Let’s ignore for a moment that Christian Ponder played his worst game yet on Sunday at Green Bay, offering a performance that probably couldn’t have been any worse had he woke up with the expressed goal of making sure no NFL team ever wanted to see him under center again.
Let’s ignore the fact that Ponder’s pitiful excuse for NFL quarterbacking cost his team a chance to steal what would’ve been a huge win from a banged up and vulnerable Packers team at Lambeau Field.
Let’s even ignore that the Vikings’ committal to giving Ponder the season to prove himself (which I support), apparently takes precedence over the rest of the roster, meaning the coaching staff refuses to bench Ponder even for a series out of respect to the other players and their efforts to win a game.
Let’s just, for today, appreciate the greatness of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
Peterson rushed for 210 yards on Sunday, including an 82-yarder that was not only the longest run of his career but probably the most entertaining (I expected him to get caught from behind, but the replay showed — awesomely — that Peterson was watching himself on the Jumbotron, so he saw the pursuit and kept it in high gear).
It’s remarkable what Peterson is doing right now because of the fact that Ponder and the passing game have been so bad. Peterson is literally the only thing defenses have to concern themselves with. We’re not just seeing 8-man fronts, we’re seeing 9 and 10 guys creep up into the box (which says a lot about how bad pathetic it is that the pass game can’t get going, but I promised not to talk about that).
With his 210 yards on 21 carries Sunday, Peterson now has 1,446 yards on 234 carries — a flat out ridiculous 6.2 yards per carry. He’s averaging more yards per rush than Ponder averages per pass, which, again is amazing and pathetic.
In Peterson’s last six games, he’s rushed for 153, 123, 182, 171, 108 and 210, with yards per carry averages of 6.7, 8.2, 10.7, 6.3, 6.0 and 10.0.
That’s a total of 947 yards on 121 carries — a 7.8 average.
That’s as good a six-game stretch as you’ll ever see, and it’s coming from a guy who massively destroyed his knee last December and only ended up missing one game — one — because of it.
It’s tempting to lament that fact that the Vikings are in serious danger of wasting the prime of one of the greatest players in NFL history but I’m trying not to think about that for now. I’m trying to enjoy the fact that I get to watch this guy every week.
The love affair that NFL offenses currently have with the forward pass was almost starting to make it seem like the Hall of Fame running back was an endangered species. It’s been thrilling to watch Peterson prove that not to be true.
There have been all kinds of superlatives thrown AP’s way, and they’re all deserved. My favorite came from my friend Chris, who is a Cowboys fan, via text message:
“Adrian Peterson is an alien.”