Matthew Stafford: Adrian Peterson ‘Raises the Bar’ for Lions

Adrian Peterson

Getty Adrian Peterson during a game against Detroit.

The Detroit Lions have done battle with Adrian Peterson through the years, and Matthew Stafford remembers plenty of those battles given he lived them up close.

Obviously, Stafford was on the losing end of plenty of those games and Peterson was a big reason why. The runner often ran wild against the quarterback and his team, and as a result, Stafford was happy to finally see Peterson on the right side of things and joining him in the offensive backfield.

Speaking on Monday, Stafford was asked about the addition of Peterson and said he was excited. Additionally, he said he knows the hard working habits of Peterson will help push the team to new heights this season and serve as a motivating factor.

Stafford said:

“Glad to see him in our uniform. Saw him too many years in the Purple and Gold and he was doing his thing against us. Nice to have him, obviously a really talented player, one of the greats at the position. I think he raises the bar for a lot of people just to go out there and watch how this guy works at the age that he is and what he’s already accomplished. It’s pretty impressive. We’re excited to have him. Any time you add talented guys to your team it’s going to help give us a better chance to win games. I know he’s excited to be here and we’re excited to have him.”

Exited seems to be an understatement for the Lions players, who seem to have gotten a major shot in the arm from the addition of Peterson, a player most grew up watching and revering.

Having him around is something that might benefit the team as a whole if Stafford is to be believed.

Adrian Peterson Dominates 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.

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.

Stafford has been on that side of the rivalry for too long, so he is obviously thrilled to have a player he thinks can change the game on his side.

READ NEXT: Adrian Peterson Has Dominated NFC North

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