The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Vikings News

December 15, 2012

Better than ever, Adrian Peterson isn’t done yet



“The injury that I had, the position that I play and what I’ve done, it speaks for itself,” Peterson said. “Not to take anything away from Peyton Manning, but if you’re really looking at it, it speaks for itself.”

Maybe if he zooms past that 2,000-yard mark with a strong final three games he’ll even wind up with the MVP award.

Of the six previous 2,000-yard rushers, three of them either won or shared MVP honors that year: O.J. Simpson in 1973, Barry Sanders in 1997 and Terrell Davis in 1998. Two of them, coincidentally, watched Manning take the MVP award instead: Jamal Lewis in 2003 and Chris Johnson in 2009. Eric Dickerson has the all-time single-season record of 2,105 yards rushing in 1984. Dan Marino was the MVP that year.

“The MVP, man, that’s something that I’ve always wanted to grab. I work hard. I want to be the best player to play this game, so with that, MVP awards come,” Peterson said. “But I know this league and how it is, man. They’re kind of biased to the quarterback, which is unfortunate. They make it hard for other players to win it, but I will.”

Johnson said he’s proud of the way Peterson has performed this season, even if one of his peers is able to pass his mark of 2,006 yards.

“The way he’s been running, the way he’s been playing, he has a good chance of him doing that. It’s still a hard thing to do,” Johnson said.

The Vikings need him more than ever, with quarterback Christian Ponder still trying to find his groove as a starter, so Peterson will probably get enough attempts to have a chance at the milestone as long as the Vikings don’t fall too far behind in any of their games. They finish the season at St. Louis, at Houston and at home against Green Bay, hoping to win out and for a chance at the playoffs.

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