Things are a whole lot different for Adrian Peterson than they were a year ago at this time. As training camp kicked off in 2012, Peterson found himself on the PUP list still rehabbing from two torn ligaments in his left knee. He would be a limited participant in camp and didn’t play a single down in the preseason. It wasn’t until hours before the first regular season game that fans even knew Peterson was going to finally get back on the field. The season that unfolded thereafter, was something no one saw coming.
Peterson of course ran to within eight yards of Eric Dickerson‘s single-season rushing record (2,105) and all the way to the MVP award. He threw the Minnesota Vikings on his back and carried them to the postseason in what was one of the greatest seasons we’ve ever seen.
So the all important question on everybody’s mind as we head into training camp 2013 – can AP do it again?
I believe it’s going to be extremely tough for him to get back where he was a season ago. Not that he doesn’t have the talent and skill to get the job done, it’s just that seasons like 2012 only happen once in a great while.
The main obstacle in between AP and Dickerson’s record will be the Vikings’ passing game. Clearly we’re not talking about an elite group of receivers in Minnesota, but there’s really only one direction for their passing game to go. The Vikings finished 31st in the NFL a year ago after only mustering 171.9 passing yards per contest. That’s a number that will increase this year. The Vikings will throw the ball more and as a result, Peterson will get less carries.
On top of that it’s just going to be difficult for the RB to reel off some of the games he did a year ago. In 2012 he had five huge games of 182, 171, 210, 212, 199 rushing yards. Those are video game numbers that will be flat out hard to replicate.
I believe AP will have another tremendous season in 2013 where he again leads the league in rushing, but I’m also predicting that he’ll once again fall short of the single-season record.
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