Peterson looking to become No. 6

Peterson looking to become No. 6

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Adrian Peterson has been nothing short of spectacular in his first two NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Only four other runners have amassed more rushing yards in their first two seasons that Peterson has managed since entering the NFL as the Vikings first round draft pick, seventh overall, in 1997.

The former Oklahoma Sooner’s impact on the field was felt immediately when he made his NFL debut with a 100-yard rushing performance against the Atlanta Falcons in the 2007 regular season opener.

Not to be outdone, he added two more 100-yard games in Weeks 3 and 4 before he and the Vikings had a bye week. The rest must have helped him as he posted his first 200-yard game in the Vikes’ 34-31 win over the division rival Chicago Bears in Week 6.

Eric Dickerson - 3,913
Edgerrin James - 3,262
Earl Campbell - 3,147
Adrian Peterson - 3,101
Source: Elias Sports Bureau
Three weeks later he broke the bank with an NFL record 296 yards in Minnesota’s victory over the San Diego Chargers. He eclipsed the mark held by Jamal Lewis, then of the Baltimore Ravens.

But there’s another milestone number shared by Lewis that Peterson is taking aim at as he enters the 2009 season. Peterson has openly shared his desire to become the sixth man in the NFL’s 90-year history to gain 2,000 yards rushing in a season. After gaining 1,341 yards as a rookie, Peterson increased his rushing output to 1,760 yards last season. But, he clearly feels he could have reached the 2,000-yard mark.

"It sickens my stomach because I left yards out there. I cut the wrong way on some runs," he noted. "I look back and I say, 'Oh my God, I let it slip through my hands.' It was there for me. I have that bar set at 2,000 yards."

Peterson averaged 110 yards a game in ’08. He’ll have to find an extra 15 yards per game if he wants to join the five other runners in NFL annals to gain 2,000 yards in a season. A runner must average 125 yards per game to reach that plateau.

History's 2,000-yard Rushers:
Click on image for game-by-game rundown.

2,105 2,066 2,053 2,008 2,003
Eric Dickerson Jamal Lewis Barry Sanders Terrell Davis O.J. Simpson
Los Angeles Rams Baltimore Ravens Detroit Lions Denver Broncos Buffalo Bills
1984 2003 1997 1998 1973


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