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Can Adrian Peterson really pass Emmitt Smith’s 18,355 yards?

There is a story out that AP feels that he can break the all-time rushing mark held by Smith.  Adrian Peterson has run for 8,849 yards to this point in his career. He would need to get another 9,507 yards to pass the 18,355 Smith finished his career with. That will be one hard feat to accomplish, even for Peterson. He would have to stay healthy for the next for the next five years to have a chance. Not only stay healthy, but average over 1,900 yards a season to do it.

When Smith came out of Florida nobody could have imagined he would become the leading rusher in the history of the game. The thing about him was he did it with other stars around him. He had his QB Troy Aikman and wide receiver Michael Irvin. It still did not top Smith from leading the league in rushing the same three years his team won the Super Bowl. He was one of a few backs to lead the league in rushing three or more consecutive seasons. He is the first player in NFL history to run for 1400 yards or more in five straight years. The first to run for 1,000 yards 11 consecutive seasons. We could go on and on about his accomplishments that show how truly great Smith was. He showed has durability by carting the rock more times than anyone ever has.

For Adrian Peterson the first goal will be to stay healthy for the long haul He hopes to run for at least 2,500 yards this upcoming season. If he can pull that off, he will be well on his way. Still in these days of the NFL, it is hard to believe that a running back can sustain that kind of production. He will have to average just over 120 yards per game over the next five years to pass Smith. I believe that is too high a mountain to climb.

In five years, we will relive this post to see where Peterson is in his chase for immortality. If he is close, at that time, he will be on the brink of one of the greatest achievements of all-time. He will have done it, as he says, clean from any performance enhancing substances. It will be an absolute pleasure to witness that kind of history twice in a lifetime.

I never imagined anyone passing Walter Payton and then thought the same of Smith. I will say this, if there is anyone that deserves to break the record, it is Adrian Peterson, He has shown what it is to run hard and with purpose. He has done it the right way and shown lots of heart and determination. He came back from one of the most horrific injuries ever seen and just missed the single-season rushing record. If he can pull that off, let’s see what he does for an encore in 2013.

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