The Adrian Peterson experiment in Washington is off to a great start. The 33-year old running back has been a delight for the Redskins even though he joined the team just before their third preseason game. He has since earned the starting running back role. In Week 1’s win at Arizona, Peterson finished with 96 yards rushing on 26 carries and a touchdown — his 100th career and added 70 yards receiving, thanks in large to a dump-off pass that he turned into 52 yards.
After one week, Peterson leads the Redskins in rushing and receiving yards. It’s a contrast from what Peterson displayed each of the last three seasons. After closing the book on a 10-year career with the Minnesota Vikings appearing in 13 games over the final two years there, Peterson had a dud of a season in 2017 that started in New Orleans and ended in Arizona. Adjectives such as washed up and old follow his name before he signed with the Redskins in August following a string of injuries that ravaged through the running back position.
Now, with his career rejuvenated, Peterson is looking forward to playing well beyond the one-year deal he signed with the Redskins. While appearing on Pro Football Talk’s podcast, Peterson stated he has his eyes set on the NFL’s all-time rushing record, currently held by Emmitt Smith, and that he is looking forward to playing three to four more years in the league.
“I feel like it’s realistic you know very realistic,” Peterson said earlier this week on the #PFTPM podcast. “In the great words of Kevin Garnett, ‘Anything is possible.’ So that’s how I view it. If I’m to continue to have success, stay injury-free and play three to four more years and I definitely see myself claiming that title and in order to achieve something you have to believe it, you know? So I’m a believer.”
Peterson is currently 5,973 yards behind Smith’s record 18,355. At his peak, Peterson averaged just over 1,500 yards in the seven seasons he played at least 14 games. At that rate, he’d need four full seasons to cover the yards needed, including this season with Washington.
Peterson is a physical specimen, and even at an old age in running back terms he is an above average running back. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden marveled at Peterson’s stamina during his workout that landed him a spot on the Redskins roster. If there was anyone playing running back that could defy Father Time, it would be Peterson. Only time will tell if he genuinely is willing to commit to the four more seasons, maybe more, that it will take to reach Smith’s record and if his mythical body hold up that long.