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Attempting To Quantify Adrian Peterson's Season Thus Far

Dilip Vishwanat

Adrian Peterson is having a monstrous season thus far. We know that much already. But, for a moment, I'm going to attempt to express just how ridiculous it has been through fourteen weeks by looking at some of the statistics the man has put up thus far.

For example, we know that Peterson's 1,812 yards is currently tops in the National Football League. The man currently residing in second place on the list is Seattle Seahawks' running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch's 1,379 yards in fourteen games is 66 more yards than Peterson has in his last eight. In fact, Peterson's 1,313 yards over the last eight games is more than all but three other backs in the NFL have gained on the season. Lynch has 1,379, Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins has 1,322, and Arian Foster of the Houston Texans has 1,313. All of those totals are 14-game totals.

These next few stats from from ESPN's Sports and Information Department.

-Peterson currently has six games this season where he has rushed for 150 yards or more. That's one short of tying the NFL record in that category. . .Earl Campbell had seven such games for the Houston Oilers back in 1980.

-He put up his fourth career 200-yard game on Sunday (and his second in the last three weeks). The only players in the "Super Bowl era" that have more games of 200 yards or more rushing are O.J. Simpson (who had six) and Tiki Barber (who had five).

-Adrian Peterson is the fourth player in NFL history to rush for at least 8,500 yards and 75 touchdowns over the first six seasons of an NFL career, as he now has 8,564 yards and 75 touchdowns. The only other players in that club? Guys you might have heard of. . .Eric Dickerson (9,915 yards and 75 touchdowns), LaDainian Tomlinson (9,176 yards and 100 touchdowns), and Emmitt Smith (8,956 yards and 96 touchdowns).

To say nothing of the fact that, after fourteen games, he's already established a career-high in rushing yardage for a year. The 1,812 yards that Peterson has put up so far this season eclipses the 1,760 yards he put up in 2008 when he led the NFL in rushing.

It bears mentioning again that when the Vikings take the field next weekend against the Houston Texans, it will mark exactly one year to the day that Peterson suffered the injury that caused his knee to need an almost complete reconstruction.

Adrian Peterson is going to get some kind of award to recognize the season that he's had in 2012. I don't know if that's going to be the Comeback Player of the Year Award, the Offensive Player of the Year Award, or even the NFL's Most Valuable Player Award. But it can't be said frequently enough just how ridiculous what he's doing this season is, particularly in light of an injury that many people thought would prevent him from being at "full strength" until sometime around mid-season, if even then.