piece sent out by SI:
“Globally, he is fast becoming the face of football, real and fantasy. Locally, in Eden Prairie, Minn., he is the neighborhood big brother who plays catch with schoolkids and collects their cookies and donuts at his doorstep…. On Sunday, Peterson displayed his own gifts in a 34-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium, tearing up the Browns’ defense with the kind of speed and violent running that harks back to the game’s greats.
"With Jim Brown in attendance and Brett Favre making his first start for Minnesota, it was Peterson who displayed the greatest star power, toughing out 180 rushing yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns, including a 64-yard dash down the left sideline that included five broken tackles and two stiff arms. He played through dehydration and a bloody gash in his left arm, and spent a portion of halftime vomiting…. Is he the best running back in the NFL? 'I answer that question this way,’ Peterson says. ‘I want people to remember me as the best player to ever play the game. When you think about football, I want to pop up in your head.'"
Update: Peterson is a finalist for the FedEX Ground NFL Player of the Week. Other finalists are Seattle's Julius Jones and New York's Thomas Jones. Fans can vote for the award by going to www.NFL.com/FedEx. Voting ends at 11 a.m. Friday.