Adrian Peterson is widely regarded as one of the best running backs in NFL history. Peterson’s prime saw him smash records and win an MVP.
However, does that mean that Peterson is like LeBron James and Michael Jordan when it comes down to “god-given abilities”? Peterson definitely thinks so as he made a point to prove it to Shannon Sharpe.
Based on God-given ability, was Adrian the LeBron & Jordan of the NFL? https://t.co/DBeTlcp0Aa
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) February 22, 2021
James and Jordan are two of the most, if not the most, talented players across NBA history. They’ve set the bar for what it means to be a gifted athlete with their jaw-dropping highlight reels and ability to do what most players can’t. Adrian Peterson definitely fits into definitions, so it’s not that far-fetched to believe that he’s held in the same regard as LeBron and MJ.
Additionally, like MJ and especially LeBron, Adrian Peterson continues to defy age. Despite being 35 years old, Peterson is still running hard for whichever team will have him.
Last year with the Lions, Peterson ran for a decent 604 yards and seven touchdowns as he mentored rookie D’Andre Swift. Peterson isn’t done just yet either as he wants to chase down Emmitt Smith’s all time rushing record. This is what Peterson had to say:
“I want to live to be a 40-year-old back out there rushing for 1,500 yards and amazing people still. I’m going to keep playing, trying to chase the championship, and, God’s willing, within the process of doing that, I’m able to catch Emmitt and pass him.”
Adrian Peterson’s Hall of Fame Career
Peterson became a household name during his time with the Minnesota Vikings. “All Day” (Peterson’s nickname) was drafted in 2007, and he went on to show out during his rookie campaign.
Peterson ran for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns, showing the league that he was something special. He would only build upon his rookie year by rushing for 1,760 yards the following year. There was no stopping him.
Peterson’s best season, however, came in 2012 when it seemed like he was the biggest freak of nature the league had ever seen. AP ran for a whopping 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns on a mind-blowing 6 yards per carry in a record setting year. His 2,097 yards are the second most all time in a season behind Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 in 1984.
Peterson also won the NFL MVP award that year, becoming the first non-quarterback to win the honors since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006. In fact, since Peterson won MVP, no other non-QB has taken home the trophy.
Peterson’s all-time stats are something to marvel at as well. He ranks fifth overall in rushing yards and fourth overall in rushing touchdowns (just five touchdowns away from third). He’s been a four time first-team All Pro, seven time Pro Bowler, was selected to the NFL all-decade team, and won three rushing titles.
The other four running backs to do that, Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith, are all in the Hall of Fame. There’s no mistaking that Peterson belongs there too one day.
Maybe, that’s why Peterson seems himself in the same field as LeBron and MJ. He’s had a monstrous career that only a few people can rival, and according to him, he’s not done yet. One thing is for certain, however, you can never get bored of watching his highlights.
Some Adrian Peterson highlights from 2019. Still a freak at age 34 💪 pic.twitter.com/Jx9OePxWql
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 19, 2020
Awesome seeing these highlights of Adrian Peterson from his 2000 yard season in 2012. I was in awe watching him run thru, around and past defenders from the field. Cool seeing myself on most of these runs as well. pic.twitter.com/kOywOjZa1b
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 17, 2019