Adrian Peterson was born on March 21, 1985. The 6-1 217 pound Peterson played his college football at Oklahoma. After a stellar college career he entered the 2007 NFL Draft with extremely high draft grades. Perhaps his only negative was whether or not he would be durable in the NFL. Peterson, also known as A.D. for “All Day,” a nickname given to him because he seemed to be able to carry the load all day long and torture opposing defenses, was drafted with the 7th pick of the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
Peterson Starts Season with a Bang
In his first NFL game, Adrian Peterson got everyone’s attention very quickly when the Minnesota Vikings hosted the Atlanta Falcons. Peterson reeled off 103 yards rushing on just 19 carries. The biggest play of the game came when he caught a screen pass and took it 60 yards for his first touchdown of his NFL career. The Vikings went on to win the game 24-3.
Adrian Peterson Sets Vikings’ Records
After two more 100-yard rushing performances in his next three games, Peterson and the Vikings traveled to Chicago to play the Bears, and their once feared defense that was led by Brian Urlacher. Adrian Peterson had a game for the ages. He scored on a 67-yard run in the second quarter, added a 73-yard touchdown burst in the third quarter, and then iced the game with a 35-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. In all, Adrian Peterson carried the football 20 times for a Vikings’ team record 224 yards and three touchdowns. To make his day even more amazing, he set a rookie record with 361 All-Purpose yards (It was the third most All-Purpose yards in NFL history). The Vikings as a team ran for 311 yards against the Bears and won 34-31.
The 73 yard touchdown run was the longest by a Minnesota Vikings rookie runner. “The one that I went `wow' on was actually the second one,” Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said of the 73 yarder. “He kind of cut it back, and there was a burst of speed when he burst through that initial first line of guys and then outran [cornerback Charles] Tillman to the end zone.” (1)
“The offensive line did a great job,” Adrian Peterson said after the Vikings' 34-31 victory. “They set the tone by playing physical. Every week I'm getting more comfortable with the speed of the game. For me, the difference is the little things. I'm learning not to be too fast out of the backfield and letting the linemen do their jobs so I don't miss big opportunities.” (2)
Adrian Peterson Sets NFL Single Game Rushing Record
During week 9 of the NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings played against another “Great Defense,” the San Diego Chargers. Peterson was about to embark on the annals of the NFL again. After Peterson was held to just 43 yards rushing in the first half, he exploded. He had touchdown runs of 1, 64, and 46 yards in the game, the last one sealing the victory. For the game, Peterson ran 30 times for 296 yards (an NFL record) and three touchdowns. He also set an NFL record with 145 yards rushing in the fourth quarter. To top it all off, he became the first player in NFL history to ever run for more than 200 yards twice in his rookie season. After the game, Peterson said, “I set my bar high because I know anything is possible when you continue to work hard.” (4)
“I've never seen a player like that,” Stewart said. “And I don't mean to try to put him in the Hall of Fame right now, but I've been around a lot of great players: Jerry Rice, T.O. [Terrell Owens], Steve Young, Rod Woodson... I mean, great players.” (3)
Adrian Peterson Rookie of the Year
Adrian Peterson set the NFL on fire during his rookie campaign. Had he not been injured, he would have won the NFL rushing title. Nevertheless, he still had a fantastic season, 238 carries for 1341 yards, 19 catches for another 268 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was voted Rookie of the Year for his great season. Then in the Pro Bowl he came up big again with 16 carries for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns.
By A. Goodin, 20Yardline.com
Adrian Peterson Biography Sources
(1) Peterson show dazzles Bears ... and Vikings; Minnesota's rookie running back had the best rushing performance ever by a Viking and had observers looking for superlatives (2007, October 15) Star Tribune