is a contender for MVP, Offensive Player of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year. (Andy Clayton King/Getty Images)
On a classic Adrian Peterson run, the sensational Minnesota Vikings star topped 2,000 yards rushing for the 2012 season.
Peterson took a handoff Christian Ponder on the Vikings' first play of the third quarter, smoothly bounced outside around multiple Green Bay defenders and turned upfield for a 20-yard gain. A little more than a year after tearing up his knee, Peterson needed 102 yards Sunday to become the seventh player in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards rushing in a season.
His 20-yard scamper early in the second half bumped Peterson up to 2,009 yards on the season. But though Peterson continued his impressive running after eclipsing 2,000, he came a hair short of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season record of 2,105 yards.
Peterson finished the game just nine yards short of Dickerson, his 199 yards giving him 2,097 on the season, the second-highest mark of all time.
It was on Christmas Eve last season, with the Vikings long removed from the playoff race, that Peterson tore his ACL during a win over Washington. While he didn't accomplish the ultimate individual goal at his position, his rushing powered the Vikings to a 37-34 win that netted them the No. 6 seed in the playoffs.
The list of players to top 2,000 yards in a season, prior to Peterson, puts the Vikings' back in great company: Dickerson, Jamaal Lewis, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Chris Johnson and O.J. Simpson. The last to do it was Johnson, who finished with 2,006 yards in 2009. Only Johnson and Lewis have reached that elite 2K level since the turn of the millennium.
Peterson's previous career high was 1,760 yards, which he reached during the 2008 season, his second in the league. Last season (not even counting the injury) was Peterson's worst as a pro -- he finished with just 970 yards, by far his lowest total in a season.