While the New York Jets have gone 6-8, the Vikings are 8-6, thanks in large part to Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, who has a chance to carry his team into the payoffs and break the NFL’s single-season rushing record in the process. CBS Sports national columnist Gregg Doyel spoke with Bill Littlefield about Peterson’s stellar season.
BL: Peterson goes into Sunday’s game against the Texans with 1,812 rushing yards. He needs 294 yards in the Vikings’ last two games to break Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105 yards, which was set in 1984. Will he do it?
GD: Oh, yeah. He’s had eight straight 100-yard games, and he’s had a couple of them in that stretch [with] 200 yards. I don’t know what exactly he’s averaging, but it’s got to be right at 150, 160, which is what he’ll need for the next two games. And more than that, not only he but the Vikings have pretty much decided he’s going to go get that record. They’re going to get it for him, because it’s their best chance to win, in their opinion. So yeah, he’ll get the ball enough to get it done.
BL: Well, thanks to the Only A Game supercomputer, I can tell you he’s averaging 168 yards per game over the last eight games . Houston head coach Gary Kubiak said, “Nobody… has ever done it better than he’s doing it in this stretch.” So are we, in fact, witnessing the greatest performance ever by an NFL running back?GD: This probably is the best season of all time by an NFL running back, if he finishes it off. You know, he’s about to break the record. That speaks for itself. But more than that, it’s the most impressive season, given that he’s doing it after having his knee torn apart. But the numbers speak for themselves.
BL: Tell me a little more about his qualities. Obviously, he runs very fast with the ball and gets it a lot, but what else does he bring to the table?
GD: He’s deceptively strong and powerful. If you saw him in a locker room next to all the big guys, he wouldn’t stand out. And even on the field in his pads, he doesn’t look that big – and he’s not that big. But he’s very tough [and] exceptionally fast. Once he gets a step on you, he’s gone.
BL: Greg, I am confused about something. Peterson’s nickname is “AD”, not “AP”, and the last time I checked, Peterson did start with P. Why is that?
GD: I want to give him credit and say, “AD are the first two letters of Adrian.” I suppose it could be that, but look, I’ve got two Gs at the end of my name. I don’t know what the second G is for. It’s doing me no good at all. We spell our names stupidly. I need to be Tshimanga Biakabutuka and put a couple apostrophes in my name just to complete the whole trifecta of dumb.
BL: I’ve just been informed by the Only A Game supercomputer that it actually stands for “All Day,” meaning, I suppose, that he can run all day and nobody can ever tackle him.
GD: Can that supercomputer help me with my dishes? It seems like there’s nothing it can’t do!
BL: No problem. We’ll get right on it.