"But wait, there's more!"
The classic pitch-line from a television commercial for a seemingly all-encompassing record collection applies to Adrian Peterson's pursuit of greatness.
He's already reached that status, rewriting franchise records left and right, but keeps spinning forward.
The latest recognitions were announced Thursday when Peterson was named **NFC Offensive Player of the Month** for the second time of his career and the **FedEx Ground Player of the Week** for the 16th time of his career and second time in three weeks.
Peterson stacked up 634 yards in November, the most by any player in a month since Peterson rushed for 861 in December 2012. He had three games with 125 or more rushing yards last month, pacing three victories by the 8-3 Vikings, who host two-time defending NFC Champion Seattle (6-5) at noon (CT) Sunday.
A couple of numbers still loom large, notably the chart-topping single-season rushing mark of Eric Dickerson and the career rushing and TD marks of Emmitt Smith, but Peterson has shown no signs of slowing down.
There was speculation that turning 30 this spring, or missing almost all of 2014 could make him less of a threat.
He said Thursday that not experiencing the grind of last season has helped him feel fresh this season and he's grateful that God is continuing to bless him.
"It feels good to get that [Player of the Month] award, but it's a group effort offensively as well," Peterson said.
The 2012 NFL MVP is leading the NFL with 1,164 yards because he and the Vikings offense have had more left than most opponents in fourth quarters this season.
The ninth-year pro has rushed 51 times for 394 yards and three touchdowns in fourth quarters and the overtime period against St. Louis this season.
"As the game goes on, you see him turning it up even more and more and then dominating in the fourth quarter. That's what defenses do not like," fullback Zach Line said. "You can just feel it, the way they're filling the holes, they're not as happy to do it as they were in the first quarter. They get in the fourth quarter and start missing tackles and getting tired. You saw that on his long run [at Atlanta]. He's still 100 percent in the fourth quarter."
Peterson has averaged 7.94 per carry in fourth quarters this season, which has been elevated by an 80-yard game-breaking run at Oakland and a 35-yard finishing touch at Atlanta in the past three weeks.
The 80-yarder at Oakland involved running through an arm tackle and away from everybody else. It gave Peterson 203 for the day (the sixth 200-plus outing of his career) and the Vikings a season-high 263 rushing yards.
Before the game against the Raiders, the Vikings set a goal of rushing for 200 yards. They set the goal again against the Falcons and finished with 191.
"It's a big goal to set, but if we set big goals, he wants it and we want it," Line said. "We get stronger as the game goes on. We see the end in sight. We see we have the lead, can hold onto the ball and keep our defense off the field and give them a little break, we're going to pull away with the victory."
Peterson accounted for 158 of the yards on 29 carries and also had a 1-yard score against a Falcons defense that entered the game as the stingiest in rush yards allowed (87.4). It was the 48th career game in which he's rushed for more than 100 yards. The 191 dropped by the Vikings plummeted the Falcons to ninth in the NFL.
"Adrian did a great job. He had some aggressive runs, and obviously Adrian's a very special person," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "We had a commitment to get him the ball and run. I think our guys did a good job up front for the most part getting to players we needed to get to, to block. I think the receivers did a good job of getting the perimeter. [Offensive Coordinator] Norv [Turner] made a great call on that last third‐and‐six or whatever it was and went for the touchdown. This guy is a threat every time he has the football, and we are glad he's ours."
Zimmer credited a collaborative effort by the offense, particularly receivers and tight ends to help Peterson break free.
"It really is about the team. I've always preached the team and I know they're not always getting all the catches that they want to get, but they understand we're pretty good running the football and they're a part of it as well," Zimmer said. "Those guys go in there and they've got to block safeties all the time and corners.
"This week was a tough matchup because they have so many guys in the box, so we needed them to be part of it," Zimmer continued. "The last run that Adrian had, Rhett [Ellison] made a great block, he basically blocked two guys, so the tight ends are doing a good job and that's who we are and they have to take part ownership in it as well. I think that's a good thing."
Zimmer mentioned the appreciation he has for Peterson in the lead up to the Falcons game.
"He just said he appreciated me. I guess I come in every day ready to work. I don't complain and do my job and do it to the max," Peterson said. "It feels good, but just knowing Coach Zim, I get that sense from him, that he's appreciative and it's mutual."
Peterson passed a pair of Pro Football Hall of Famers John Riggins (11,352 yards) and O.J. Simpson (11,236), as well as Corey Dillon (11,241) with Sunday's performance. He has 11,354 (18th most all-time) heading into Sunday's game against Seattle.
He's also moved into 10th place all-time with 94 rushing TDs and has 99 career scores, including eight this season.
Yes, Adrian Peterson still has *it *— but wait, there's more!