USA TODAY Sports
For those of you that aren't big fans of mathematics. . .well, you might want to sit this one out.
Courtesy of the folks at Fark.com (which you should probably be visiting every day if you're not already), I found this link that shows that there's a chance. . .a Lloyd Christmas-style chance, but still a chance. . .that Adrian Peterson did actually rush for more yardage in 2012 than Eric Dickerson rushed for in 1984.
The assumption Scheff used was that the length of every rushing attempt could fall anywhere within -0.5 and +0.5 yards of the reported total; for example, a carry reported as 6 yards could just as easily be 5.7 yards or 6.4 yards or whatever.
Based on that assumption, he took the actual rushing totals and added a random error for each carry to come up with one realization of what true unrounded yardage total could have led to the total in the record books.
Based on the formula that this statistician used, there's a 15% chance that Peterson actually rushed for a high enough amount of yardage that he would have surpassed Dickerson's mark. However, with every carry in the NFL being rounded off to the nearest whole yard, he wound up with 2,097, placing him just short of Dickerson's mark of 2,105.
The record books will always show that Peterson was eight yards behind Dickerson's single-season record. I guess that means he just has to rush for even more yardage in 2013 and remove all potential doubt.