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The Best Running Back In The NFL? It’s Not Even Close…

October 31, 2011

Remember when there used to be a debate about the best running back in the NFL? Neither does Adrian Peterson.

Even after scoring his big payday, Peterson continues to make his team consider him a bargain. Instead of losing his drive and resting on his laurels, Adrian Peterson continues to improve his craft.

During Sunday’s victory over the Carolina Panthers, Peterson was the offense. His 21 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown led all rushers in the game. Add in his team-high 5 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown, and there was little doubt as to who was steering the Vikings ship to victory.

Perhaps more important than Peterson’s stats is his angry, aggressive running style when he gets his hands on the ball. His bullish ball carrying style allows him to lead by example, and when his team needed a game-tying score in the third quarter, there was no way he would be denied on his nine-yard touchdown run.

Much will be said and written about Ponder’s leadership in his first NFL win this week, but having a teammate like Adrian Peterson cannot be quantified. Not only does Peterson dominate opposing defenses, but he also demands excellence from his teammates. During the game, Ponder erred, causing the offense to fire off a broken play. Peterson responded with a sharp reprimand of his teammate, but the running back was not calling out his quarterback; rather, he was helping Ponder understand that he – and the entire Vikings team – expects more from his leader under center. The Vikings quarterback took the criticism in stride and responded by putting the team in position for the victory.

You can compare statistics as much as you like, but on Sunday afternoons, Peterson rises above the rest. When deliberating over the best running back in the league, it’s not even close.

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