In the annals of NFL history, Adrian Peterson currently sits at No. 50.
He became the 50th running back in the history of the game to rush for 1,600 yards in a season. He sits at No. 50 heading into today’s game, but, with just about every carry, he has the chance to pass one or more on that all-time list.
He needs six yards to pass Ottis Anderson (1979). He needs seven to pass Maurice Jones-Drew (2011), 11 to pass Walter Payton (1979), 16 to pass Priest Holmes (2002) and 17 to pass Arian Foster (2010).
He needs 26 yards to surpass Corey Dillon (2004), 42 to pass Deuce McAllister (2003), 46 to overtake LaDainian Tomlinson (2003), 47 to pass Tony Dorsett (1981), 60 to pass Eric Dickerson (1988), 63 to surpass Tiki Barber (2006), 66 to throw Jerome Bettis under the bus (1997) and 75 to put a bounty on George Rogers (1981).
He needs 84 yards to be a recidivist against Tomlinson (2002) and 84 to do the same against Payton (1984). 91 yards and Barry Foster (1992) is in the rearview, 96 does the same to Frank Gore (2006), 97 adds Shaun Alexander (2005) to the list, 98 does a double shot with Curtis Martin (2004) and Earl Campbell (1979). With 100 yards, Michael Turner (2008) drops a notch.
The depth of that list should not be underestimated. All of them are epic seasons. By the time the turf settles at the Edwards Jones Dome at mid-afternoon today, if Peterson extends his 100-yard rushing game streak by hitting the number on the head, he will have moved from 50th to 29th on the all-time single-season rushing list.
The names on the list of players he can pass with 100 rushing yards is impressive. Moving forward from there, get your popcorn ready. It only gets more impressive and starts making the case not only for the Comeback Player of the Century, but for the bust-makers in Canton to start getting the mold ready.
Look one more time at the list of players A.P. can surpass today. With 150 yards, stars yet to be mentioned, including Edgerrin James, Emmitt Smith, Gerlad Riggs, Terrell Davis and Larry Johnson, will take a bow and drop a spot.
Enjoy what you’re seeing, Vikings fans. This is beyond the medical miracle realm now. You are bearing witness to history, which is why, with no disrespect to Peyton Manning, if A.P. doesn’t get the Comeback Player of the Year Award, something is wrong with the fundamental purpose of the award itself.
VIKINGS-RAMS BY THE NUMBERS
The Vikings have the 24th-ranked offense in the NFL (3rd rushing and dead last in passing) and the 18th-ranked defense (14th rushing, 18th passing). The Rams have the 25th-ranked offense (16th rushing, 22nd passing) and the 10th-ranked defense (13th rushing, 11th passing).
The Vikings are averaging 329 yards a game (173 passing, 156 rushing). St. Louis is averaging 324 yards a game (212 passing, 112 rushing).
Defensively, the Vikings are allowing 352 yards a game (237 passing, 115 rushing). St. Louis is allowing 336 yards a game (226 passing, 110 rushing).
While the Vikings are third in rushing yards in the league, they are first in rushing average per attempt – a lofty 5.4 yards.
The Rams aren’t higher than 13th in any of the 16 offensive categories the NFL ranks team-by-team.
Minnesota is 21st in giveaway/takeaway ratio at minus-5 (17 takeaways, 22 giveaways). The Rams are 18th at minus-1 (16 takeaways, 17 giveaways).
The Vikings are tied for 18th in red zone offense, scoring TDs on 21 of 40 red zone possessions (52.5 percent). The Rams are 28th at 44.8 percent (13 of 29 possessions).
Defensively, the Vikings are 23rd in the red zone, allowing touchdowns on 24 of 42 opponent chances (57.1 percent). St. Louis is 17th at 53.3 percent (24 of 45).
The Vikings are second in the league in average starting position following a kickoff at the 25-yard line. The league average is the 22.1-yard line. St. Louis is 25th with an average starting position of the 20.7-yard line.
Christian Ponder has one 300-yard passing day. Sam Bradford of the Rams has two.
The Vikings defense has allowed two 300-yard passing games. The Rams have allowed three.
Fortunately, neither team is playing against Matthew Stafford. Of the combined 26 games the two teams have played, they have allowed five 300-yard games – three in the three games they have played against Detroit and two in the other 24 games.
Minnesota has three 100-yard receiving games – all from Percy Harvin. The Rams have four – two from Danny Amendola and two from rookie Chris Givens.
Both the Vikings and Rams have allowed four 100-yard receivers.
Adrian Peterson has eight 100-yard rushing games, including each of the last seven. Steven Jackson has one.
Peterson has five of the top 16 rushing games in the NFL this season. Only two other players have reached that status twice – Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles and Philadelphia’s Bryce Brown.
The Vikings have allowed four 100-yard rushers. St. Louis has allowed two.
Ponder is 19th in pass attempts (401), 18th in completions (251), 13th in completion percentage (62.6), 26th in yards (2,877), 35th in average in average gain per pass (5.98 yards), 23rd in touchdown passes (14), tied for 21st in interceptions (12) and 27th in passer rating 78.3.
Bradford is 16th in attempts (427), 16th in completions (255), 23rd in completion percentage (59.7), 19th in passing yards (2,877), 22nd in touchdowns (15), tied for 17th in interceptions (10) and 22nd in passer rating (81.9).
Peterson leads the league with 1,600 rushing yards – 334 more than second place Marshawn Lynch (1,266). Jackson is 16th with 836 yards.
Despite missing four-plus games, Percy Harvin is tied for 20th in the league in receptions with 62. Amendola leads the Rams with 51 receptions, which ties for 47th in the league.
Peterson is third in the league in scoring among non-kickers with 62 points (10 touchdowns and one 2-point conversion). Kyle Rudolph is tied for 15th with 50 points (eight TDs and one 2-point conversion).
Peterson leads the league with 1,811 yards from scrimmage (1,600 rushing, 211 receiving), which is 199 yards more than second-place Doug Martin of Tampa Bay.
Blair Walsh is tied for 13th in scoring among kickers with 99 points. Greg Zuerlein is tied for 24th with 82 points.
Walsh is fifth in the league with 41 touchbacks. Zuerlein is 15th with 28.
Robert Quinn of the Rams is tied for 10th in sacks with 9.5. Jared Allen is tied for 12th place with nine sacks.
With just three tackles last week, Chad Greenway fell behind Carolina rookie MLB Luke Kuechly for the league lead in tackles. Kuechly has 130 tackles, while Greenway is second with 126. St. Louis LB James Laurinaitis is fourth with 119.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.