Top 5 Performances Of Adrian Peterson’s Career

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 1, 2010 – 11:17 am

When the Vikings resume their regular season slate of games next Monday night against the NY Jets, RB Adrian Peterson will suit up for the 50th game of his NFL career. Given that this is a significant milestone for Peterson and we’re in the midst of a bye weekend, what better time than now to look back at the finest performances of the young superstar’s career?

So, with 49 games in the books and #50 on the horizon, here’s a look at the top 5 games in Peterson’s career (in our opinion). If you have a disagreement or any other thoughts on the matter, leave it in the comments section below this entry.

#5: Game-Winner Over Green Bay
On November 9 of 2008, the Vikings welcomed the Green Bay Packers to the Metrodome for a Week 10 NFC North showdown with division implications on the line. The Vikings came in having lost 5 consecutive games to Green Bay, a streak that left both head coach Brad Childress and Peterson winless against the Green and Gold during their Viking careers. Peterson put an end to the streak in dramatic fashion.

Trailing 27-21 late in the 4th quarter, Peterson took a handoff and bolted through the line of scrimmage and past the Green Bay defense, ultimately reaching out to the endzone pylon to edge out Packers S Atari Bigby for a 29-yard score. That put the Vikings ahead 28-27 and then a missed FG from 52 yards by Mason Crosby sealed the deal for the Vikings.

Peterson sliced up the Green Bay defense on the afternoon, rushing for 192 yards and 1 TD on 30 carries. After the game, Peterson described his performance as the most satisfying of his career to date.

#4: Tossing Defenders Aside
The storyline entering 2009 was that the Vikings had acquired former rival Brett Favre to be their QB. But it didn’t take Peterson long to remind everyone that this was his team. In the Vikings season-opener at Cleveland on September 13, Peterson ripped off one of the most impressive runs of his career along the way to a mammoth performance that paced the Vikings to victory.

The run came in the 4th quarter when he took a handoff and sprinted up the left side of the field. He broke several tackles along the way but then was seemingly cornered by 3 Browns defenders. Rather than simply settle to be tackled after a nice pickup, Peterson refused to be stopped and instead literally threw CB Eric Wright to the side and sprinted away from everyone else for a 64-yard score, his 3rd of the day.

When all was said and done, Peterson had 180 yards and 3 TDs on 25 carries.

#3: Paving the Way for 1st Win of 2010
The Vikings came into their Week 3 game against the Detroit Lions with a surprising 0-2 record. Historically Peterson has played well against the Lions and that trend continued as he led the Vikings to their 1st win of 2010 and logged the longest TD run of his career along the way.

The run came late in the 3rd quarter with the Vikings clinging to a 17-10 lead. Peterson took a handoff and bolted up the middle toward a pack of Lions defenders. That’s when he turned on a dime to the right, headed to the sideline and then turned upfield to outrace a trio of Lions defenders for an 80-yard score that electrified the crowd.

Peterson finished the day with 160 yards and 2 TDs on 23 carries, reminding everyone again why he’s the best RB in the NFL.

#2: Peterson Carries Vikings to Victory at Soldier Field
The Vikings have a long history of great games against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Peterson’s 1st game at the historic venue fits right in. He was a true all-around threat on the afternoon, totaling 361 all-purpose yards to help the Vikings edge out the Bears 34-31.

Peterson was a monster on the ground, churning out 224 yards and 3 TDs on just 20 attempts. He scored on runs of 67, 73 and 35 yards and also broke Chuck Foreman’s team record for rushing yards in a game; it was the most yards the Bears had allowed from an individual in their then 88-year history.

But the most important play of the day for Peterson came on a kick return. Following an 81-yard TD pass from Devin Hester that tied the game at 31, Peterson secured the ensuing kickoff and dashed 53 yards straight up the middle to eventually setup Ryan Longwell for a game-winning 54-yard FG.

The 361 all-purpose yards for Peterson came from 224 yards on the ground, 9 receiving yards and 128 kickoff return yards.

#1: Peterson Sets NFL Single-Game Rushing Record
Having already burst onto the scene with a 100-yard rushing game in his NFL debut and a performance for the ages in Chicago (361 all-purpose yards), Peterson took the field against the San Diego Chargers on November 4 and put together the best single-game rushing performance in the history of the league.

At the time, LaDainian Tomlinson was regarded as the best RB in the NFL. Peterson was in the midst of changing that.

Peterson carried the ball 30 times and rushed for 296 yards, establishing a new single-game record in the NFL and topping the previous record-holder – Jamal Lewis – by a yard. His performance also included 3 TDs on runs of 64, 46 and 1 yard, good enough to lead the Vikings to a 35-17 victory over the Chargers.

Honorable Mention
2009 NFC Championship Game: 25 carries, 122 yards and 3 TDs
11/15/09 vs. Detroit: 18 carries, 133 yards, 2 TDs
10/18/09 vs. Baltimore: 22 carries, 143 yards
10/19/08 at Chicago: 22 carries, 121 yards, 2 TDs
9/14/08 vs. Indianapolis: 29 carries, 160 yards
9/09/07 vs. Atlanta (NFL debut): 19 carries, 103 yards; 1 rec., 60 yards for a TD

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 39 Comments »

39 Responses to “Top 5 Performances Of Adrian Peterson’s Career”

  1. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    AP is the best there is period.

  2. By Justin in Rochester on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    I think the 3 fumbles remove NFCCG even from Honorable Mention but that is just me.

  3. By John on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    I’m a huge AP fan and always will be.

    It’s funny how so many people wanted him traded because of his fumbling problem, and now they’re changing their mind and acting like they never thought that. That whole idea is stupid to begin with.

  4. By ORVikingFan on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    I agree the 3 fumbles definately should remove the NFCCG from honorable mention….With that being said…AP is a BEAST! Now if we could get some receviers we would be good to go. Its funny cause any recevier who steps up this year can make his paycheck worth that much more in the coming years…Look what favre did for Rice.

  5. By ORVikingFan on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    John, you are correct…I always wondered if those were true Viking fans or Packer fans pretending to be viking fans. That was always crazy to hear…WTF would you trade the best back in the league (but than again the Vikings did get rid of the best WR in the league MOSS)…You can work on the fumbles (some of the greatest backs had fumbling problems the first few years) but you cant train the eye for the game AP has.

  6. By Bruce on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    Let’s not build him too much Mike, he seems to play his best when he feels he has something to prove.

  7. By fmfan on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    AP only fumbled 2 times in the NFCCG and neither one was lost. Just the Favre lovers blame AP for the bad handoff in the red zone.

  8. By Malte on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    fmfan, ad claimed that the handoff was his fault.. right after the game he said that it was his fault and not favre.. when that’s said adrian peterson is awesome, and way more funny to watch that Chris Johnson.. he is all about speed, not these nice moves as AP makes.. AP is worth paying money to watch ;)

  9. By fmfan on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    That’s just AP. He takes the blame instead of pointing fingers at others. What should he of said the future H.O.Fer, icon, lord Favre has to move a little faster to get the handoff to me in time or the linemen are not blocking correctly to make holes for me to run through. I don’t think so.

  10. By DAC on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    I Feel that one play and one play alone against the steelers was impressive. The check down that turned into a knock out on the d-back.

  11. By Preston on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    Totally agree with number one, but Childress messed up by taking AP out of the game at the end. He would have been the first RB to get 300 rushing yards a game. The Chargers couldn’t stop him.

  12. By Eugene on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    I like that play when he trucked William Gay of the Steelers! But overall AP is the best in the business hands down CJ cool but AP is a BEAST!! PERIOD I don’t care about the fumbles the man is a BEAST. And yes you do mention that NFCCG BECAUSE the 3 TD’s and 122 yards on the ground NEGATES those fumbles because IMO he made up for them by recovering them you take his TD’s out that NFCCG then we lose by more than 3 points even when we had all our recievers AP kept us in the game that’s why I rock my AP Jersey proudly the man is a BEAST!!

  13. By Woodboat on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    Early in this thread someone said that their wer people that wanted to see him traded because of his fumbling issues. I am out here in California so I don’t get to hear a lot of local Minn. scuttlebutt. People actually wanted to see him traded? Really? Thats like wanting to get rid of a Porsche because the right headlight is out. Fix the problem and you’ve got one of the baddest cars on the road.

  14. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    With AP at running back you dont need a no.1 receiver all you need are guys that will catch the ball and get a first down because every one is afraid of the BEST RB IN THE LEAGUE ADRIAN ALL DAY PETERSON. To any one who wanted to trade him go get checked out by a doctor to see if you are sane.

  15. By Ragnar's Disciple on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    #5 on the list is my favorite. I was on the front row on the 30 yard line and that 29-yard TD happened right in front of me. The Metrodome went absolutely ballistic. Best moment in my Viking fan career. To top it off, I was there with my friend who is a Packer fan and to see his reaction was priceless.

    So we all know All Day is the best, so why don’t we sign him to the biggest running back contract in NFL history? PAY THE MAN!!!! Make it a at least a 6 year deal too, that will keep him there until he’s 31

  16. By Loren on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    Has there ever been another running back like A.D. He already set the single game record.A physically punishing runner with lightning moves and game breaking speed.We are lucky to be watching a legend in the making.Favre knows it,thats why hes in Minnesota.

  17. By joe on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    Green Bay game nees to be higher, he was a beast in that game. And to top it off any time Buck and Aikman send praise the Vikings way is good!!!

  18. By Carl K on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    AP got pummeled by media and fans “as Childress states” and I will admit I was one of those fans that moved him from the #1 spot to the second best RB in the NFL. AP is playing like he has something to prove. I am eating my words right now… and I am loving it. AP you are a true professional and a joy to watch. Keep up the hard work. I will also say John that you are not alone… this offseason Mike Wobschall wrote about the debate who is the #1 RB in the NFL. I don’t remember too much support in here for Chis Johnson as #1. John don’t blame all the fans in here… just me.

  19. By akviking on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    Love to watch ap run the ball. My only fear is we we may ride that horse too hard too early in the season and wear him down. Hopefully we can help him out a little in the next few games and take a little pressure off him.

  20. By Bruce on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    Fmfan, I’m convinced you are just some Favre Hating Packer Fan! I saw that game and replayed that several times. Favre put that ball right in AP’s bread basket. AP didn’t have his arme open enough to receiver the ball! IT WAS AP’S FAULT AND HE RIGHTLY TOOK THE BLAME! QUIT RAGGING ON FAVRE AND GET OFF OF OUR WEBSITE!

  21. By Bruce on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    And AP has some of the biggest arms of all RBs and they even talked about that being a problem for his fumbling with such large biceps. It doesn’t matter anymore because he seems to have fixed that. But I respect the guy because he did take the blame for that handoff like he should have. Unfortunately the way this game is set up as far as stats, the QB ALWAYS gets the blame for every fumble and every interception because the league says they can’t creidt it to the guy that didn’t have posession yet. So by default they credit the last guy to have the ball which is always the quarterback. And Favre gets blamed ALL THE TIME FOR EVERY FUMBLE AND EVERY INTERCPETION whether he caused it or not. It isn’t right and guys like you need to get off of his back!

  22. By RUN AP on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    Man this guy is fun to watch. I live in Myrtle Beach, SC and made the trip to Minnesota last week for the game. Wow what a great game cant wait until i move out to Minnesota next year and become a Vikings season ticket holder. Thanks AP your so much fun to watch!!! SKOL VIKINGS

  23. By Cooely on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    I remember watchin the san diego game. AP best of all time!

  24. By rodney on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    Can someone tell me way we would not bring cris carter in for a WR coach ..Look what he did for Moss.and Rice..Did you know he works with rice in the off season..

  25. By rodney on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    A.P. speaks for himself.He is a beast.But lets all hope him and brett stay healthy

  26. By fmfan on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    Bruce you are half right I am a Favre hater have been since the early 90′s but I have been a Vikings fan since the 60′s. Favre is way past his prime he can’t even get away from a pass rush anymore and alot of his throws are not very accurate. Great catchs make the old man better than he is.

  27. By paul on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    How many M.V.P. awards, how many championships?

    This is what counts…

  28. By Bruce on Oct 2, 2010 | Reply

    Fmfan, you couldn’t be more wrong about Favre. Last year at 40 years olf he put up better numbers than 30 of 31 quarterbacks who were much younger than him. His best season of his career deserved the MVP award but unfortunately, a lot of those 50 AP Sports writers are just like you. They despise Favre and worship Manning. Peyton had more interceptions than his brother Eli had and he didn’t even make the top 5 passer rating. Favre put a lot more guys in the Pro Bowl than Peyton did and that’s value! But Favre got s c r e w e d by Haters just like you. And this year, 4 of 4 interceptions were not even his fault. When tackles let defensive ends through to Favre and receivers don’t break when they are suppose to or catch the ball that hits them in the chest or the ball flies through their hands, well that isn’t Favre’s Fault! You will be eating your words when the Vikings get this turend around and the tackles block better and when Favre gets dependable receivers. And he moves pretty d a m n good for being 41 years old if you ask me! So why don’t you try being a true fan and support your team and the quarterback who plays on it. I was born in the 50s and I know when I see a player who gives 110% and Favre is that man!

  29. By TWVIKE on Oct 3, 2010 | Reply

    Did CJ fumble again? AP is the BEST RB IN THE NFL, PERIOD!

  30. By Tim on Oct 4, 2010 | Reply


  31. By Tim on Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

    At this point, giving 100% is not going to be enough. Our boys are gonna have to give 120% plus to turn this season around. Look at our schedule. Its brutal. Last year we had time to catch our breath. Not this year. GO VIKINGS

  32. By Carl K on Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

    We will turn this season around.

  33. By Carl K on Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

    The Bears and Packers will not win ten games!

  34. By GOLDVIKE on Oct 4, 2010 | Reply


  35. By Jared on Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

    AP may fumble alot or have fumbled alot in the past but honestly he is still the best RB. Chris Johnson was seen by alot of people to take Peterson over to become the best RB but look at the first 3 or 4 games. Peterson has done better in his first 3 games than Chris Johnson has done in his first 4 games. Peterson is still the best RB and he will be for years to come. AP is simply amazing.

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