Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The St. Louis Rams facilitated Adrian Peterson in his pursuit of Eric Dickerson's all-time single-season rushing record on Sunday.
Your connection to Eric Dickerson and his single-season rushing record, set in Los Angeles in 1984, probably depends on whether you're a St. Louis Rams fan or a Rams fan. Regardless: The St. Louis Rams cut more than 20 yards off the average Adrian Peterson needs to set the new record on Sunday, when they allowed him 212 yards on the ground in their 36-22 loss.
1,812 yards--that's what he has now--puts him in the Top 20 all-time, 147 yards a game over the last two weeks of the season away from Dickerson's 2,105. The only active player with a bigger season is Chris Johnson, who crossed the 2,000 yard barrier for the first time since Jamal Lewis in 2003. Johnson had 1,730 yards through 14 games that year, putting him an almost-impossible 188 yards-per-game away; he finished with just 276 more yards on a slightly-crazy 57 carries.
147 yards two games in a row might look difficult, but Peterson is on an astounding roll right now, and if he's close in Week 17 the Vikings will give him a similarly heavy workload. When Dickerson was on his way to breaking O.J. Simpson's record, after all, he averaged 28 carries per game over his last six. If the Vikings push Peterson to 30 carries in each of his last two games he'd need to average 4.9 yards per carry, a number he's missed just once since the end of September.