(Adrian Peterson photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)
(Le'Veon Bell photo courtesy of Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers)
(Jamaal Charles photo courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs)
Talk of Fame Network
There have been only seven 2,000-yard rushers in NFL history: O.J. Simpson (1973), Eric Dickerson (1984), Barry Sanders (1997), Terrell Davis (1998), Jamal Lewis (2003), Chris Johnson (2009) and Adrian Peterson (2012).
Peterson has the chance to become the first runner with a pair of 2,000-yard seasons now that he’s back with the Vikings this season with fresh legs. But can he get there? If so, when? If not, who?
That’s the subject of our Talk of Fame Network poll this week – who will be the next back to rush for 2,000 yards in an NFL season? We offered our listeners and readers five options, including four backs who are currently in the NFL and one who is not. In alphabetical order, here they are:
*Le’Veon Bell. A second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Michigan State in 2013, Bell won the AFC rushing crown in 2014 with 1,361 yards. He sat out the first two games with an NFL suspension this season but slapped 129 yards on the Ravens last weekend. He’s 23.
*Jamaal Charles. A third-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs out of Texas in 2008, Charles won AFC rushing titles in both 2012 and 2013. He had a 125-yard rushing game this season against Denver and the NFL’s No. 1-ranked run defense. He’s 29.
*Leonard Fournette. A Parade All-America as a high schooler, Fournette rushed for an LSU school freshman record 1,034 yards in 2014. He leads the NCAA in rushing this season with 864 yards through four games. He’s not even eligible for the NFL draft until after the 2016 season. He’s 20.
*Todd Gurley. The 10th overall pick of the St. Louis Rams out of Georgia last April even though a knee injury last November figured to keep him out of training camp while he was rehabilitating. Gurley also sat the first two games of the season, then got a taste of the NFL in his debut the third week with six carries. The Rams turned him lose in Game 4 against Arizona and he gained 146 yards in 19 carries against the NFL’s No. 5 defense. He’s 21.
*Adrian Peterson. The seventh overall pick of the Minnesota Vikings out of Oklahoma in 2007, Peterson is a former NFL MVP, a two-time rushing champion and a six-time Pro Bowler. His 2,097 rushing yards in 2012 were second-best in history, just eight yards shy of the NFL record held by Dickerson. He already has two 100-yard games this season and leads the league with 372 yards. He’s 30.
So who’s the NFL’s next 2,000-yard rusher? Vote now: