Wednesday (An odd Adrian Peterson stat -- and theory) edition: Wha' Happened?
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- December 19, 2012 - 12:22 PM
Want to know something weird about Adrian Peterson -- other than the fact that he's the best running back on the planet and he's still less than a year removed from major knee surgery?
His two best years in terms of yards per carry -- 2007 and 2012 -- came in seasons when teams very rarely had to worry about the Vikings throwing the ball (at least for much distance).
The QBs for the 2007 Vikings -- three of them started games, led by T-Jack with 12 -- combined for a 74.2 passer rating and just 12 TD passes. Christian Ponder has a 78.6 -- and it has generally gone down as AP has shot up.
His worst season in terms of yards per carry -- 2009 -- came when the Vikings had their best season offensively under Brett Favre. Peterson also fumbled seven times during the regular season.
Logic would dictate his best year was 2009, when defenses would have needed to pay more attention to the passing game.
This leads us to three separate theories, some or all of which might contain a shred of truth:
1) The 2009 Vikings were simply built better to pass block than run block, helping Favre and a potent passing attack excel.
2) Peterson likes the idea of being "the man" and focuses more when the offense depends on him.
3) Peterson actually does better against defenses stacked up against the run because he's a "home run hitter" and once he gets by the initial wave of an eight- or nine-man front he has fewer defenders to beat to go the distance.
Or maybe it's just coincidence.
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