Adrian Peterson put together an all-time season, his 2,097 rushing yards coming just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's NFL single-season record set in 1984. And he had reconstructive knee surgery for a torn ACL in December 2011.
While most Minnesota Vikings fans (and probably quite a few Green Bay Packers fans, as well) are wondering how he'll do in this postseason, the point of this particular blog post focuses more on the long term. How will Peterson perform in 2013?
Well, let's take a look at how the previous six players who ran for 2,000 or more yards in one season did the following year.
|PLAYER||YEAR||YRS PRO||YARDS||NEXT YEAR||YARDS||GAMES|
There's a signficant drop-off, as you might expect. The average decline for the six running backs is 958.3 yards per season, which is bolstered by the injury to Davis in 1999.
Here's another way to more evenly analyze: In the year after their 2,000-yard seasons, the six running backs averaged 85 yards per game, down from 130.2 yards per game.
In 2012, Peterson averaged 131 yards per game. So if form holds (on this remarkably small sample size) and Peterson matches the average of past 2,000-yard rushers, he'll run for 1,360 yards.
Of course, no one expected Peterson to be this good so soon after knee surgery. So who knows what will happen next year? For now, we just did some math on an off-day for football games.