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.


A 95-percent Peterson says last 5 percent will be `like night and day'

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC, Adrian Peterson Updated: September 13, 2012 - 12:56 PM

Since Sunday, we've learned that whatever Adrian Peterson says is pretty much EXACTLY how it is. For eight months, he said he'd play in the season opener and eventually be back as good if not better than he as he was before. Then he carried the ball 17 times for 84 yards (4.9) and two touchdowns in Sunday's 26-23 season-opening win over the Jaguars.

So the assumption now would be that Peterson has not only met his goal of playing in the opener, but has also met his goal of being as good if not better than he was before.

Peterson says that's wrong. He says he's "95 percent" of what he was before.

This is where it would be unwise to doubt Peterson. He says the other five percent is "just being more explosive with my strength.

"It don't sound like much from the outside looking in, but I know my game and I know where I want to be," Peterson said. "And it's going to be huge once I get 100 percent. Like night and day. Seriously. I'm just keeping that in mind. I'm excited just to continue to strengthen this leg and do what I need to do to get there and push to be 100 percent. So I  really can go out and perform the way I want to."

At this point, with his history, do we have any choice but to believe him? 

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