COWBOYS VS. VIKINGS GAMEDAY PRIMER: Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson still after Emmitt Smith’s NFL record

COWBOYS VS. VIKINGS GAMEDAY PRIMER: Adrian Peterson still after Emmitt Smith's record

Adrian Peterson is on Emmitt Smith’s pace. Peterson has 9,420 yards seven games into his seventh season. Smith had 9,488 to this point.

But Peterson would have to play five-plus seasons after this one, averaging the 1,475 he has averaged per season in his career, to break Smith’s all-time rushing record of 18,355.

Peterson, a Palestine and Oklahoma product, thinks it’ll be sooner than that. He predicted last summer that he would become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher in Week 16 of 2017.

He stuck by that prediction in the conference call with Dallas media today. 

“I definitely have to keep my game up to par.. and that record can be broken,” Peterson said. “But I’m not focusing on that. I set goals, and I just go out and play and if happens, it happens and if doesn’t, it doesn’t. I don’t harp on it.”

Peterson, 28, nearly set the single-season rushing record last season with 2,097 yards. He is behind that pace this year with 571 yards.

“Coming off last year, MVP, 2,000 yards, guys are coming in to stop the run, and this is how they’ve always played the Vikings for the past seven years — come in and stop the run,” Peterson said, “definitely with a more emphasis on it now. So you’re going to have those. Then again, you’re going to have the opportunity to break the long one, too. I just take them when it comes.”

Here’s the math:

He would need to rack up 8,936 yards over the next 73 games to break Smith’s record. That comes to an average of 122.4 yards a game. Peterson currently averages 98.1 yards a game for his career.


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