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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Notebook: Adrian Peterson’s already historic regular season to be capped on big stage

By Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Adrian Peterson already has the ninth-best season in NFL history by a running back 30 years or older.

In front of a national audience on Sunday night at Lambeau Field, Peterson will get a chance to climb those rankings and add to his league-leading 1,418 rushing yards. Peterson currently sits with a 64-yard lead on Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin, and will know how much he needs for his third career rushing title before the NFC North title match kicks off in Green Bay.

“That’s a perk,” Peterson said Thursday from the Vikings’ locker room. “Ultimately, my mind is on winning a NFC [North] title, and doing my job and executing on every play that is presented to me.”

The Vikings (10-5) have leaned on Peterson more than any other team does a single running back on the way to just their third postseason appearance since drafting him in 2007. There’s a good chance he’s the only NFL running back to eclipse 300 carries this season. He already sits with 308.

He’s climbed the all-time rushing rankings, up 11 spots this year to 17th. He’s on pace to become the first 30-year-old rushing champion in more than a decade and a 100-yard outing against the Packers would move him up to the seventh-best season all time by a 30-year-old back, just ahead of Barry Sanders’ final season in 1998.

Peterson said a third career NFL rushing title wouldn’t necessarily mean more in his return from a season spent more in court rooms than on the field for disciplining his four-year-old son with a wooden switch.

“In a sense, but not really,” he said. “The eight years I’ve played, actually played full seasons, I always envisioned leading the league in rushing. It wasn’t anything different coming into this season. I bet people will add more to it because of things that took place last year and you know people saying this about my age. For me, it’s something that I expect to accomplish every year.”

Still working

Chiefs rookie cornerback Marcus Peters, the 18th-overall pick, was named to a Pro Bowl, while Vikings’ rookie Trae Waynes is still trying to work his way onto the field.

Waynes, the 11th-overall pick in May’s NFL Draft, “has a better understanding” of what he needs to do, said coach Mike Zimmer, but his rookie season will likely end with one start. The Vikings (10-5) have leaned on veteran cornerback Terence Newman, who has played too well this season to remove for the inexperienced Waynes.

“I think he has a better understanding of what we’re asking the corners,” Zimmer said. “I think he understands he has to be tighter in coverage than what he was in the beginning. I think he has a better understanding of the techniques being played. he still has things that he has to continue to work on with. This league, it’s not good enough to be close to your guy. You have to deny your guy the football. And he doesn’t do that all the time.”

Asked if Waynes’ rookie season spent more in the playbook than on defense can help him down the road, Zimmer gave a caveat.

“As long as the guy is talented and wants to continue to work,” Zimmer said. “He’s talented, so.”

The Good Guy

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn is the go-to player for local media, and not just because he’s one of the few consistently available during open locker room sessions.

The boisterous Munnerlyn is always willing to talk and quick with a quip. His professional nature with reporters earned him the 2015 Korey Stringer Good Guy Award, voted on by daily reporters covering the Vikings. He earned it in a runaway, claiming 10 of 13 first-place votes.

“I’m truly honored to win this award,” Munnerlyn said Thursday. “I think I give y’all what you want to hear. I’m honest. I’m honest and up front. I’m kind of like our head coach a little bit, which is scary [laughs]. But I’m just up front and honest, and tell the truth about everything.”

It’s Munnerlyn’s second such award in his seventh NFL season, earning one from media in Carolina as well.

The post Notebook: Adrian Peterson’s already historic regular season to be capped on big stage appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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