Sep 29, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) reacts after the NFL International Series game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Steelers 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Projecting Adrian Peterson's Stats

Adrian Peterson is off to a slow start this year.  But we all have to remember one thing: a slow start for Peterson is a great start for anyone else.  Through the first four games of the season, last year’s MVP has 421 yards on 92 attempts with five touchdowns.  If you use those numbers to project a season total for Peterson, you’d get a total of 1684 yards on 368 carries and 20 touchdowns.

Sep 28, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) flanked by quarterback Christian Ponder (7) at the NFL on Regent Street block party in advance of the NFL International Series game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Twenty touchdowns would be a career high for Adrian, since his best performance as far as rushing touchdowns came in 2009 when he ran in 18 scores, but it would be nowhere near the NFL record of 28 held by LaDainian Tomlinson.  And 1684 yards in a season would be his 3rd most, after last year’s nearly record breaking 2,097 yard performance and this 1,760 yards in 2008.

But it may not be fair to project Peterson’s statistics that way.  Last year, Peterson was coming off ACL surgery and rushed for 332 yards in his first 4 regular season games.  If you were to have projected those numbers to an entire season, he would have totaled 1,328 yards.  But Adrian blew the roof off those projections.  Actually, he rushed for 769 more yards than the projections.

Earlier this year, Peterson predicted that he would rush for 2,500 yards this year.   After the slow start, it would be hard to imagine him obtaining this goal.  One thing I’ve learned from watching Adrian all these years is to never count him out, even when things seem unlikely or nearly impossible.

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