Sundays Vikings-Rams game in St. Louis will serve as a virtual elimination game for one of the two teams. As both dearly hold on to their playoff hopes, one team’s hopes will be shattered. Our 7-6 Vikings ended a two-game skid with an all-important victory against division rival Chicago. The Rams (6-6-1) are trying to win three in a row and keep their playoff hopes on life support. The game is nearly dead-even. The Rams are favored by -1½, but this is less than the typical three points given to home teams in NFL games, (click to view odds). In reality, the odds-makers don’t know who to pick in this game. If Adrian Peterson has anything to do with it, he’ll continue his torrid streak and run the Vikings to victory.
AP’s return in less than a year from knee surgery on his torn ACL has been well documented. He currently leads the league in rushing with a clean 1,600 yards. With three games to go, he’s not only eyeing his second rushing title, (no player is within 300 yards of him right now), he’s not even just eyeing 2,000, (which would make him only the seventh player ever to reach that mark), he’s eyeing Eric Dickerson’s all-time single-season record of 2,105 yards.
On The Dan Patrick Show yesterday, Peterson spoke about his comeback and his chances to break Dickerson’s record. When asked if he thought he really had a shot at the record, he responded, “I do. The guys in front of me are doing a great job of blocking. I feel it’s possible.”
“I’m not surprised at all [in my rushing success this year],” Peterson continued. “We come in and we want to run the ball. It’s all about mindset.”
When Patrick pushed the issue on Dickerson’s record, Peterson responded saying that he would be lying if he said he didn’t think about the record. When asked again if he thought he could actually break the record he responded in kind:
“I think so. I think so.”
It’s been no secret that AP wants to be not only the greatest running back in the game today, but the greatest running back in NFL history. He attacks that goal with a humility and respect for those that went before him, but a persistence and tenacity that never quits. He’ll have his shot over the next three games.
The Vikings just might need him to break Dickerson’s record too if they have any hope of making the playoffs. With Ponder struggling at QB and Percy Harvin sidelined for over a month now, the majority of the offensive weight rests on AP’s shoulders. Peterson will get his first shot at cutting into the distance between him and Dickerson on Sunday.
The Rams have won seven of the last 10 regular-season meetings but lost the most recent one, 38-10 at St. Louis in 2009 as Peterson scored two TDs. Both teams need the W. Let’s hope it swings in our Vikings favor.