Over the past few weeks, the debate about the best running back in the NFL hasn’t had a clearcut player that stands out among the rest.
In 2009, Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans burst onto the scene rushing for more than 2,000 yards in a season while the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson scored a career-high 18 touchdowns. The two elite backs seemed to be neck-and-neck in the discussion of the league’s best back, but now it doesn’t appear to be much of a competition with Peterson exploding for 2,097 yards in 2012 and earning his first NFL MVP award as a result.
Last week, Johnson made things a little interesting claiming that he could break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record and will rush for more yards than Peterson in 2013. Peterson responded to Johnson’s comments on Monday via Twitter:
Why would or should I care about what CJ has to say? Before you tweet what he’s saying, ask yourself that question! MVPeterson
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 4, 2013
After suffering a torn MCL and ACL back on Christmas Eve in 2011, the consensus was that Peterson’s status as an elite back in the NFL would be coming to an end. The Vikings looked horrible in 2011 finishing with only two wins and Peterson was set to undergo knee surgery to repair the torn ligaments.
Needless to say, things didn’t seem very promising in Minnesota with the team seemingly headed towards an overhaul and a potentially extensive rebuilding period.
Although everyone appeared to be doubting Peterson’s chances of bouncing back and having the same impact coming out of the backfield for the Vikings, the veteran running back was near unstoppable in 2012 with brilliant performance after brilliant performance. Peterson far exceeded expectations after an incredibly quick rehab process and now is considered the league’s best player at his position once again.
As for Johnson, the once-promising back hasn’t been able to produce anything near his numbers during the 2009 season and narrowly avoided being released by the Titans heading into the off-season leaving many to believe these comments are out of desperation and are simply ridiculous to say the least.