Today’s Vikings-49ers matchup at Mall of America Field will give fans a glimpse of the two best rookies from the 2007 NFL Draft class. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson and 49ers LB Patrick Willis were named AP Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, and today they will literally collide on the field for the third time in their careers.
As a rookie, Peterson burst onto the NFL scene in record-breaking fashion. He was named a starter in the Pro Bowl and earned MVP honors in the game following a season in which he ranked 1st in the NFC and second in the NFL with 1,341 rushing yards. Peterson also set the NFL single-game rushing record as a rookie, with 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers.
Since Peterson entered the League, he ranks 1st in rushing yards (6,896), rushing TDs (66), total TDs (69), points scored by non-kickers (414), rushing yards per game (91.9), rushes of 10+ yards (189) and scrimmage yards (8,228). Also, it took Peterson just 75 games to become the Vikings all-time leading rusher, as he surpassed Robert Smith in Week 1 of this season.
The 49ers found the cornerstone of their defense in the same draft, choosing Willis with the 11th overall selection. In his first regular season NFL game, Willis recorded 11 tackles and a forced fumble in helping lead the 49ers to a victory. Later in the season, Willis recorded a 20-tackle game as well. When all was said and done after his rookie season, Willis was credited by the club with over 200 tackles, 4.0 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Aside from earning AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, Willis was also named to the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro teams.
Tags: Adrian Peterson
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