Everyone inside Mall of America Field knew how many yards Adrian Peterson needed to surpass Erick Dickerson's single season rushing record as the Vikings offense took to the field for the games final drive.
Well almost everybody.
"I never knew," said Peterson about coming nine yards short of the record. "I really wasn't worried about it. I told myself to come into this game focused on one thing and that was winning and if it happens, it will come to you."
Peterson has gotten stronger as the season has gone along following surgery to repair the tear in his right ACL. He eclipsed 100 yards rushing only once in his first six games and then blew up rushing for over 100 yards in nine of his final 10 games including eclipsing 150 yards seven times and 200 yards twice, and nearly a third with his 199 yard performance against the Packers.
It was exactly one year ago that Peterson had surgery and while the adjectives to describe Peterson and his return as the best back in the NFL, it may just be simple enough to call him MVP.
"Just pushing to get back," said Peterson when asked about what he was thinking about post surgery. "When the doctor came in after surgery I asked him when I could start rehabbing and exercising. He said, "Normally it takes two weeks to start doing leg lifts", I started doing them right then.
Without Peterson, this team certainly isn't a playoff team. His heart, grit and pure determination were a big reason the team finished December with an undefeated record including two wins over division opponents Green Bay and Chicago. Against division opponents, Peterson ran for 944 yards and five touchdowns in six contests. The next step in his amazing comeback season is to lead the way to a playoff victory on the road in Green Bay.