- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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Adrian Peterson's oft-stated goal of 2,500 yards in 2013 continues to reverberate around the world of sports debate, kept alive in part by memories of his doubt-erasing 2012 MVP season.
In this Insider piece, Football Scientist KC Joyner admirably suggests three paths Peterson could take to reach a goal that I've suggested is both highly unlikely and would be bad for the Vikings if it became a real possibility. I can't give away the thrust of Joyner's argument, but I can tell you it's based on Peterson blowing through his career highs in workload.
Last season, Peterson averaged 6.03 yards per carry, the third-best average in NFL history for a season among running backs with at least 250 carries. Even if he somehow matched that in 2013, Peterson would still need well over 400 carries to reach 2,500 yards for the season. His highest total of attempts in a season to this point is 363, set in his second season when he was 23 years old. He has finished three of his six seasons with less than 300 carries.
Regardless, as ESPN's Ashley Fox notes, the Vikings are hoping to trend toward a more balanced offense. Fox: "They don't want to be a one-man show, even if that one man is Peterson."
Here's a more realistic goal that would satisfy Peterson's competitive thrust and also help the Vikings: Set the NFL record for most yards during the oft-disappointing follow-up to 2,000-yard seasons. According to a chart in Joyner's column, that distinction is held by the Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson -- who rushed for 1,364 yards in 2010 after hitting 2,006 in 2009.