When looking at running back stats, sometimes you need to double check your figures to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Like checking to make sure you take the ‘bye’ week into account so you don’t compare one players stats over eight games with another candidate who has played nine. But with Minnesota’s star rookie running back Adrian Peterson such an exercise is totally pointless because you can look at any stat you want and it will change nothing. Sorting the data any way you want; total yards, yards per game, yards per attempt, number of rushing touchdowns â€“ it all leads to the same place. At this moment and by a huge margin Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL, period. And it doesn’t look as though his moment is about to be over anytime soon.
In just the eighth game of his young career, Peterson has acquired one of the most coveted records a running back can hold; most rushing yards gained in a single game. Peterson carried the football 30 times for 296 yards, breaking the previous record of running back Jamal Lewis by only a single yard. In 2003 Lewis rushed for that record 285 yards and also had a 205 yard game (ironically, both of those monster games by Lewis were against the Cleveland Browns whom Lewis now plays for, and they occurred while he played for the Ravens who used to be the Browns before they moved to Baltimore). What makes Peterson’s record even more astonishing is that he gained 253 of those yards in the second half.
Credit the Vikings defense in this game who propped up their ailing quarterback situation by holding the Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson to only 40 yards rushing and absolutely stuffing the San Diego offense on 11 of 13 drives. Other notable performances included Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie running the longest scoring play in NFL history; a 109 yard touchdown on the return of â€“ get this â€“ a missed Vikings field goal.