Adrian Peterson is secure with his place as the NFL’s top running back after his MVP season.
Peterson, who ran for 2,097 yards for the Minnesota Vikings last season — after suffering a torn ACL less than nine months before the season opener — isn’t going to get dragged into any back-and-forth social media bickering or comparisons about who is the league’s best running back. Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson seemed to stir up the long debate last week when he said he would rush for more yards in 2013 than Peterson.
Appearing on ESPN’s NFL Live last week, Johnson was asked which of the two backs will have more yards next season.
“Of course, 2K,” Johnson said, going by his moniker of CJ2K, adopted when he ran for 2,006 yards in 2009.
Monday, Peterson responded via Twitter, sort of.
“Why would or should I care about what CJ has to say? Before you tweet what he’s saying, ask yourself that question! MVPeterson,” Peterson tweeted (@AdrianPeterson).
Peterson simply points to his MVP award to end any current debate. Peterson is only the third back to win the award in the last 12 years and the first since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006.
Peterson and Johnson have seemingly been linked since Johnson ran for 1,228 yards in his rookie season in 2008 and followed up with his 2,000-yard season — only seven backs in league history have topped 2,000 yards in a season. Peterson arrived a year before Johnson and was the offensive rookie of the year in 2007.
Both proud players believed they were the league’s best back. Johnson was paid like it when he held out and received a four-year, $53.5 million contract extension with $30 million guaranteed before the 2011 season started. Then, 10 days later, Peterson topped Johnson’s money-mark with a seven-year, $100 million contract with $36 million guaranteed.
A year later, Peterson then topped Johnson’s yardage mark. Johnson’s 2,006 total ranks seventh all-time for a single season. Peterson’s 2,097 yards are second-highest total all-time and just eight yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s NFL record.
In his follow-up to his MVP season, Peterson said he has his sights set on a 2,500-yard season in 2014. Johnson believes he will out-rush Peterson.
“I’m very confident,” Johnson said last week. “I’ve always been a confident guy. This is a situation, if you want something to happen, you’ve got to speak on it. You’ve got to believe in it and you’ve got to pray and God will lead you there. It’s the kind of situation where I know the kind of guy I am. I know the kind of back I am. If the situation is right for me, I know I can do it.”