At 30 years of age Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is the NFL's rushing leader through the first 15 weeks of the season with 1,251 yards on the ground.
With two rushing titles under his belt (2008, 2012), Peterson will be battling for his third.
The performance Peterson is putting together at his age is one that is not only one of the best this season, but one that can make NFL history.
Ben Goessling of ESPN.com provided a list of what Peterson can do in the record books in the final few weeks of the season.
Here are a few:
He can post one of the five best seasons ever for a 30-year-old back: *With 1,251 yards, Peterson needs only 169 to match Priest Holmes for the fifth-best season by a 30-year-old running back in NFL history. He needs 240 to tie Barry Sanders for fourth place, and would match Corey Dillon for third all-time with 384 more yards. Second place (Walter Payton) is 433 yards away, but first place probably isn't reachable. That would be Tiki Barber, who ran for 1,860 yards in 2005. Peterson would need 609 yards — or 203 a game — to tie Barber. Among all seasons by backs in their 30s, Peterson's 2015 season is currently the 17th-best in NFL history. He'd jump to seventh on that list by matching Sanders' 30-year-old season, and fifth by tying Dillon's 1,635 yards in 2004.*
He can be the second RB in NFL history to surpass 1,500 yards in a season under age 25 and over age 30: *To this point, only Walter Payton has pulled off the feat, surpassing 1,500 yards at ages 23 and 25, and again at ages 30 and 31. Other than Payton, only two running backs -— Barber and Curtis Martin — have even done it in both their 20s and 30s, and both were backs who hit their prime in their late 20s, surpassing 1,500 yards for the first time at ages 29 and 28, respectively. If Peterson gains 249 yards in his final three games, he'd have a feat of longevity surpassed by only one back.*
Playoff picture update
The Vikings have lost three of the last four games, but are still the owners of their own playoff destiny.
With games at home against the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants in the next two weeks, and then a matchup at Lambeau Field to end the season against the Packers, the Vikings are still in control writes Michael Rand of the Star Tribune.
*The Vikings still control their own destiny when it comes to winning their division. (This is an overused term in sports, making things sound more dramatic than they really are, but still). If Minnesota wins its next three games, including Week 17 at Lambeau Field, it will be guaranteed of winning the NFC North. *
*Why? Because even if the Packers also win the next two games to maintain their one-game lead over the Vikings going into Week 17 (Green Bay is 9-4 after beating Dallas, while the Vikings fell to 8-5 with their loss to Arizona), if the Vikings win and tie the Packers at 11-5 in that scenario they win the division because of the second tiebreaker, a better division record. *
If the Vikings win their next two home games against the Bears and Giants, they will clinch a playoff spot, assuring themselves of no worse than a wild card berth, and will guarantee that their Week 17 game at Lambeau is for the division title.
Week 16 game moved to prime-time
The Vikings game next week at the University of Minnesota against the New York Giants has been moved to the prime-time spot on Sunday Night Football.
The Giants 31-24 win over the Dolphins on Monday night kept New York in the playoff race in the NFC East, while the Vikings will be battling for a playoff spot of their own.
The Associated Press gave further info on the NFL's decision to move the game under the league's flexible scheduling policy.
*New York won 31-24 at Miami to move into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East. The Vikings are currently a game out of first in the NFC North. *
*The Steelers-Ravens game originally scheduled for prime time Dec. 27 moves to 1 p.m. EST. The Colts-Dolphins matchup that day switches from CBS to Fox, and Jaguars-Saints will start at 4:05 p.m. EST instead of 1 p.m. *
*Pittsburgh is contending for a playoff spot, but rival Baltimore is just 4-9. *
*The NFL can move more appealing matchups to Sunday night starting with Week 11. It also now has the ability to ''cross-flex'' afternoon games from one network to the other. *
The league has not typically announced such scenarios for games other than the Week 17 matchup; it doesn't need to make a decision until Tuesday under the policy. But with the Dec. 27 schedule hinging on Monday night's outcome, the NFL decided to give fans additional notice about the potential change in start times. Both clubs were already aware of the possibilities.
Former Minnesota Vikings undrafted free agent Joe Anoa'i (known as Roman Reigns in the ring) wins a WWE title for the first time and was featured in Rolling Stone.