Adrian Peterson put together one of the most dominant stretches by a running back in NFL history, but it still wasn't enough for the Minnesota Vikings superstar to break Eric Dickerson's record. The single-season rushing mark of 2,105 yards will stand for another season.
Peterson ended up just nine yards short of the mark, rushing for 199 yards on the day in Minnesota's 37-34 victory over Green Bay, and 2,097 on the season.
It was a valiant effort by Peterson, who carried the Vikings offense on his back for the second half of the regular season as quarterback Christian Ponder's struggles continued. He had a stretch of eight straight games of 100 yards at one point.
In today's NFL, where high-powered passing attacks reign supreme and true No. 1 backs are fading away, Peterson's accomplishments are all the more astonishing, even without the rushing record. Without him, the Vikings would have crashed and burned.
Every week, opposing defenses would stack eight or nine players in the box to dare the Vikings to pass against single coverage. Instead, they continued to hand off to Peterson and he found ways to create something out of nothing.
There are only a handful of playmakers in the league capable of changing the complexion of a game all by themselves, and Peterson is definitely one of them.
As if his terrific season needed another layer of remarkableness, he was able to do it all despite suffering a serious knee injury—tearing both his ACL and MCL—last season. He fought all the way back in time for Week 1 and turned in one of the best single-season performances ever.
Although he wasn't able to eclipse Dickerson's record, Peterson's numbers are still good enough to put him in strong contention for the MVP and Comeback Player of the Year awards. Peyton Manning will challenge him in both categories.
As for now, Dickerson remains the rushing king.