Photo via Bruce Hemmelgarn, USA Today Sports
The only accomplishment Adrian Peterson (Palestine) has yet to achieve is appear in a Super Bowl and win a championship. Peterson has the money and the numbers.
If Peterson’s goal is to strictly win a ring, then he could go to teams like the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers, the Seattle Seahawks or the New York Giants.
However, if Peterson wants to both compete for a ring and still be a starting running back, one team gives him the best chance to do both: the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens’ lead running back in 2016 was Terrance West and he was serviceable if unspectacular with 193 running attempts in 13 starts with 774 yards and five rushing touchdowns. Rookie Kenneth Dixon had 88 rushing attempts in 12 games and Justin Forsett played in just three games. The Ravens’ best performer might have been their fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Peterson would become the best running back on the team and he would join an offense that has a quality quarterback in Joe Flacco and an underrated receiving corps with Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman and Dennis Pitta. The Ravens also have the best guard in the NFL in Marshal Yanda, along with two other guards Jeremy Zuttah and Ricky Wagner and tackle Ronnie Stanley. The Ravens’ offensive line was ranked ninth on Pro Football Focus.
Regardless, if Peterson wins a Super Bowl, he will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
His career began with a record-setting game in 2007 when he rushed for 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers, a mark that still stands and helped him win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Peterson has put up dominant numbers, but he was at his best when the Vikings had Gus Frerotte and Christian Ponder (Colleyville Heritage) at quarterback.
Frerotte was the quarterback in 2008 when Peterson rushed for 1,760 yards for his first rushing title. The Vikings went 10-6, won the NFC North and made the playoffs that year. The Vikings lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 26-14, despite two rushing touchdowns from Peterson.
Of course, Peterson had one of the all-time seasons in 2012 when he ran for 2,097 yards, which was just eight yards shy of the single-season record set by Eric Dickerson (Sealy) in 1984. The Vikings went 10-6 and made the playoffs with Ponder as the quarterback and lost to the Green Bay Packers in the wild card game, despite 99 yards from Peterson.
Peterson has put up elite numbers with above average quarterbacks too.
Peterson ran for 1,383 rushing yards and led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns in 2009 with Brett Favre as the quarterback. The Vikings went 12-4 and made the NFC Championship. Peterson ran for 122 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints, but the Vikings lost the game 31-28 in overtime.
The Vikings had Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback in 2015 and Peterson led the NFL with 327 rushing attempts, captured his third rushing title with 1,485 yards and led the league in touchdowns for the second time with 11. The Vikings went 11-5, won the division and lost to the Seattle Seahawks on the road on the infamous Blair Walsh shank.
Even though in two of his last three seasons he’s played a total of four games, Peterson has still been one of the most durable running backs of his time. He’s made at least 14 starts six times. In his first seven seasons, he played in at least 12 games and he’s had over 200 rushing attempts in a season eight times. But his recent durability, his age (31) and his injury history will be the determining factors in what he gets for his next contract.
Brought to you by: