The Detroit Lions know what Adrian Peterson can do given they were burned by him for years, and now that he’s on their side, the team looks forward to seeing if Peterson can turn in the same type of big plays for them.
For the first time this week, Peterson practiced with the team and also has his first press conference. One of the biggest questions ended up being why he signed in Detroit. Obviously, Darrell Bevell played a role in that, but so did the fact that he gets to face off against his former team 2 times this season.
With a smile, Peterson said he's excited to play against the Vikings twice a year.
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) September 10, 2020
Peterson’s divorce in Minnesota wasn’t acrimonious and he was simply released following the 2016 season. Obviously, a great competitor like Peterson likely felt he didn’t get a fair shake from the team that drafted him where he probably wanted to stay.
Detroit will now offer Peterson a chance to gain a measure of revenge against Minnesota, and while it might not have been the only reason he wanted to sign with the team, it obviously does add a nice bonus.
Adrian Peterson Practices With Lions
Wednesday, the Lions were back at practice and Peterson was showing off his new duds in Detroit. After a spirited practice, the Lions Twitter account showed off some photos of Peterson in his new colors and they are downright fantastic.
We could look at these 📸s All Day.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 9, 2020
Peterson will be in the fold this Sunday when the Lions take on the Chicago Bears and looking to do some damage against an opponent he’s typically fared well against. It might be a strange sight for NFC North fans to see Peterson in a rival jersey, but already Lions fans are getting used to it. Minnesota Vikings fans might want to avert their eyes.
If Peterson has a big debut in his home opener, it will only make the Detroit fans more excited.
Adrian Peterson Dominant Against NFC North
In his career, Peterson has torched the NFC North, something which the Lions know all too well from years of competing against him. Pro Football Focus showed that in his career running against the division, Peterson had an 89.4 grade overall.
Adrian Peterson’s career grade vs. NFC North opponents: 89.4 pic.twitter.com/KvDefcFeah
— PFF (@PFF) September 6, 2020
That’s not even the half of it in terms of Peterson’s insane production head to head against the division. In total, he’s rushed for 5,185 and 41 touchdowns against his closest competition he had during his career. In terms of damage, Peterson has done the most against the Green Bay Packers, with 1,975 yards and 16 scores in his career.
Obviously, Peterson has tons of miles on his tires, but his resurfacing in the division he torched for years is certainly noteworthy for competition he has gotten to know well and play great against when he’s suited up.
Adrian Peterson Stats
In his career, Peterson has been one of the more productive backs in football. The 2012 NFL MVP stuck with the Vikings from 2007-2016, then landing with the Saints and Cardinals and finally in Washington for the last 2 seasons. Peterson is a lock to be in the Hall of Fame soon once his career ends given his exploits. The former Oklahoma Sooner is also a 7 time Pro Bowl player and a 4 time first team All-Pro runner as well.
This season, Peterson could make NFL history with the Lions. Peterson’s 14,216 career rushing yards currently ranks fifth all-time, and he trails Barry Sanders’ 15,269 yards. That means Peterson could surpass Sanders this season if he rushes for 1,054 yards at the age of 35 in Detroit.
It would be an interesting post script if Peterson was to play the last years of his career with the Lions and manage to surpass Sanders. That’s especially true given his standing as a long time Lions rival and classic tormentor.
Now, Peterson will set his sights on tormenting the Vikings.