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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Peterson Falling Behind Historic Pace

Photo – Gregory Shamus (Getty Images)

By: Aj Mansour |

Minneapolis, MN – Vikings running back Adrian Peterson changed the way that players look at rehabilitation last year as he recovered from a torn ACL in less than a year and ran for 2,097 yards. This year, he set his goals high and tried to rewrite the record books for back-to-back 2,000 yard performances.

All offseason long, Peterson continually told reporters, TV hosts and anybody that would listen that he was not only going to become the first running back to post back-to-back 2,000 yard performances but would be the first back in NFL history to eclipse 2,500 yards rushing in a single season.

Through two games Peterson is a little bit behind pace.

With 87 yards in game one against the Lions and 100 yards in week two against the Bears, Peterson is still 1,813 yards from 2,000 and 2,313 away from the lofty 2,500 mark. According to these stats, Adrian would need to average a very manageable 129.5 yards per game to become the first back-to-back 2,000 yard rusher and a little more unrealistic 165.2 yards per game to eclipse 2,500.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do,” Frazier said of Peterson’s early season performance. “But part of the issues I think he’s [dealing with] were trying to hit that home run on every single run, and it’s not going to always be the case. But overall in these first two games, he’s done well…We’ve just got to make sure we get him some holes.”

Despite the slow start, I would advise you not to doubt Adrian just yet.

While there was a pretty big variable in the mix a year ago (knee surgery), Peterson struggled through the first four games of the 2012 season averaging only 83 yards per game and eclipsing the 100 yard mark only once. From there, AP’s 2012 season was historic. The rest of the way, Peterson averaged 147.1 yards per game on his way to eclipsing 2,000.

Looking at the list of seven who have rushed for more than 2,000 years a season, not a single one was able to reach 1,500 yards the following season (Simpson – 1125, Dickerson – 1234, Sanders – 1491, Davis (injured) – 211, Lewis – 1006, Johnson 1364).

Currently, Peterson is pacing near the top of that bunch (would finish with 1,496 at his current pace), but will need to pick it up quite a bit if he still hopes to make history. Good thing for Adrian, the Vikings face off against the Cleveland Browns this coming Sunday.

The last time that Peterson ran into the Browns defense he posted a 180 yard day with three rushing touchdowns! You truly never know what can happen with this guy in the backfield.

Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN

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