Twenty-eight years ago, Eric Dickerson set an NFL single-season rushing record that still stands.
Thursday morning, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was asked on “The Dan Patrick Show” whether Dickerson has reason to be nervous that his 2,105 yards will be eclipsed this season.
“I think so,” Peterson said. “I think so.”
Peterson needs 506 yards in the Vikings’ final three games to break Dickerson’s record, and if anyone else were talking about averaging 168.7 yards per game it would seem like false bravado. But that’s not the case with Peterson, who has averaged 165 yards in his past five games and showed this season in his comeback from a torn ACL that he can be downright dogged in pursuit of a goal.
“A lot of people are talking, ‘I hope you get 2,000,’ but me being me I’d be cheating myself if I wasn’t eying Eric Dickerson’s record,” Peterson told Patrick. “That’s something that’s in the back of my head. It’s not something that I’m overwhelmingly focused on, but I feel like it’s something I feel like it’s within reach to obtain. We’re going to see.”
Peterson leads the NFL with 1,600 rushing yards and is on pace to smash his personal career high of 1,760 set in 2008. He’s averaging an eye-popping 6.0 yards per carry even though the Vikings have one of the league’s worst passing attacks. So if defenses will be trying to stop him from breaking Dickerson’s record, getting a little extra attention is something he’s already used to.
“We come in and want to run the ball,” Peterson told Patrick. “It’s all about mindset, and I feel like the guys in front of me, the whole team, offensively, they have accepted – guys know, teams know, defensive coordinators know – we’re going to run the ball. . . . This is our bread and butter. We try to stick with it, and we have a lot of pride in what we do.”