As Adrian Peterson continues his quest to not only complete the greatest comeback season in the history of the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings running back is seeking to break the single season rushing yards record held by Eric Dickerson. While Peterson told Dickerson to get ready, the record setting Dickerson told Peterson to take his time.
“I don’t want him to break it,” Dickerson told Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com. “I’ll be honest. I don’t want to see it. If anyone ever broke it, and if my son played football, I’d want my son to break it. But that’s it. No one else.”
In 1984, as a member of the Los Angeles Rams [no, they were not always in St. Louis], Dickerson rushed for 2,105 yards to set the single season mark. Only five other running backs have ever rushed for over 2,000 yards in a single season, including Jamal Lewis, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Chris Johnson and O.J. Simpson.
In 2012, Peterson has 1,600 rushing yards, less than one calendar year removed from tearing ligaments in his knee. With three games remaining, the freak of nature from the Vikings needs to average 168 yards per game in order to break Dickerson’s single season record. Having to face the Rams, Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers, it will not be easy.
While we love to root for history, just don’t count Dickerson as one of those people in Peterson’s corner.
“Again, he’s a phenomenal player and seems like a good dude,” said Dickerson. “If a player was to break it, I’d probably want it to be Adrian, but I like having the record. I don’t think it’s going to be broken.”
Entering Week 15, Peterson is averaging over 123 rushing yards per game. That is a phenomenal mark on its own, but to add 45 yards per game on average to that number may be just simply too much. Although, I would never bet against Peterson in life, especially when it comes to a challenge.
But Dickerson did have a bit of a reason to expect that Peterson could come up just a bit short of his mark.
“As I got close to the record, teams got nastier and nastier,” Dickerson said.
The Rams are not eliminated from playoff contention at 6-6-1, although they are running out of time. This is a must win game for them, so they will not roll over against the Vikings this Sunday. With the Texans possibly having to now win out in order to secure home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs, they will have to bring their best against the Vikings the following week. And, with Green Bay possibly having to battle it out for the NFC North crown, or a better seeding in the postseason, the Packers may still have a lot to play for during the final game of the season as well.
What I am saying is that we should not look for any of these teams to pull a Brett Favre and allow a player to beat them for a single season record, much like the disgraced quarterback did when he let Michael Strahan pick up a cheap sack in order to break the single season record formerly held by Mark Gastineau.