As we talked about a few days ago in our Over/Under article about running back Adrian Peterson, expectations for the 30-year old back are all over the board. The expectations seem to be that he will return to his past form, if not better, though there are a handful of dissenters out there.
Well, you can put NFL.com's Gil Brandt among the people that are taking the "over." And, in this case, it's the way over.
Brandt did his projections for who he expects to lead the National Football League in the various statistical categories in 2015, and he has Peterson pegged to lead the league in rushing yardage. He has him down for 1,625 rushing yards, which would be the third-highest total of his career.
I expect Peterson to have a big year in his return to the field. I don't worry about the 30-year-old's age, as he looks to be in marvelous shape. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner likes to run the ball just about as much as he likes to pass it; don't forget that, while they wait for their new home stadium to be completed, the Vikings will play their home games outside again this season, in conditions that favor the ground game. Peterson seems to be out to prove himself, and I think he'll succeed emphatically.
If Peterson is rushing for over 100 yards/game this season, there's very little chance that teams are going to be able to devote multiple defenders to any of the Vikings' receivers or tight ends on a regular basis. That's going to make things significantly easier for Teddy Bridgewater, as he'll be able to find Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson, and Kyle Rudolph (among others) running open a lot more often.
Brandt does not have Peterson leading the league in rushing touchdowns. . .that nod goes to Denver running back C.J. Anderson. Then again, if Peterson is rushing for over 1,600 yards, the touchdowns will come from somewhere, whether they come from Peterson or from somewhere else.