Adrian Peterson leapfrogged a pair of Hall of Famers on Sunday. Now sitting at No. 10 on the all-time rushing list, Peterson continues to aspire to jump past nine more.
Yes, Peterson truly wants to surpass Emmitt Smith as the king of all NFL rusher.
“I feel like it’s realistic you know very realistic,” Peterson said in a Tuesday appearance on the #PFTPM podcast. “In the great words of Kevin Garnett, ‘Anything is possible.’ So that’s how I view it. If I’m to continue to have success, stay injury-free and play three to four more years and I definitely see myself claiming that title and in order to achieve something you have to believe it, you know? So I’m a believer.”
He’ll need to be a really big believer. Peterson currently has 12,372 yards. That’s 5,983 behind Smith’s 18,355.
Over four years, Peterson will need to average 1,495 per year to close the gap. Over three, it’s an average of 1,994 annually.
So it will likely take four solid years. And maybe parts of a fifth or six year.
Since his MVP season of 2012, during which Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards, Peterson has 3,427 yards. But two of those seasons were largely lost, one due to injury and one to an off-field issue. Injuries and underuse also kept him at only 529 total yards in 2017.
It remains a very tall order, and I remain completely unwilling to bet against one of the most talented and determined players in NFL history.
“I mean the guy’s incredible,” Colts coach Frank Reich told reporters on Wednesday, four days before his Colts try to contain Peterson. “Truly one of the greatest of all time [and he’s] just such an exciting and electric player. He still has that elusiveness and his inside running ability, the jump cut stuff that he’s always had. I mean, I just think this guy is one of the true all-time greats.”
He definitely is. And he’s unwilling to concede a fight that many would assume is already over. Those who assume that undoubtedly will further fuel Peterson to eventually prove them all wrong.