Peterson joins 2,000-yard club
BY JON KRAWCZYNSKI Associated Press
Monday, December 31, 2012
12/31/12 at 5:35 AM
MINNEAPOLIS - Adrian Peterson ran right past everyone this season. Past all those running backs before him who couldn't make it to 2,000 yards in a season. Past every doubter who thought he wouldn't make it back from a devastating knee injury.
Past everyone except Eric Dickerson.
Peterson became the seventh player to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, plowing through the Green Bay Packers for a 20-yard gain that put him over the top in the third quarter Sunday. He finished with 199 yards and a touchdown in the 37-34 victory, leaving him nine yards shy of breaking Dickerson's single-season record.
"Ultimately we got the 'W,' " Peterson said after carrying the ball a career-high 34 times. "We said during the week, if it happens, it happens. Don't focus on it."
Peterson needed 208 yards when the day began to break Dickerson's record of 2,105 yards set in 1984. His 26-yard run late in the fourth quarter set up Blair Walsh's winning field goal, a kick that clinched a playoff berth for the Vikings. He'll have to settle for the second-best total - 2,097 yards - and a trip to Lambeau Field for a playoff rematch Saturday night.
"I know Eric Dickerson is feeling so good right now," Peterson said with a chuckle, referencing public comments from Dickerson a few weeks back saying he hoped Peterson didn't break his record. "But God willing, I'll get it next year."
Peterson came in 102 yards shy of joining Dickerson, O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Jamal Lewis and Chris Johnson in the 2,000-yard club. Peterson is the only one to do it after reconstructive knee surgery.
"He is without question the best running back in our game and truly, in my mind, the MVP of our league," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We don't win this game without Adrian Peterson."
The Vikings punted a few plays after Peterson's run that broke the 2,000-yard mark, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Peterson took it all in stride, waving politely in a game the Vikings needed to win to make the playoffs.
"Adrian so many times made plays on his own," Frazier said. "He's special in every way."
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tries to bull his way past Green Bay Packers free safety M.D. Jennings during the second half of Sunday's game in Minneapolis. JIM MONE / Associated Press