The best runner in the league, a monster, future Hall of Famer… all titles by which Adrian Peterson has been called after his first season carrying the rock for the Minnesota Vikings.
Is he as good as his hype?
I truly believe that A.P. is a good back and will have a bright future in the NFL. With that out of the way, why is he as highly coveted as he is? Is it because he single-handedly destroyed the Monsters-of-the-Midway in week six posting 361 all-purpose yards? Or is because the rookie out of Oklahoma came back three weeks later and set an NFL record of 296 rushing yards against the Chargers?
Before the draft that landed Peterson in Minnesota, the Vikes signed a true “monster,” Steve Hutchinson to a seven-year $49 million contract. This move WAS and IS the key factor to the success of Adrian Peterson as a RB in the NFL. Not only did this move bring in one the best OL in the business, it completely solidified the left side of the Vikings line. By scribbling Hutchinson’s name on the starting lineup between C Matt Birk and LT Byrant McKinnie, Minnesota immediately had one of the strongest blocking tandems in the NFL.
You may say that Adrian Peterson might have been just as productive his rookie year even without the likes of Steve Hutchinson. Maybe he would have been. I am not so sure! What happened to Shaun Alexander when Hutchinson exited, what happened to the running game in Seattle at all?
Alexander became banged, bruised and beaten by opposing defenses is what happened. He fractured his toe, fractured his wrist, had a herniated disk in his neck, twisted his knee and ankle and was eventually replaced and released by the Seahawks. Insert “Madden Curse” comments here…
How did the X-NFL MVP have such a fast decline?
Shaun Alexander tore apart defenses in the seasons prior to the departure of Hutchinson. Then all of the sudden you take away his leading blocker and he can’t get off the stretcher. If you put a mended and healthy Alexander behind a solid-offensive line he will be as good as he once was. Side note: some team will get a steal when they take a “risk” and sign him.
However good I think Peterson is or can be, the signing of the Pro-Bowl guard to Minnesota pre-dating his arrival gives me questions. That being said, I will continue to watch him shred apart my beloved Bears defense and wonder what if Chicago could’ve landed him first! All hail Cedric Benson.