There's no doubt in my mind Adrian Peterson breaks Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards, which he set in 1984. Are we watching the greatest season of all-time? Maybe. Is Peterson's season already more impressive than Dickerson's? Yes. Without a doubt.
Even if AD doesn't break the record, his season is remarkable for more reasons than the fact that he's less than a year removed from blowing out his knee. Take a look at Dickerson's 1984 season totals compared to the numbers Peterson has accumulated this season.
Carries: Dickerson 379, Peterson 289
Yards Per Carry: Dickerson 5.6, Peterson 6.3
Receptions: Dickerson 21, Peterson 38
Fumbles: Dickerson 14, Peterson 4
Keep in mind that Dickerson did it in his second season in the league. This is Adrian's sixth year. While technology and medicine is more advanced now than it was 28 years ago, the wear and tear on Adrian's body six years into his career has to be more extensive than it was for Dickerson as a sophomore.
We are witnessing pure greatness, in the most explosive way since Barry Sanders was wreaking havoc in 1997.
Peterson leads the NFL with 20 runs of 20+ yards. Eight of them have gone for 40+ yards. Eight explosive runs of 40 or more yards is incredible, especially when you consider there have only been 60 runs of 40+ yards in the entire league this season. It's the most since Sanders had 11 in 1997 -- a season that he claimed co-MVP with Brett Favre after rushing for 2,053 yards.
The NFL didn't keep track of 40+ yard runs in 1984, but taking a look at Dickerson's game log, I can tell you that he wasn't nearly as explosive as Peterson. His longest carries of the season went for 66, 51, 49 and 47 yards. Adrian had two carries longer than last last week against the Rams.
I firmly believe Peterson will break Dickerson's rushing record, but even he doesn't, his 2012 season is already more impressive than Dickerson's -- regardless of his return from ACL surgery. This could go down as the greatest season for a running back ever, and maybe the greatest individual effort in sports history.