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Flashback: Adrian Peterson Sets Single-Game Rushing Record

Adrian Peterson was already leading the National Football League in rushing when the Vikings hosted the San Diego Chargers in Week Nine of the 2007 NFL season. The rookie had already made his mark with a 224-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Chicago Bears in Week Six, and had already established himself as one of the NFL's most dangerous players, despite playing on a team whose record was only 2-5 going into the match-up with heavily-favored San Diego.

Nobody expected what Peterson would give everyone that day.



A couple of mind-blowing things about this performance. . .Peterson rushed for 296 yards on the afternoon in this one, but he only had 43 yards at halftime. Peterson's 253-yard second-half performance alone would have been the eighth-best performance in NFL history at the time that it occurred.

Also, at the tail end of the above video, you see a play where Peterson starts out at about the Minnesota 10-yard line, blasts through a huge hole, and gets dragged down from behind by Chargers' safety Marlon McCree. Had it not been for the illegal "horse collar" tackle (and you see the flag come in for it at the end of that play), who knows how much farther Peterson could have gone? We could be talking about a 340 or 350-yard rushing performance, which would be the only 300+ yard rushing day in NFL history, and a record that would very likely never be broken.

In addition, think about this. . .Peterson did this in a game where his quarterbacks were Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger (who came in for Jackson after he was injured early in the game). The Chargers knew that the Vikings weren't any threat in the passing game, and they couldn't stop Adrian Peterson anyway.

Will we see a repeat of this kind of performance this Sunday? It's doubtful, at best. . .but Vikings fans sure would be happy if it did happen.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.