Peter­son pur­sues record,

A spot in play­offs, rush­ing record at stake on Sun­day.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - Byjon Krawczynski

EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. — It’s all right there for Adrian Peter­son now.

One more game in his re­mark­able come­back sea­son, and the only thing that re­mains on the line is ev­ery­thing.

A win against the ri­val Green Bay Pack­ers on Sun­day would put his Min­nesota Vik­ings into the play­offs for the first time since the 2009 sea­son. The mile­stones of 2,000 yards and Eric Dick­er­son’s sin­gle­sea­son rush­ing record are there to be had as well, along with a po­ten­tial MVP award that would ce­ment his stand­ing among the league’s great play­ers.

“It’s such a big game when you look at ev­ery­thing that can be ac­com­plished,” Peter­son said Wed­nes­day. “I’m look­ing for­ward to it, man. Most im­por­tantly, get­ting into the play­offs, se­cur­ing that with a win against Green Bay. Hav­ing an op­por­tu­nity to hit 2,000, hav­ing an op­por­tu­nity to break Eric Dick­er­son’s record in the same game, it would be great to ac­com­plish.”

Per­haps the only thing more im­prob­a­ble than the Vik­ings (9-6) sit­ting one vic­tory away from a play­off berth is that they have been car­ried there by Peter­son, who tore two lig­a­ments in his left knee just over a year ago. He has a ca­reer-high 1,898 yards rush­ing this sea­son, leav­ing him 102 away from be­com­ing the first player to hit 2,000 yards on a re­con­structed knee.

His in­spir­ing re­cov­ery has gal­va­nized a team that has been tee­ter­ing on the edge of elim­i­na­tion the last four weeks and has put some of the big­gest names to play the po­si­tion in his cor­ner as he runs to­ward his­tory. Dick­er­son is on record as say­ing he hopes Peter­son falls a lit­tle shy of his 2,105 yards rush­ing in 1984, but ev­ery­one from Jim Brown to Ter­rell Davis to Chris John­son — the last run­ning back to rush for 2,000 yards — have come out in sup­port of his pur­suit.

“So im­pressed by ev­ery­thing @Adri­anPeter­son has done this year,” Detroit Lions great Barry San­ders tweeted re­cently. “Big fan of E.D. But really pulling for AP to break the record. Good luck.”

Peter­son needs 208 yards to break Dick­er­son’s record. Peter­son has topped that twice in the pre­vi­ous four games. He’s also rushed for more yards against the Pack­ers than any other team, in­clud­ing 210 yards at Lam­beau Field on Dec. 2.

“I wouldn’t say I’m root­ing for him to get it, but I want him to do the best that he can do,” said John­son, who devel­oped a bit of a ri­valry with Peter­son a few years back when both laid claim to the ti­tle of the best run­ning back in the league. “It’s just a nice story from where he got hurt last year. I sent him a text to see how he was do­ing and stuff like that. I wish him the best and what­ever he does, I con­grat­u­late him on it and I’ll be happy for him.”

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