Adrian Peterson was recently asked about adjusting to the speed in the NFL and he said it was surprising at first, but now it’s just like playing in college. The thing is, Peterson didn’t even put up these types of numbers in college. Peterson’s college career high was during his freshman year when he ran for 249 yards on 33 carries against Oklahoma State. On Sunday, Peterson ran for 253 yards in the second half on his way to setting the NFL record for rushing yards in a single game. Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL and his performance Sunday might be the best running performance ever in the NFL.
Why Peterson’s performance was so amazing:
1. The Vikings have no passing game. Do you think defenses are scared when they see Tarvaris Jackson or Brooks Bollinger behind center? Tarvaris Jackson has a passer rating of 50.6 this year and was playing with a broken finger on his throwing hand. Brooks Bollinger has a career passer rating of 74.1. The Vikings have the 3rd worst average of passing yards per game (151.7). They are the only team in the NFL to average more rushing yards than passing yards. So, when you play the Vikings, who do you think defenses are going to focus on? Playing against the Vikings is like playing Edward Scissorhands in Paper, Rock, Scissors. Unfortunately, Adrian Peterson can throw fire EVERY time.
2. The Chargers defense is one of the best in the league. The Chargers defense came into the game allowing just 89 rushing yards per game, 7th best in the NFL. They had only allowed one run over 20 yards the entire season. Peterson had 3 runs of 20+ yards.
3. Peterson made people miss and broke tackles left and right. I counted at least 10 tackles Peterson broke and many more where he made people miss, including hurdling over 2 different defenders. Since receivers have YAC (yards after catch), running backs should have YAFC or yards after first contact. Peterson had 139 YAFC. There were very few occasions on Peterson’s 30 carries that the first defender brought him down. Peterson has unbelievable moves that make people miss, but he doesn’t dance around. He’s always moving forward with such power that when he breaks through the line of scrimmage it’s almost impossible for any single player to bring him down.