Tuesday, September 3, 2013
AP vs. Megatron: Battle of No. 1s in Week 1
By John Parolin, ESPN Stats & Info
US PresswireThe 2013 NFL season kicks off Thursday, with some of the top players facing each other. ESPN.com recently ranked the top 100 players on offense and defense, and former NFL head coach and ESPN analyst Herm Edwards weighed in by ranking the top three players at every position.
Adrian Peterson (left) and Calvin Johnson (right) kick off the 2013 season vs. each other on Sunday.
This Sunday in Detroit, Edwards’ top running back (Adrian Peterson) and top outside wide receiver (Calvin Johnson) will face each other.
Peterson left no doubts about the health of his left knee last season, finishing with 2,097 yards, eight shy of Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record.
He had 27 rushes of at least 20 yards, more than the next two closest players combined. Peterson’s 1,019 yards-after-contact total was 234 more than anyone in the last four years and would have ranked 17th as a stand-alone total.
Defensively, the Detroit Lions allowed 667 rush yards after contact last season. The 1.6 yards after contact per rush ranked 14th among all teams and fourth best in the NFC.
As for Johnson, he finished the season with an NFL-record 1,964 receiving yards on 200 targets, the most for any player in the last five seasons.
Johnson had 806 more yards than the rest of the Lions receivers. The next-highest Lions receiver was Titus Young (383 yards).
In Detroit’s 34-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 last year, Megatron caught 12 passes for 207 yards, the fourth highest receiving total of his career.