Stars Out Of The Spotlight: Adrian Peterson

Posted Feb 19, 2010

Okay, so Peterson isn’t exactly a star who is out of the spotlight. But our reasoning behind including him in this series is to debunk a sentiment that I sense from some who follow the NFL and the Vikings. That sentiment is that Peterson had a down season in 2009.

It’s simply not true.

The fumbling issues that plagued Peterson and the Vikings offense this season are undeniable. It’s a flaw in #28’s body of work and it should not be ignored. And in fairness it’s also important to acknowledge that his yards-per-carry number went down this season while his negative yardage runs went up.

But with that said, a look back at Peterson’s season yields the conclusion that he had another great year. He finished 2nd in the NFC and 5th in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,383, which is the 3rd best single-season effort in Vikings history and is more than he had during his rookie season. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry and was 2nd in the NFL in runs of 20 yards.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is the fact that Peterson tallied a league-high 18 TDs and set a Vikings single-season records for games with a TD (12).

Another part of Peterson’s great season is that he recorded a career-high 43 receptions for 436 yards. His previous single-season high for receptions was 21 for 125 yards.

On top of his production, the threat of his production made a big difference for the Vikings offense in 2009. Opposing teams prioritize stopping Peterson when they play the Vikings, and this philosophy allowed QB Brett Favre to have perhaps the best season of his career as he was able to constantly take advantage of mismatches created by single coverage on the QBs 3 favorite targets – TE Visanthe Shiancoe and WRs Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice.

The early prevailing thought was that the addition of Brett Favre would cause defenses to back off the line of scrimmage and give Peterson more room to run. As it turned out, though, teams still focused on stopping Peterson and that, in turn, allowed Favre to work his magic.

Previous 'Stars Out Of The Spotlight' Articles

Monday, Feb. 15 - C. Greenway

Tuesday, Feb. 16 - C. Kluwe

Wednesday, Feb. 17 - B. Sapp

Thursday, Feb. 18 - J. Sanford