Monday, October 15, 2007
Adrian Peterson: A Nightmare in the Making
(Photo courtesy of Chicagosports.com) It wasn't that long ago that a running back used to torch the then NFC Central. He was fast and seemingly invincible. You thought you had him stopped, and just like that he was gone. It's been quite a few years since I've had that terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that anything could happen every time he touched the football. It's back. Instead of #20 running through the likes of Steve "Mongo" McMichael and Richard Dent, it was #28 going untouched by Tommie Harris and Brian Urlacher. Adrian Peterson is the new Barry Sanders of the now NFC North; and I hate to say it, but it doesn't look like he's going anywhere but the endzone any time soon.
Every year brings a new elite back to NFL. In 05', it was Larry Johnson. Last year was the breakout party for Frank Gore. This is the year of Purple Jesus. Here's a look at how the three stack up after their first five games:
07' Adrian Peterson: 96 att, 607 yds, 175 rec. yds, 5 tds
06' Frank Gore: 102 att, 465 yds, 167 rec. yds, 3 tds
05' Larry Johnson (from week 9-13): 146 att, 709 yds, 162 rec. yds, 7 tds
As you can see, Peterson is right there, but please note that the 05' Larry Johnson and 06' Frank Gore were not rookies. I also did some more fact-finding to see what type of rookie year the top 10 in career rushing had:
1. Emmitt Smith: 241 att, 937 yds, 228 rec. yds, 11 tds
2. Walter Payton: 196 att, 679 yds, 213 rec. yds, 7 tds
3. Barry Sanders: 280 att, 1,470 yds, 282 rec. yds, 14 tds
4. Curtis Martin: 368 att, 1,487 yds, 261 rec. yds, 15 tds
5. Jerome Bettis: 294 att, 1,429 yds, 244 rec. yds, 7 tds
6. Eric Dickerson: 390 att, 1,808 yds, 404 rec. yds, 20 tds
7. Tony Dorsett: 208 att, 1,007 yds, 273 rec. yds, 13 tds
8. Jim Brown: 202 att, 942 yds, 55 rec. yds, 10 tds
9. Marshall Faulk: 314 att, 1,282 yds, 522 rec. yds, 12 tds
10. Marcus Allen: 160 att, 697 yds, 401 rec. yds, 14 tds
Here's Peterson projected numbers:
316 att(20 per game), 1,924 yds (121 per game), 560 rec. yds (35 per game), 16 tds.
Now, I realize that this is somewhat of a stretch considering he ripped off runs against Brandon "Which way did he go?" McGowan and Adam "Thank god my girlfriend is hot" Archuleta, but you still have to consider that 120 rushing per game and 30-40 yards receiving seems to be within his reach given his past 5 games.
Since we are projecting, we must consider the history of his health. In 2005, Peterson suffered a high ankle sprain that cost him 4 games, and in 2006, he broke his collar bone after diving in for six against Iowa State. Now add in the fact that he's only played 20 games in the past two college years along with the beating he'll face in the NFL, it's not hard to imagine him missing a couple games.
With that said, it's pretty scary numbers this guy is capable of putting up. Only Eric Dickerson had more rushing yards after week 5 of his rookie season then does Peterson, and that's only by about 25 yards. Whether he shatters all the rookie records or not, I do know that awful, retched feeling is going to be back. And next time, it won't just be for the people in Chicago and Minneapolis to behold. It will be in front of the nation on Monday Night Football, December 17th. Let's hope Santa comes early with A.D. on the IR.
Posted by Dr. C at 8:13 AM