Adrian Peterson's primary objective with three weeks left in the regular season is to help the Vikings punch a ticket to the playoffs, but he also has a chance to make some NFL history along the way.
Peterson currently leads the NFL in rushing with 1,251 yards – 37 yards more than the league's second-leading rusher, Tampa Bay's Doug Martin.
If he hangs on and wins the rushing title, ESPN notes that he'll join a list of only seven other players to have won three rushing titles. The others, with how many titles each won:
- Jim Brown – 8
- Barry Sanders – 4
- Eric Dickerson – 4
- Emmitt Smith – 4
- O.J. Simpson – 4
- Steve Van Buren – 4
- Earl Campbell – 3
It's obvious that Peterson is one of the best running backs of all time, but it's even more evident how tremendous he's been when you see the numbers.
In terms of where this season ranks among Peterson's individual campaigns, it's on pace to finish as one of his three best. Peterson's best seasons – based on yardage – are:
- 2012 – 2,097 yards
- 2008 – 1,760 yards
- 2009 – 1,383 yards
- 2007 – 1,341 yards
- 2010 – 1,298 yards
- 2013 – 1,266 yards
- 2015 – 1,251 yards (three games remaining)
- 2011 – 970 yards (season cut short with ACL injury)
- 2014 – 75 yards (played in one game due to suspension)
He also needs just four more touchdowns to put together his second-highest rushing touchdown total in a single season. His career high is 18 in 2009, and he's rushed for 12 touchdowns four other times.