Adrian Peterson shredded his knee on Christmas Eve 2011 and went under the knife six days later. Now, driving himself relentlessly, he's two good games from the all-time single-season record. The best running back of our age is the NFL's best story of the year, Ben Reiter writes.
2 of 8 Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
One photo. One official is ruling touchdown, the other is ruling interception. Now, the playoff picture is altered and the replacement refs are long forgotten. Ben Reiter writes, it's a perfect storm of a pinup: A last-gasp play seemingly interpreted in opposite ways by two replacement refs ? patsies, really ? working from a complex rule book. But it will force you to rethink the Packers-Seahawks finish that set the NFL afire.
3 of 8 Jay Nemeth/Red Bull Stratos via Getty Images
Starting with "One Giant Leap,"a photo of Felix Baumgartner jumping from more than 24 miles up in space, Sports Illustrated presents The Year in Pictures. Relive Mike Trout's incredible catch, the thrill of the London Olympics, the drama of Euro 2012, and RGIII's Superman photo against the Bengals.
4 of 8 Illustration by Darrow
Rudy, Jimmy Chitwood and Rocky
What was the last sports movie you saw? Most people can't remember either. Brian Koppelman implores Hollywood that the sports movie isn't dead yet. It may be an underdog now, but Rudy, Jimmy Chitwood and Rocky can still make the crowds cheer.
5 of 8 Joe Imel/The Daily News/AP
Bobby Petrino left Arkansas in disgrace. One year later, he takes over the Western Kentucky program. Dan Patrick talks to Petrino about his year off, the coaching carousel and how his recruiting strategy changes after his firing from Arkansas.
6 of 8 Tony Avelar/AP
The Sports Illustrated staff reviews the best in sports media in 2012. From Tyler Hamilton's The Secret Race to Howler to the mystique of Jon Gruden, 2012 presented some intriguing additions to the sports media collection.
7 of 8 Jeffery A. Salter/SI
What is Russdiculous? Luke Winn profiles one of the nation's most eccentric players who follows his own set of rules, Louisville's lightning quick guard Russ Smith.
8 of 8 Pouya Dianat/SI
The Rays just acquired Wil Myers, the new prize prospect who scouts rave could be the next great corner outfielder, reminds most scouts of somebody. But who is that prospect? It may not be a glamorous comparison, but Lars Anderson insists that the 2012 Minor League Home Run king is just like Dale Murphy ? and he thinks that's a perfectly fine example.
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