Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
Well, after yesterday, I feel the urge to write something positive, largely because. . .well, holy hell am I tired of all the quarterback garbage already. Sure, I'll probably get to that in a day or two, but for now I'm burned out on it. Frankly, I think the problems are considerably deeper than the quarterback position. . .but that's not what this article is about.
Yes, it's another "Adrian Peterson is awesome" post. Why? Because, seriously, what the heck else is there to be positive about at this point?
NFL.com has a video up that they posted today that asks whether or not Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the National Football League. The short answer to that question is "yes," and the slightly longer answer is "duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." I do, however, find it surprising that there are now places across the sports media that are willing to give him this title at this point in time.
Not because Adrian Peterson isn't great, and not because he's displaying the kind of rehabilitative ability the likes of which we've rarely seen before. It's because, in the past, many of these same people seemed to be so damn intent on trying to take that title away from him.
Seriously, since Adrian Peterson has come into the league, how many times have we heard at least one of the following?
"Arian Foster is better than Adrian Peterson."
"Chris Johnson is better than Adrian Peterson."
"Matt Forte is better than Adrian Peterson."
"Maurice Jones-Drew is better than Adrian Peterson."
"Ray Rice is better than Adrian Peterson."
I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple as well. It appears that the next name up on the "guys that are better than Adrian Peterson" list is Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin. On Sunday. . .five years to the day that AD set the NFL's single-game rushing record. . .Martin made a run at it (see what I did there?), rushing for 251 yards and four touchdowns in the Buccaneers' victory over the Oakland Raiders.
And that's fine. If history has shown us anything, it's that Adrian Peterson will, in all likelihood, go out and just continue being the best running back in the National Football League. Because that's what he is, and frankly it's what he's been since 2007.
In Adrian Peterson's last three games, he has carried the ball 55 times. He has gained 458 yards, meaning that every time he carries the football, he's gaining a little more than eight yards. He's done this with the offense netting under 100 passing yards in two of those three games (and the third game is skewed by a lot of garbage time yardage). He's averaging a ridiculous 5.7 yards per carry. He has 11 carries of at least 20 yards (nobody else has more than seven). He's currently the only running back in the NFL averaging more than 100 yards rushing per game.
And, as he's done for the majority of his career, he's doing it with little to no help.
Oh, and ten months ago, his knee got turned to mush in Washington, D.C.
Sure, there are knocks against Adrian Peterson. He's allegedly injury-prone (he's missed all of seven games in six seasons), he allegedly isn't a great receiver (although he's gotten better every year of his career), and he allegedly has a fumbling problem (which should be spoken of exclusively in the past tense, as he's had a total of four fumbles in the last three years). Given all of those "warts," however, he's still the best in the National Football League at what he does.
Hopefully the Minnesota Vikings can correct the problems that have plagued them over the past four weeks so that a comeback season as spectacular as Peterson's won't go to waste. If nothing else, Peterson is going to have a pretty interesting race with Peyton Manning for the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year Award, though I'm guessing that Manning would have the edge.
(At least that wouldn't be nearly as egregious as the 2010 voting, when the football writers decided that Michael Vick coming back from a felony was more impressive than E.J. Henderson coming back from getting his leg blown up. But I'm going off-topic.)
Adrian Peterson is back on top of the mountain. . .whether he ever really left or not is up for debate, but the fact that he's there right now most definitely is not.