Adrian Peterson's desire to play four more years also shows why Emmitt Smith's record is unbeatable
Adrian Peterson, the 35-year-old Washington Redskins who runs back, said he wanted to play four more NFL seasons.
"I never want to be in a position to look back and say, 'Man, I should have played two more years,'" Peterson told TMZ. "'I should have played for another year.' I want to enjoy it. "
That sounds crazy, but Peterson is a certified freak. When he revived his career from scratch in 2018, when it looked like he had no chance, but he ran 1,042 meters after Washington signed him in August, it was remarkable. He is unlikely to have four years, but it is difficult to count anything with him.
This TMZ Sports story also briefly mentioned Peterson's hunt for Emmitt Smith's record, which only made it clearer how unbreakable that record appears to be.
Adrian Peterson still way behind Emmitt Smith
Peterson is one of the best backs ever. He left Oklahoma a year earlier and then hurried as a rookie for 1,341 yards. He was an All-Pro four times and an NFL MVP once. He is one of five running backs who have a season of 1,000 yards at age 33 or older.
And he's still 4,139 yards behind Smith's record.
One of the biggest setbacks of all time, starting early and having a climax as good as anyone else in this century, could have four more seasons at 1,000 yards - until its 38-year season - and still a bit miss out on blacksmith. Impressive.
If Peterson's season is 1,000 yards, he's on an incredibly short list. John Riggins and John Henry Johnson are the only 35-year-olds to have completed a 1,000-meter season. Marcus Allen is the only 36-year-old who has covered at least 800 meters according to the Pro Football Reference. Allen and Johnson are the only two 37-year-old backs who reach 200 meters.
Peterson has surpassed many opportunities, but he would have to rewrite history to publish a few more seasons at 1,000 yards. And if Peterson Smith can't catch someone, can someone?
Emmitt Smith's rushing record is one of the safest in the NFL. (Photo by Jemal Countess / FilmMagic)
Peterson is a step backwards like Smith
Smith played with the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals not so long ago, but it was a different era. He almost never came off the field and had no problem handling a ton of carry every year, at a time when the teams still considered running backs as the basis for their offense.
Peterson is also a step backwards. He is a retreating star who has spent years with the Minnesota Vikings as the linchpin of their offense. And unless he has an enormous final chapter in his career and does things that have never been done before in the NFL, he will leave Smith far behind.
Peterson is not even the NFL's active leading rusher. This is Frank Gore. Gore is still 300 meters behind Smith and has taken on a free role. Gore is 37 and has not had a 1000-yard season since 2016. He doesn't catch Smith either. The next two backs on the active list are LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch, and both are currently unsigned. After them is Mark Ingram, who is more than 11,000 meters behind Smith. Ingram could O.J. Simpson's career totaled 11,236 rushing yards and still not Smith's record. Think about it.
Smith's career has been somewhat underestimated. Jim Brown, Walter Payton or Barry Sanders love each other more when they talk about the greatest back ever. The credit for Smith's success is sometimes shifted to the great team around him, mostly the offensive line. But his record of 18,355 meters is unlikely to be reached. He was also a notable playoff player with 1,586 postseason yards and three rings.
Let's marvel at Peterson, who is doing mid 30 things few backs have ever done. If he continues to play for four years, as he hopes, it will be a phenomenal feat. And it will draw even more attention to the size of Emmitt.
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