Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Peterson: `I feel like I'm the best'

Posted by: Mark Craig under Lions, NFC, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin Updated: October 4, 2012 - 1:19 PM

If there's one thing Adrian Peterson doesn't like to do, it's talking about other running backs and how he thinks he compares to them.

"That's for you guys to do," Peterson told reporters in the locker room today. "I feel like I'm the best and I practice to be the best. So focusing on other guys is not going to help me."

Strangely under the radar this week is the second career meeting between Peterson and Titans running back Chris Johnson. In 2009, when Johnson ran for 2,006 yards, Peterson was routinely asked whether he or Johnson was the best back in the league. Peterson didn't like that question three years ago, and he wasn't into comparing himself and Johnson today.

Asked about playing a team that has a comparable back to him, Peterson said, "Yeah, he is pretty good. I won't elaborate into that too much. But it feels good [to play him]. I can say that, as far as competition as an offense. We're sound with our run game and of course they run the ball well. Something we take pride in as a group offensively is running the ball. Yeah, we want to go out and do our job and outrun these guys."

Johnson has only 186 yards rushing, a 3.2-yard average and no touchdowns. He's on pace for a career-low 744 yards, but he also ran for 141 yards on 25 carries (5.6) in last week's loss to Houston.

Peterson has 332 yards rushing, good for 10th in the league, a 4.2-yard average and two touchdowns. He's coming off his first 100-yard game (102) of the season.

In their only career meeting -- a 30-17 Titans win at Tennessee on Sept. 28, 2008 -- Peterson ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Johnson ran for 61 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

Other highlights from Peterson:

  • He said his reconstructed left knee continues to get stronger every week, but added, "I still have a long ways to go on my schedule of being full speed and back and better."
  • On the play of Percy Harvin, "I catch myself during the games just like, `Ah, thank you, Jesus. Some other guys are making plays.' That's what it's all about. I'm not an `I' guy. It's not about me. I like having guys around me that can also get the job done."
  • He's not surprised by how well Harvin is playing because "Percy is probably one of the best players I've seen, and I've been playing football my entire life. He's special."
  • On whether he noticed Lions linebacker Stephen Tullock's frustration during a play in which Tullock spiked  Peterson's shoe after it came off: "I was frustrated too because I could have been out the gate."  

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