Adrian Peterson is consistently one of the best running backs in football, and one of the last true bell cows in the game. Peterson has always had the amazing ability to break off a huge run and has not had a season with a run of less than 54 yards. Peterson has been the most consistent running back in the game, since his arrival in 2007.
Adrian Peterson has had the benefit of playing for the Minnesota Vikings, a team that plays indoors and does not have strong play from the quarterback position. Peterson has had Tarvaris Jackson, Kelly Holcomb, Brooks Bollinger, Gus Freotte, Joe Webb, an old Bret Favre, a nearly as old (but much worse) Donovan McNabb and Christian Ponder as his quarterbacks. The best quarterback he has had was Brett Favre at the end of his career, although that did not help Peterson out in the stat department as much as you would think.
When Favre arrived in Minnesota in 2009, Peterson was coming off a season where he had 1,885 yards from scrimmage (1,760 rushing yards), with 10 TD. Having stronger play at the quarterback position made the Vikings a better team that was able to move the ball downfield more consistently, which played into Peterson’s hands, as he is the best red-zone back in the game. Peterson took advantage that first season with Favre and scored a career best 18 touchdowns. Peterson also had a career best with 43 receptions on the season for 436 yards. During this time, Peterson also saw his yards per carry average drop to the lowest point in his career at 4.4 yards per carry. That is pretty amazing, when 4.4 YPC is the lowest in your career, as there are many other running backs that never reach that mark.
Peterson had set the bar so high for himself at the onset of his career, that when his stats took a slight dip there were many in the media who were sure his best days were behind him, especially after tearing up his knee toward the end of the 2011 season. During that season Peterson had seen his rushing yards per game drop to the lowest point in his career, at 80.8 and his yards from scrimmage per game was 92.42, the only time in his career where that stat was south of 100 yards per game. The funny thing is, Peterson still had 13 touchdowns on that season, in only 12 games played. In fact, Peterson has scored at least 10 touchdowns in every season of his career, which is freakish. What Peterson did in 2012 was simply astounding.
Coming off of a blown out knee Peterson went ballistic in 2012, rushing for 2,097 yards and accumulating 2,314 yards from scrimmage with 13 touchdowns. Peterson had 10 games in which he rushed for over 100 yards, including 8 games in a row where he also had 2 games in which he rushed for over 200 yards and finished the season another where he rushed for 199 yards…SICK!!!
Peterson is that rare player that has had greatness over an extended period of time. He is still in prime condition to continue to be a dominant back for years to come. Peterson is the rare running back in fantasy football that can be taken as the #1 overall pick, and while he might not be the top scorer at the end of the season, he will still be a consistent scorer that wins you weeks, and have been the safest #1 overall pick since 2008, even in down years.
Adrian Peterson is an elite talent who posted 37 100-yard rushing games in his first 89 games played. For his career he has averaged 315 carries for 1,591 yards, which is a 5.1 yards per carry average, and 14.4 touchdowns per season, based on 16 games. If you add in his receiving numbers he has averaged 1,865 yards from scrimmage per season. There will be a time when Adrian Peterson does slow down and becomes a normal running back, but that time still seems very far ahead in the future.