Adrian Peterson among the greatest

Adrian Peterson among the greatestAmong the Greatest

A year ago, on Christmas Eve, Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson stayed on the ground after a run. He had torn two major ligaments in his knee. When the results were made known, some said his career was over, and most did not expect him to play in the 2012 season.

Today, the 30th of December, he is playing in the final game of the season. He will most likely get 2000 yards for the season, joining 6 other players in history to do so. If he can gain 208 years, he will pass Eric Dickerson as the all time leading rusher in a season. Dickerson accomplished his amazing achievement back in 1984.

In the first quarter of the game between Green Bay and Minnesota, Peterson ran for 68 yards, and scored a touchdown. He also caught a short pass for a second touchdown. At half time he had 91 yards.

If you watched the game, several of his first half runs were simply magnificent. He’s strong, fast, but what makes him great is his desire, his effort. If his knee was any problem for him during the season, he never showed that it was.

In the third quarter, the Vikings had a second down with 28 yards to go. Peterson ran for 29, bringing the day’s total to 142. Beginning the 4th quarter, he had 147 yards, needing 61 yards for the record.

If the Vikings win the game, they are in the playoffs. If they lose, Chicago backs in. As I watched, I wondered if Peterson could get the record, as well as ensure their participation in the playoffs.

With under 23 seconds left in the game, Peterson ran for 26 yards, putting their field goal kicker in position to win the game, tied with the Packers. The kick was good, with no time on the clock, and the Vikings won the game, 37-34. He ended the regular season with 2096 yards, 9 yards short of Dickerson’s 2105.

I’m sure that some of the crowd, and some viewers would have preferred to see the kicker miss the field goal, and go to overtime giving Peterson a chance to get 5 more yards. But professional football is a team game, and getting to the playoffs is the goal.

There is much discussion about who should be the “comeback player of the year”, and who should be the Most Valuable Player. Two players are the topic of discussion, Adrian Peterson, and Peyton Manning.

Those of you who follow the game know that Manning came back from neck surgery to lead his new team, the Denver Broncos, to the AFC West championship and the number one seed in the playoffs. He has had a great year.

My vote would remain with Peterson. If you know football, and understand the strain on knees, ankles, and hips a running back endures during a season, his accomplishment was beyond belief. I think he deserves both awards, the Vikings would be nowhere without him. I know what many of you are thinking, the same things can be said about Manning. But the difficulty of what Peterson accomplished from an injury that might have ended a lesser man’s career, gives him the nod.

It was a great season. And it was a disappointing season for some. The playoffs appear to be matched well, well enough to make most of them very exciting. So, who will win it all? I guess I have to make a prediction, it’s kind of my job.

I think the NFC representative in the Super Bowl will be the Atlanta Falcons. If they did not have home field advantage throughout the playoffs, I would have picked the 49ers. The Georgia Dome gives them the edge.

The team participating in the Super Bowl from the AFC is a little tougher. Earlier in the season, I believed the Houston Texans would stay at the top. But in the last month their offense and defense have been inconsistent. So, for me it comes down to two teams, the Denver Broncos, and the New England Patriots. Throughout the season Denver has consistently improved on both sides of the ball. New England had spurts during the season where they appeared to be able to score at will, and had a defense that was average, but could help them win. But there were times they seemed “easy pickings” for the opposition. Therefore, with the Broncos having home field advantage, and knowing that it’s just as tough for a visiting team to win in Denver as it is in Foxboro, I believe Peyton Manning will not only go to the Super Bowl, but also win his second.

I’m usually wrong. Even though I live in Nevada, I don’t bet on the games, I just lose my money.

Enjoy!

James Turnage
Columnist-The Guardian Express

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