At midpoint, Peterson has NFL rushing lead at age 30
Halfway through his comeback season, Adrian Peterson has the NFL rushing lead.
After sitting out all but one game in 2014 while the child abuse case against him played out, Peterson has settled right back in with the Minnesota Vikings. He's on pace for 1,516 yards at age 30, which would be the third-highest total of his career. If he can hang on to first place, he will be only the third 30-something to take the rushing title.
Peterson, cognizant of the midpoint on Minnesota's schedule, glanced at the leaders earlier this week.
''To kind of see where I stood,'' he said. ''So I feel like I'm in a good position.''
With the Vikings at 6-2, Peterson has bigger goals than the rushing title. But it's on his list.
''It would mean a lot. I play this game to be the best, and of course leading the league in rushing and finishing the season that way would kind of help put a stamp on that as well,'' Peterson said.
The Vikings haven't been shy about handing him the ball. With five of their last seven games outside in the north including the season finale at Green Bay, the running game will be as important as ever. Plus, Peterson has enjoyed plenty of success against the rival Packers, who face the Vikings twice down the stretch.
Granted, they have four opponents remaining that rank in the top 10 in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, with Oakland, Atlanta, Arizona and Seattle, but if anybody can keep up this pace, it's Peterson.
Here's a look at some other statistical projections, and their viability halfway through the 2015 season:
IT'S A BREES
The problem is Brees missed a game because of a shoulder injury. Thus, his projection falls short.
If Brees can pick it up, with three remaining opponents (Washington, Houston, Tampa Bay) in the bottom 10 of the league in passing yards allowed, he could exact some revenge on Manning for breaking his 2011 record by a yard. Brees has half of the eight 5,000-yard seasons recorded in NFL history.
Four players are averaging more than 100 yards receiving per game, three with a chance to break Calvin Johnson's record of 1,964 yards receiving set for Detroit in 2012: Atlanta's Julio Jones, Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and Houston's DeAndre Hopkins. Jones projects to 1,829 yards.
Jones also has 80 receptions, by far the most in the NFL. That puts him on track, with a projection that falls one short, to threaten Marvin Harrison's mark of 143 catches in 2002 for Indianapolis.
MARIOTA ON THE MONEY
Tennessee's Marcus Mariota has 13 touchdown passes in only six games (he missed two because of a knee injury), putting him on pace to beat Manning's rookie record of 26 touchdown passes set for Indianapolis in 1998. Currently with a 101.5 passer rating, Mariota could also break the rookie mark set by Robert Griffin III (102.4) for Washington in 2012.
Well, Carolina probably has the smoothest path ahead, with a pair of December games against Atlanta sandwiched around a road game against the New York Giants the most challenging stretch.
The Bengals have to play at Arizona and Denver, and a home game against AFC North rival Pittsburgh won't be easy.
The Patriots have two trips to the New York, at the Giants and the Jets, and another one to Denver.
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