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“Best In The Biz” Debates Adrian Peterson vs. Chris Johnson

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 8, 2010 – 4:54 am

The NFL Network’s “Best in the Biz” series rolled on last night as analyst Jamie Dukes ranked his top 5 RBs in the league. Dukes’ list began with a tie at #5 between Maurice Jones-Drew and Michael Turner, then moved to Frank Gore at #4 and Steven Jackson at #3. It’s pretty obvious who remained for the top 2 spots – Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson – as a league-wide debate has raged for months over which player is the better RB.

Dukes sided with Johnson, citing the fact that the Tennessee Titans star generated 45% of his team’ offense in 2009 and also pointing out the fumbling issue Peterson is dealing with. So Dukes rounded out his top 5 with Peterson at #2 and Johnson at #1. Two more interesting nuggets from the piece were that Dukes seemed a bit critical of the 14-pound football the Vikings RBs were using during offseason workouts and Dukes’ fellow analyst – Charles Davis – said that if forced to choose between the 2 RBs, he’d take Peterson.

For what it’s worth, I’ll acknowledge that there’s ample amount of evidence to support both sides of this debate. But I’d also have to say that if forced to choose between the 2 RBs, I’m taking Adrian.

Clearly Johnson had the better 2009 season, especially when you look at rushing yards – Johnon had over 2,006 and Peterson had 1,383. But I’m looking at the total body of work and I’m also projecting what type of season they’re going to have in 2010. Over the first 3 years of his career, Peterson has earned AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors (2007), became the NFL’s leading rusher (2008) and then was the league’  TDs leader (2009). He also shared the ball last year with QB Brett Favre and a bevy of other talented offensive players (Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Visanthe Shiancoe). Oh, and he’s also a 3-time Pro Bowler.

Then as we look ahead to the 2010 season, it’s my opinion that Peterson is set up to have the better year. His offensive line comes back in tact with another year of cohesion under their belts and the offense as a whole returns all 11 starters and has replaced the loss of Chester Taylor with 2nd round pick Toby Gerhart.

I don’t want to disrespect Johnson because what he accomplished last year and how he accomplished it was something special. As both Dukes and Davis mentioned in the segment, Johnson displayed an ability to generate yards and he did it by catching the ball and running both between the tackles and on the perimeter. But I”m still taking Peterson over Johnson.

This isn’t the 1st time Peterson’s been tied to another star RB in a debate over who is the better player. Last offseason, Hall of FAme RB Jim Brown touched off a debate when he said Peterson was the NFL’s most complete back.

LaDainian Tomlinson took offense to that claim, saying “The difference with me is you can put me out on that field and there will be nothing I can’t do.  I won’t have to come off the field.  Adrian has to come off sometimes on third down.  Running routes, he’s still not there yet.

“But anything on that field you want me to do — throw it, block — I can do it.  That’s what I pride myself on is not having any weaknesses.  And that’s what makes me the best back.”

Now Johnson is the latest RB to be linked to Peterson in a debate over who is the better player. And Johnon, like Tomlinson, isn’t afraid to come to his own defense.

“You’ve still got people debating — is it Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson?” Johnson told The Sporting News. “No way possible there should be a debate about who’s the best running back in the NFL.”

Johnson is wrong; there is reason for debate. I guess another reason I side with Peterson is that in both the debate between Peterson and Tomlinson and Peterson and Johnson, Peterson is the one who you don’t hear from. He doesn’t get wrapped up in it himself, and that’s an admirable trait in an NFL star.


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25 Responses to ““Best In The Biz” Debates Adrian Peterson vs. Chris Johnson”

  1. By Will J. on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    Dear Brad Childress,
    My name is Will Joyce and I am a huge fan of the Minnesota Vikings. I think that our offense will be even better if you signed free agent Terrell Owens. He would make a great addition to our team. Not only that, but he could be a Backup RB for Toby Gerhart. Please consider my suggestion. Thank you very much!

    Sincerley,
    Will Joyce

  2. By big3 on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    @Will Joyce, check the history between these two

    “Owens clashed with management this summer and earned a one-week exile from training camp after a heated dispute with Reid that followed a shouting match with offensive coordinator Brad Childress. ”

    Just say no to T.O. He is old and slow and has no Running Back skills. He has been a disruption to every team he has played for. My only hope for T.O. is that he goes and plays for the Packers, Bears, or Lions.

  3. By PurplePeopleEater on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    So there you have it. Peterson just needs to take care of the fumbling problem and will once again be considered the best in the biz. I have to agree with the announcers that the 14-pound ball idea doesn’t appear to be something that will neccessarily cure the problem. I saw a clip in a video earlier where the coach had a rope strapped onto the ball. The back would perform running drills with the coach behind him yanking on the rope every now and then, forcing the back to be prepared for the strip at all times. In my opinion that drill (or one like it) should really work wonders on the fumbling problem and hopefully it will be a focus of AP’s training regimen this offseason.

  4. By Malte on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    will J. T.O is a fine reiceiver, don’t get me wrong, but you want his as a back up running back? what makes you think that T.O. could be a running back? – He dosen’t have the speed, or power to do that. Fine receiver, but not better than harvin, and B twice
    And to the debate. CJ was better in 09 no doubt about it. But i like peterson attitude more, and I like Peterson way more. The only thing CJ got is speed.. Not fun running abilities like peterson has. The ability to run over, by and perhaps under people is what makes him so unique :)
    also peterson was the person every defence gameplanned their defense against in the last season, that also why Brett was so fantastic. if you take out #28 then you have alot of talent on the outsite (AND middle) to worry about

  5. By Rogerthevikefan on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    Petey is the best but he has work. We will see this year that he is the ultimate rb with out a dout

  6. By Tom on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    Will, T.O. is poison to everything he touches, don’t be a knucklehead! At this point in time iI would take AP

  7. By Rogerthevikefan on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    Reynaud and gerhart will be better then t.o. as a third down back. The only way i see us getting t.o. is if rice and bb both go down so not likely

  8. By Cooely on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    agreeable to everyone, leave owens alone. we dont need him at all, especially at RB. let gerhart bloom! i see real promise in this kid. back to “best in the biz” discussion, he couldnt have been more right about CJ havin a better season last year but if you really look at the stats AP has stayed consistent even with defenses planning their strategies around him. Granted, CJ is improving as well i think its still too early to say he’s better than AP. now that people see him as a threat, lets see how he does this season

  9. By Carl K on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    YARDS are “the way” we measure the greatness of a running back. Right now Chris Johnson is the rushing leader from last year. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry… that is insane! Over 2000 yards! He had to earn that #1 spot. AP certainly has the potential to out rush and out catch Johnson in 2010… but until then, Johnson gets to wear the crown as the best back in the NFL.

  10. By Lance on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    Peterson is a class act. He is humble off the field and violent on the field. In my eyes Adrian is the best back in the league. What wins games yards or touchdowns? Adrian had the most touchdown of any rb last year. Chris Johnson is a “PAY ME” person. He strikes me as greedy. But hey that’s just my opinion.

  11. By Ryan on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    AP is the crown running back cj is 2nd. Cj is soft he can’t handle punishment like ap. Cj tackles and lays down ap runs over people and is stubborn will not go down if one on one he will fight with a pack of wolves he has a killer instinct.

  12. By Ryan on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    AP needs to tell cj to shut his mouth hahah cj your a dumb fool ap will show you whats up this season I know he heard you.

  13. By Rogerthevikefan on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    You can have however many yards you want but scoreing is what matters. Who cares if cj gets 2000 yards for the next 5 years but it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t score it is that simple. Just going from td stand point ap is the best. He will be better this year and will get over 2000 yrds and 15 – 20 tds cause ap will make all the douters pay just like farve did and will do again this year.

  14. By hahaha on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    AP wins. watch CJ end the 2010 season with 1200 yards. and AP sitting tall at 1500. give or take. need to do that to burst CJ2FAKE’s Ego and hype. Tennessee knew they werent going anywhere with their season so they just stat amped CJ’s yards every play so they could atleast say they accomplished something last season.

  15. By vikex on Jul 8, 2010 | Reply

    Peterson is still #1. I’d take 1300 yds with 18 tds and a play off berth over 2000 yds and no play off berth. If cj has a better season than ap this year then sure, i’d consider cj the top back. But i doubt that will happen. We’re going to have to wait and see. And the reason why cj is complaining about his contract is because he knows that he won’t be able to put up numbers like he did last year ever again or anything close to it. He’s afraid that if he doesnt get a new contract that will pay him big now, he may never get one that will pay him big for putting up numbers like he did last year. He knows that he probably won’t even be considered a top back in a year or two so thats why he wants his money now instead of proving this season that he is one of the best and then get his new contract that will pay him big.

  16. By Anthony on Jul 9, 2010 | Reply

    No Chris Johnson is right, there is no debate. He’s a 1 year fluke, who got force fed the ball on a 0-6 team, before VY took over and they started to win. With Tarvaris Jackson at QB as a rookie, AP didn’t let his team go 0-6, mind you the Titans had Kerry Collins who is a pretty good QB. CJ is right, there is no debate because hes not in it wth his 1 fluke season, come see me next year when you rush for 1250 yards.

    AP clearly better RUNNING BACK.

  17. By meswant on Jul 9, 2010 | Reply

    AP is the #1 for the simple reason as results matter. Sure cj got the yards, but like everyone said, AP got the results – tds!!! You can run all you want but if at the end of the day/game you did not put any points on the board, what did you accomplish??? you ran & got tired. Sure, AP did not play every 3rd down, they put CT in to keep AP fresh to do what he does best – get tds!!! Yards look good but if you don’t have the tds to go with it you did not do as good as you think. How often do you hear about WR’s with just lots of yards?? You hear about the yards & tds, the great ones have both. Just like AP. It would be cool to see what AP’s ratio is for yards per td. Anyone know???

  18. By XBigDave70X on Jul 9, 2010 | Reply

    Chris Johnson should not even be compared to AP. Chris johnson runs sweep plays, that is how he gets his yards. He has no fumbles? Of course not. Who fumbles when they run out of the sideline if there are defenders to close for comfort. AP is a force to be recon with, he shows that on every play, every down. He fights for every inch. Johnson wont fight for anything. If the defense does not give it to him, he will just run out of the sideline. Johnson is a boy in a mans game, and AP is the man.

  19. By josh on Jul 10, 2010 | Reply

    you ever seen cj block for someone? the answer is no, because he can’t… i love watching ap block for sidney or percy. i agree with whoever said he’s a class act too. not selfish, he knows what his problem is, and he’s dead set on fixing it. i mean look at his production last year even WITH the fumbling lol… he’s the best in the league. period.

  20. By GOLDVIKE on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    WHO’S BETTER ALLDAY IS ALLDAY!!!!!!

  21. By onelasplaya on Jul 14, 2010 | Reply

    Hmmm..first things first…Adrian peterson….this dude had a couple fumbles in a NFC championship game….if we need to discuss this further…….have a seat and raise ur hand…….Terrell owens…..really?….how about ochocinco?…those guys wanna be something else….not recievers in the NFL.

  22. By dude on Jul 15, 2010 | Reply

    *Raises hand*. Oh, you mean the 2 fumbles that were BOTH recovered by the Vikings, which had little to no affect on the games’ outcome?

  23. By VFL VIKING 4 life on Jul 17, 2010 | Reply

    ive watched every snap of adrian petersons , and i kno, the only person who can stop him , is himself . this debate about who is better is not worth having yet. AP or CJ? AP has been the top dog ang cj just sky rocketed to 2000 yrds. chris johnson is now number 2 , YEA! 2. lets see how he does with the target on his chest. the same target AP has held and overcome in the last 3 yrs . defenses are hunting for him now. lets see how CJ does when hes the hunted. because AP is the hunter the top dog #1 btw his schedule last yr as apposed to CJs , speaks for itself…,..

  24. By Susan on Jul 19, 2010 | Reply

    Chris J. thinks he’s a big “gangsta”, ala Pacman Jones. Did you see his “act” at the ESPYs? Yeah, a cross between a Gangsta and a Super Fly. He’ll probably be dead or in prison in three years! (I’m not trying to be mean … I’m just calling it as I see it.) AP is a class act and a gentleman all the way … and he’s in this game for the long haul … he won’t “crash and burn” in a year or two like Johnson.

  25. By rino on Jul 20, 2010 | Reply

    NOW A.P. VS C.J . WHO IS BETTER I KNOW C.J. THINKS HE IS. CJ HAS PLAYED 2 SEASON AND RUSH FOR 3234 IF AM CORRECT AND AP HAS PLAYED 3 SEASON AND RUSH FOR 4484. AP PLAYS AGAISNT AN 8 MAN FRONT NEARLY EVERY GAME LAST YEAR AND STILL DID GOOD CJ PLAYED AGAINTS LESS. PETERSON PLAYED TO WIN NOT TO BREAK RECORDS JUST HOPES HE BREAKS THEM WHILE HES AT IT CJ IS A GOOD RB BUT THE LAST 3 OR 4 GAMES IT BECAME ABOUT THE RECORDS WITH CJ AND THE TITANS THATS THE ONLY REASON CJ WENT 2000. SO FOR ME THEY ARE TIED AT SECOND NO ONE IS FIRST THIS SEASON WILL BE THE ONE TO TELL YOU WHO IS THE BEST AP OR CJ. THE DEFENFE WILL SHOW CJ THE SAME RESPECT THEY SO AP. I PREDICT AP RANKS #1 IN RUSHING ,AND TD BY THE END OF THE SEASON ALSO HE WILL RANK #1 OVERALL IN THE 2000 YEARD CLUB CJ WILL HAVE AND AVERAGE SEASON NOT EXCEEDING THE 1500 YARDS AND THATS THAT

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