It’s no stretch to say
-- In his Vikings debut as a rookie in 2007, Peterson took a swing pass 60 yards for a score and also topped 100 yards rushing.
-- In his meeting with reigning NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson later that season, Peterson set a new NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards.
-- The following season, Peterson ran for 100 yards and a score in the season finale to help the Vikings win their division for the first time since 2000.
-- In Brett Favre’s first game as a member of the Vikings, Peterson helped ease the Hall of Famer’s transition to a new team by rushing for 180 yards and three scores.
-- In the NFC title game that same season, a game the Vikings lost in heartbreaking fashion in overtime, Peterson battled for 122 yards rushing and three scores.
And then you have the 2012 season. Coming back from a serious knee injury with the entire sports world hyper-analyzing the timeline, Peterson came through on his promise to Vikings fans that he’d be ready for Week 1.
-- In a win over Jacksonville, Peterson found the end zone twice and kick started what would turn out to be the Vikings third playoff season in five years.
-- In the team’s season finale against Green Bay with a wild card berth on the line – a win-and-you’re-in situation – Peterson rushed for 199 yards and a touchdown and added a receiving touchdown to lead the Vikings to victory and also bring his season rushing total to 2,097 yards, the second-highest single-season rushing total in NFL history.
-- In the second half of the 2012 season, Peterson carried the Vikings, averaging 159.8 rushing yards per game over the final 10 weeks and leading the club on a four-game winning streak and dash to the playoffs to close the season. All of that helped Peterson take home NFL MVP honors as well as a host of other post-season awards.
And now, with a prime time game against the Washington Redskins on tap tonight, there’s no better time for Peterson to take charge. The Vikings and Redskins will play in front of a national audience tonight as part of NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football package, and that is something that will get everyone’s competitive juices flowing, including Peterson’s.