Rand: Breaking down Peterson's career year (so far)

  • Updated: November 6, 2012 - 11:31 PM

Vikings Adrian Peterson crosses the goal line for a 64 yard TD

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

When Adrian Peterson stated that he expected to be ready to play by the 2012 season opener -- barely eight months after tearing his ACL on Christmas Eve -- many of us thought he was crazy. When he achieved that goal and was on the field in Week 1, we assumed it was with this caveat: He won't be the same Peterson. ¶ And we were right, but not in the way we thought. ¶ Because there is this: Peterson, one could argue, is having the best season of his career and is back better than ever. Here are the supporting facts:

• He is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, the best mark of his career -- even better than his rookie year in 2007, the season in which he set the single-game NFL record with 296 yards.

• He is on pace for 46 receptions, which would be a career-high.

• So much for easing Peterson back into things. His 168 carries are No. 3 in the NFL. And, of course, his 957 yards lead the league.

• He is on pace for roughly 1,700 yards rushing. While that wouldn't be a career-high (that came in 2008, with 1,760), he has just two fumbles this season. In 2008, he had nine.

• He is doing all this behind a young and rebuilt offensive line. In previous seasons, the Vikings had Matt Birk, Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKinnie on the line -- all of whom made the Pro Bowl sometime during Peterson's tenure.

• He is doing it all despite the struggles of Christian Ponder. No team fears the Vikings passing game. Every team is geared up to stop the run. Yet in the past three games, when Ponder has particularly struggled, Peterson has 55 carries for 458 yards and four rushing TDs.

• Any debatable points about whether Peterson is having his best season with the Vikings should go to the first tiebreaker, which is the fact that Peterson HAD HIS KNEE SHREDDED like 12 days ago and is now a beast again. The defense rests.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - C. Lee
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Cleveland - Z. McAllister 6:08 PM
Detroit - A. Sanchez
Washington - T. Roark 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Fernandez
Seattle - F. Hernandez 7:05 PM
Texas - Y. Darvish
Boston - C. Buchholz 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - J. Danks
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - T. Milone 9:05 PM
LA Angels - T. Skaggs
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Los Angeles - P. Maholm 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana 6:00 PM
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Dallas 7:00 PM
Detroit 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Houston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Utah 7:00 PM
Washington 7:00 PM
Toronto 7:00 PM
New York
Golden State 9:30 PM
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Montreal 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Dallas 9:00 PM
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13




question of the day

Poll: Will you boo Jared Allen when he returns with the Bears?

Weekly Question