In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
Minnesota Vikings Rookie Running Back Adrian Peterson sets the field on fire, rushing for a record 296 yards on 30 carries with three touchdowns as the Vikings beat the San Diego Chargers 35-17 at the Metrodome. The previous record was 295 yards set by Jamal Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens in 2003. A month earlier Peterson set the franchise record with 224 yards, marking the first time that a rookie ran for 200 yards twice.
Adrian Peterson was born March 21, 1985, in Palestine, Texas. After a stellar career at Oklahoma, Peterson was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings with the seventh overall pick in the NFL Draft. It did not take long for AP to make his voice heard as he declared he would challenge Eric Dickerson’s rookie record of 1,808 yards set in 1983. In his first game against a 24-3 win over the Atlanta Falcons, Peterson ran for 103 yards on 19 carries, while scoring his first touchdown on a 60-yard reception from Tarvaris Jackson. He would go on to earn NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month honors with 271 yards in his first three games.
Adrian Peterson began October in impressive fashion, setting a new Minnesota franchise record with 224 yards on 20 carries with three touchdowns, leading the Vikings to a 34-31 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The weeks later, Adrian Peterson became the first rookie to rush for 200 yards twice as he set the all-time single-game record with 296 yards against the Chargers. In the win, Peterson passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Through eight games, he was right on target for his goal of setting the rookie record with a record 1,036 yards.
A week after his record-breaking game, Adrian Peterson’s season suffered a setback as he tore his LCL in a 34-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Peterson would miss two games, returning to rush for 116 yards with two scores in a 42-10 win over the Detroit Lions. However, over the final four games, Adrian Peterson struggled, finishing the season with 1,341 yards with 13 touchdowns. For his effort, Adrian Peterson would be named Offensive Rookie of the Year.
In his second season, Adrian Peterson won the first of three rushing titles. His finest season came in 2012 when he rushed for 2,097 yards falling just short of the NFL’s single-season record also held by Eric Dickerson. Peterson would win the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP in 2012. In ten years with the Vikings, Adrian Peterson finished with 11,747 yards with 102 touchdowns. He began the 2017 season with the New Orleans Saints, but after struggling to get carries was traded to the Arizona Cardinals.