Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why Adrian Peterson Getting Close is Enough

Is 9 yards short of the record a close enough call?

In short, yes! The strategies of most NFL teams today are "West Coast Offenses". In other words, the strategy is either touchdown or check down to the running back. This north/south approach relies on a quarterback with an accurate arm, and talented wide receivers. However, all this does is discount the importance of a dynamic running back. Adrian Peterson, however, is one of the few exceptions in the league. He was able to become the centerpiece of the Minnesota Vikings, and waltz his team into a playoff spot. This is atypical of teams today who are reliant on the pass attack.

More importantly, when you compare Eric Dickerson's record to Adrian Peterson's attempt, it is clear that Adrian Peterson came dangerously close to breaking a record in which the odds were stacked against him. Dickerson had roughly 40 more rushing attempts to achieve his monumental number that Peterson did. What does that mean? Peterson, who is one year removed from a debilitating surgery, was one of the most efficient runners in history, averaging six yards per carry. This is a nearly unattainable number over the course of the season, eclipsing even the legendary Jim Brown's average.

With all of these factors taken into account, it is clear that although Peterson fell short in terms of final numbers, true football fans do not discount the performance Peterson put on in 2012. After the game he appeared unaware in his interview that he was only 9 yards from shattering the record. He will play next week against the same team, the Green Bay Packers. He will undoubtedly rush for greater than 9 yards at that time and he will undoubtedly be heralded by many as potentially the greatest running back of all time.

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