We're at the midway point of the 2012 NFL regular season, and while the Minnesota Vikings have surprised a lot of folks thus far (myself included), the superlatives continue to flow in for running back Adrian Peterson.
At the halfway point of the season, the man who had his knee completely reconstructed just before New Year's appears to be fully back from that injury. Kevin Seifert of ESPN has gone so far as the declare Peterson's 2012 season thus far to be the greatest ACL recovery of all time. And he has the numbers that pretty much back that up.
Less than 10 months after his injury, Peterson leads the NFL in both yardage (775) and yards per game (96.9) while ranking second in offensive touches (174). He has run with power, leading the league with 479 yards after first contact while forcing a league-high 28 missed tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. And he has been explosive, ripping off a league-high eight runs of at least 20 yards and breaking away for a 64-yard touchdown scamper last Thursday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And, just as he's done for most of his career, he's done it against stacked boxes and a passing game that seems to be getting progressively worse. If he continues at his current pace, Peterson will rush for about 1,550 yards this season, which would be the second-highest total of his career.
I'd like to think that Peterson has a shot at this year's Comeback Player of the Year Award. . .then again, I thought E.J. Henderson was a shoo-in for that in 2010. Then again, if Peterson doesn't get it because of what that Peyton Manning fellow is doing in Denver, there's no shame in that, I suppose.
While the rest of the NFC North prepares to face the same ol' Adrian Peterson they've always faced. . .and New Orleans mourns the fact that Peterson didn't turn into something that ends with "-plegic" as a result of last year's injury. . .Vikings fans can be quite happy with the fact that they're watching a true all-time great at work every Sunday. He's a freak of nature, he's a force of nature. . .heck, as we've discussed numerous times before, he might not even be human (which, I guess, would make him not part of nature at all). But it's a good thing he's on our side.