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Adrian Peterson won rushing title playing through a sports hernia

We recently heard a rumor that there are some people out there who are not fully convinced that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is a beast, so we have decided to share with you a bit more evidence. According to ESPN.com, Peterson won the NFL rushing title and chased Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record this past season while playing through a sports hernia.

Peterson reportedly sustained the injury during a Week 10 game against the Detroit Lions. From that point forward, he rushed for 1,068 yards and had two 200-yard games and one 199-yard game. He received a cortisone shot prior to the Week 13 game against the Green Bay Packers, but the Vikings bruiser said it wasn’t until Week 16 that it really started to take its toll.

“Against Houston, that was probably the worse I felt,” Peterson explained. “That was the first time that I really doubted myself and questioned whether I would be able to continue the season. The pain was a 10 on a scale of 10. Put it like this, I developed a new respect for Greg Jennings who had the same type of injury. Initially I thought Greg was tripping and that he needed to be playing, but when I got it I was like, I understand bro. This is nothing to fool with.”

Peterson says the injury got worse and worse each week. Since he fell just nine yards short of breaking Dickerson’s record, does that mean he would have broken it had it not been for the hernia? AP wasn’t willing to go that far, but he certainly feels it affected his play.

“It definitely impacted my play,” he said. “I wasn’t 100 percent, but I wanted to win a championship. I wasn’t going to stop or quit. I made a decision to keep going. I don’t want to make it seem like the sports hernia made me miss (the record). I could have done it with the injury. All I can say is that I would have had better performances.”

The surgeon who performed the procedure on Peterson’s knee recently said AP could be even better next season. Couple that with a full recovery from a sports hernia and Dickerson could be in even more trouble than we initially thought.

Packers bar trash talks Adrian Peterson over rushing record (Picture)

adrian-peterson-packers-bar

NFC North rivals Green Bay and Minnesota will meet in the playoffs Saturday, and matters are so intense even sports bars are getting in on the trash talk.

The Stadium View Bar and Grille located on 1963 Holmgren Way in Green Bay has placed two signs on its property taunting Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. One sign is hanging inside the bar while the other is outside it. Both say, “Adrian, this is what 9 yards look like,” which is a jab at AD for coming nine yards short of breaking the single-season rushing record.

Peterson still rushed for 2,097 yards on the season — which is the second-most all time — and two of his three highest totals came against the Packers. He rushed for 210 yards in the first game, and 199 in the second. The Packers have vowed to hold him below 200 yards in the third meeting between the teams.

Eric Dickerson still happily holds the single-season record with 2,105 yards.

Photo credit: Twitter/Keith Leventhal
H/T B/R

Dr. James Andrews: Adrian Peterson ‘defied all odds,’ could be better next year

Eric Dickerson beware: Adrian Peterson’s doctor says he could be even better in 2013. Peterson should not be used as a measuring stick for other athletes who undergo major reconstructive knee surgery. If any other NFL running back returns to the field less than one year after tearing his ACL and proceeds to rush for over 2,000 yards, we should all be shocked. It just doesn’t happen. Just ask world-renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

Andrews, who repaired Peterson’s knee last December, said the first year an athlete returns after an injury like the one Peterson suffered is usually “a wash.”

“I say an athlete after (an) ACL (tear) is much better the second year back than the first year back,” he told the Bob Sansevere of the Pioneer Press. “First year back is a wash. It hasn’t been a wash for him, obviously. After 24 months, (an athlete is) a lot more mature and confident. Who knows? Adrian may be better next year than this year.”

Better next year would mean breaking Dickerson’s NFL single-season rushing record, considering A.P. fell just nine yards short of doing so this season. Andrews said Peterson has “defied all odds” and called him a natural athlete like Bo Jackson. He also said coming back the way A.P. did is unheard of — especially for a running back.

“Running backs don’t come back within the first year like that in the NFL,” Andrews explained. “They may come back and play a little bit. They don’t do what he did. Nobody’s ever done that if you look at the statistics of players returning to the NFL. We did a study. Running backs are the hardest to get back, period.”

And, of course, Andrews was asked if he feels that Dickerson’s record of 2,105 yards is in danger.

“Oh, hell, yeah,” he replied.

Peterson recently expressed confidence that he can still break Dickerson’s record before his career comes to a close. We’re certainly not going to sit here and doubt him.

Helmet smack to Around the League

Adrian Peterson wants to play special teams

Simply put, Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature. If you didn’t think so before this season, you need look no further than the way he recovered from a torn ACL. Peterson rushed for over 2,000 yards this year after suffering a major knee injury late in the 2011 season. Very few — if any — players would be able bounce back that quickly and become a legitimate MVP contender.

Peterson has cemented himself as the NFL’s best running back, but he wants more. The 27-year-old wants to contribute on special teams as well.

“For the past two years, I’ve been trying to get in on field goal block,” Peterson recently told the Associated Press. “Come in off the edge, you know? It’s just going to take one block for them to really be like, ‘OK, you know what? Let’s take the chance and let you go out there and get it done.’ Kickoff return, I wouldn’t mind getting back there. I’m in it to win.”

That’s never going to happen. Because he is such a fierce competitor, I believe that Peterson is serious in wanting to give special teams a try. Special teams coach Mike Priefer said Peterson has asked him for a shot many times, but it’s not Priefer’s call.

“He always asks,” Priefer said. “He’s a football player. Gunner, field goal block, returner. The guy is awesome. I always say yes, and then I ask the head coach and he says no. I know what the answer is going to be. I don’t even have to ask.”

A.P. returned some kicks his during his rookie season and once during his second year in the league, but I’m sure Leslie Frazier hasn’t even considered using him in that role since. Frazier can’t afford to risk getting his best player hurt — not that any injury would prevent Peterson from remaining one of the best running backs in NFL history. Remember, Eric Dickerson — he’s still coming for you.

Adrian Peterson to Eric Dickerson: ‘I’m coming for you’

Adrian Peterson is happy that his incredible performance on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers helped the Minnesota Vikings clinch a playoff spot. He may not hold the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season, but his team will still be playing in January. In the grand scheme of things, that’s all that matters.

However, Peterson wouldn’t be human if it didn’t sting a little that he fell just nine yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s record. When FOX’s Pam Oliver informed him of how close he had come after Sunday’s game, you could tell A.P. was surprised. As Peter King revealed in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, Peterson admits he is disappointed he didn’t get there.

“It kinda went through my mind that I didn’t get it,” he explained. “Was I surprised? Not really. All week there was so much talk about the record, the record, the record. At one point, I just told myself, ‘Don’t worry about the record. Don’t force it. Just play. If it happens, it happens. That can’t be our focus. We win, we’re in the playoffs.'”

Had Peterson fallen short of the mark and the Vikings lost, it would probably hurt a lot more. For now, he is focused on winning a rematch against Green Bay on Saturday. As for Dickerson, A.P. said he is hardly done chasing 2,105.

“I’m coming for you,” he said with a laugh. “Yes. Yes. Yes. The feeling is there. I understand the big picture, but the feeling is there. I wanted this.”

He can still have it. Peterson is only 27 years old and just rushed for more than 2,000 yards after tearing up his knee at the end of the season last year. The fact that he was able to bounce back from that the way he did is unfathomable. Something tells me A.P. is far from finished with making Dickerson squirm.

Adrian Peterson didn’t know how close he came to record

adrian-petersonAdrian Peterson put together another brilliant performance for the Minnesota Vikings and nearly set the NFL record for single-season rushing yards in the process. Peterson rushed for 199 yards and a touchdown in Minnesota’s playoff berth-clinching win over the Green Bay Packers Sunday. He ended the season with 2,097 yards, which placed him second all-time and nine yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105 set in 1984. The funny thing is Peterson had no idea how close he came to the record.

Peterson was interviewed by FOX’s Pam Oliver following Minnesota’s 37-34 win and didn’t know where he stood regarding the rushing record.

“Nine yards, boy, that’s gotta hurt,” Oliver said to Peterson.

Oliver must have been incorrectly assuming that Peterson knew what happened with the record, because Peterson didn’t know what she was talking about.

“Nine yards what? From breaking it?” Peterson asked.

“That’s what I heard,” Oliver answered.

“Oh, well, ultimately, we got the W. That was my main focus coming into the game. I said if it happens, then it happens, but don’t focus on it.”

Peterson elaborated in his postgame media conference.

“First thing that came to my mind when I heard that I was nine yards short was, ‘it is what it is. It wasn’t meant to happen, or it would have happened.’ Not to say it doesn’t hurt — because it does — but we came in here tonight and accomplished our ultimate goal.”

Not only is Peterson a spectacular player, but he also places his team’s goals ahead of his personal achievements. It’s hard not to like a player who has such an admirable attitude.

Survey: Peyton Manning leading Adrian Peterson in MVP voting

Who wins MVP is always one of the more interesting discussion topics in the NFL. This season, it looks like the award will come down to two comeback players.

The Denver Post surveyed 18 of the 50 people who will be voting for the MVP award, and their findings show that Peyton Manning is in the lead.

According to the survey conducted by Mike Klis, nine voters say they back Peyton Manning, three say Adrian Peterson, and six said they wanted to see how Peterson performed in the Minnesota Vikings’ season finale against the Green Bay Packers.

Klis says those were the two players voters were considering for the award. Top quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Robert Griffin III were only mentioned as third place finishers behind Peterson or Manning.

Manning missed all last season after undergoing multiple neck surgeries. He led the Broncos to a 12-3 record entering Week 17 thanks in part to a 10-game winning streak. He has thrown for 4,355 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. This would be his NFL record fifth MVP award.

Peterson was injured in Week 16 against the Redskins last season. He had surgery to repair a torn ACL and returned earlier than expected. He has rushed for a career-high 1,898 yards and has a strong chance to become the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. All the while he has the Vikings unexpectedly contending for a playoff spot.

As excellent as both players have been this season, I don’t see why this appears to be a two-player race. Aaron Rodgers is having another outstanding season and has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio (35:8) among all quarterbacks. Green Bay has won nine of 10 entering Week 17, and Rodgers had thrown for 25 touchdowns and four interceptions in that span. He had a stinker in a 38-10 loss to the Giants, but outside of that, he has been outstanding.

I also would have included Robert Griffin III higher in the conversation had he not missed time because of injuries, because he has been spectacular this season.

Photo credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

H/T Pro Football Talk