How much gas does Adrian Peterson have left in the tank?

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It’s never wise to doubt Adrian Peterson, but it’s fair to ask whether and to what extent any 33-year-old tailback still has any gas left in the tank.

He once seemed to be destined to make a run at the all-time rushing record, but largely lost seasons in 2014 and 2016 have kept him stuck at No. 12 on the list, more than 6,000 yards behind Emmitt Smith. (Peterson is still less than 50 yards from the top 10.) Last year, Peterson generated 529 yards during stints with the Saints and Cardinals, including back-to-the-future games of 134 and 159 yards for Arizona before injury shut him down for the rest of the season.

On the other hand, Peterson averaged 3.4 yards per carry in 2017, a career low for any season in which he played more than three games and a far cry from the 6.0-yard average from his league MVP season of 2012.

Apart from the question of what he has left is what Washington thinks he has left. And much of that will be revealed by the terms of his contract, specifically whether and to what extent Peterson’s salary is guaranteed before it becomes as a practical matter guaranteed if he’s on the Week One roster.

Which means there’s a chance that Peterson will have a short stint with Washington, if his contract is largely non-guaranteed and if the team doesn’t see enough between now and Week One in either practice or preseason games to believe that he should occupy a spot high enough on the depth chart so that he won’t be playing special teams.

Regardless, it’s still not wise to doubt Peterson, who has proven time and again that he can do his best work when observers are predicting the worst.

41 responses to “How much gas does Adrian Peterson have left in the tank?

  1. Any team that needs a two down back should call him. The guy is an athletic freak. He still has plenty in the tank. I feel he can do what he always did. The reason he’s out of work is he is only a two down back and is no longer worth the salary he had grown accustomed to. If he is willing to take less, and I think he now is, and a team needs a two down back, they should sign him immediately. The 30 yr old drop off that applies to most RB’s, does not apply to him. Washington should have signed him last week.

  2. kevin777w says:
    August 20, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Any team that needs a two down back should call him.

    But only if you plan on running on those two downs. If he’s in the game on a passing down, you’re playing 10 on 11. Even on the running downs, he’ll get one yard or less on the majority of them. Give him enough carries and he’ll get you 100 yards, but you’ll lose the game.

  3. It all depends on if he’s willing to accept the role. As long as he does, I think he could average over 4 yards a carry and gain anywhere from 500 to 750 yards.

  4. If he is out there on a pass play, Alex that ball better be gone in 1 second.
    Since they just signed him he will not have the playbook down until April

  5. I agree with Kevin but to get the best use out of him would be to give him a good blocking backing back. Hopefully, he gets into the top 10, he has been that good and fun to watch when he wasn’t fumbling.

  6. Words that Zimmer likes to use when talking about players he likes.
    “Smart” “Tough” and words that connote the idea that the player just loves football.
    Zimmer never used the word “Smart” when describing AP.
    AP’s playbook better have very few pages in it.

  7. I would not be surprised that when RBs get cut with the 53 man roster cut-down that AP is cut. But I could be surprised, it is the Redskins.

  8. He has plenty of gas in the tank, but everyone knows he is not a natural catcher. Give him an O-line that can open a hole and he’s taking it to the house. First and foremost he needs to be in a system that runs a lot, otherwise, everyone knows he’s getting the ball because he can’t catch and can’t block.

  9. If he is ok with 15 or so touches a game, he could be an effective weapon.

    If they are hoping 25 a game i dont see him getting past week 7. Older, banged up, but most importantly his running style, will not allow that workload anymore.

  10. The AP I saw is not starting NFL caliber material. Can’t catch and can’t block, has a little attitude, and a history. There are young guys with young legs out there that deserve a chance.

  11. The fuel gauge is pointing to E, but remember the gas tank is in a Ferrari.

    He could surprise with a few really good games, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  12. After he came back from the ACL tear and had the 2,000-yard season, I think we all thought AP was a freak of nature who, like Emmitt and to a lesser extent, Gore, would continue to be productive into his 30s.

    I’d love for him to stun everyone and have a 1,000-yard season, but I don’t see that happening.

  13. NinersFan1973 says:
    August 20, 2018 at 7:07 pm
    After he came back from the ACL tear and had the 2,000-yard season, I think we all thought AP was a freak of nature who, like Emmitt and to a lesser extent, Gore, would continue to be productive into his 30s.

    No, most of us realized it was a actually healthy dose of HGH that made the impossible possible.
    Anyone that was suggesting anything else probably thought that magical summer of McGuire and Sosa’s Homer-thon was legit too.

  14. The funny thing is the new helmet rule might actually benefit AP. You can no longer lower your head to take him down. This year might be one his best years if he can run without lowering his head. This year is going to be awkward.

  15. He’s got plenty left in the tank, but the issue is putting his talents in the right system with the right team. Not many modern NFL offenses run RB-heavy attacks; rather, they require backs that can run precise routes, catch the ball and pass protect. AP is a classic runner without strong skills in those areas, and apparently lacks enough self-awareness to work on them. As a result, I have doubts about his success. Wish him and Washington all the best though.

  16. wafflestomp says:
    August 20, 2018 at 7:19 pm
    Well, I’m sure his kids will be glad to get him out of the house for a while.
    Which kid at which house?

  17. AD is his own worst enemy these days it seems. He wants to be treated like he is the best back in the NFL right now when he clearly isn’t. He never changed his attitude to fit a less than featured back that he is. Could he help a NFL team, sure but he needs to have a better understanding of what he is today as a back too. I am sure there are plenty of teams that do not want to go through that with him.

  18. AP’s pass blocking a route running will get him cut before anything else ~ Thing he could have worked on in his early years that would now make him valuable to any team that needed RB help ~

    Now the question is ~ Do the Redskins want to sign such a limited player ~ ??? With a 38-year-old QB who’s health could be one missed blitz pickup away from IR ~ ???

  19. The Redskins current RB’s include an undrafted FA that will be average at best and a 4th round pick that hasn’t shown much last year and an above average third down back. I’m not overly excited but, it’s worth a shot for one year until we get Guise back. Not looking for All Pro AP.

  20. You can thank the idiot former coaching staff of my Minnesota Vikings for wasting his prime.

  21. I love AP, and will always treasure the years he brought us in MN. In 2010-2012 in the Ponder years, there wasn’t really a lot of reasons to turn on the TV on Sunday, but it was worth it to watch him and Jared Allen.

    I absolutely think AP still has his abilities if given the carries that work for him…which is between the tackles non-shotgun formations.

    But unfortunately in the NFL now backs just get many touches if they can’t do many things. AP is part of a old school type of running and football that teams just don’t do anymore.

    Teams run out of the shotgun..which he can’t do…they need passing catching RB’s, which he is not, and they need someone to pick up the blitz on third down which he doesn’t do well.

    He’s amazing at what he does, and I think he still can, but I just don’t think he will be given enough opportunities to get what he is capable done. I hope he gets the stats he needs, for whatever record he is trying to surpass, and than just signs a one day deal with the Vikings and retires. He is just tarnishing his HOF status with these pointless years.

  22. If he gets to play the hapless packer d for 16 straight weeks he will run for at least 10,000 yards this year.

    Wasnt it feast or famine with AP? Over 150 yards or under 80 very rarely between this two during his games vs. Gb?

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