When the Detroit Lions signed running back Adrian Peterson this offseason, it was unclear exactly what his role would be on the team.
After 10 games, obviously, Peterson wasn’t just brought in to be a backup.
He has started plenty of games, and is currently the team's leading rusher with 389 yards.
In saying this, after a hot start, Peterson has definitely looked his age in recent weeks. Yet, he is still seeing a handful of carries.
Now, rookie D’Andre Swift didn’t suit up against the Carolina Panthers due to a concussion. But, the Georgia product did see his first start against the Washington Football Team in Week 10.
It was a move that even Peterson himself said took too long.
Make no mistake, Peterson is a future Hall of Famer.
At this point in his career, though, the NFL’s fifth all-time leading rusher is a shell of his former self. And it's likely a large reason why Washington released him before the start of the season.
Confirming what many can already deduce from watching Lions games this year, Peterson currently has the second-lowest overall rank for all 62 qualified running backs, per Pro Football Focus.
He was also the worst-graded back in the entire league for his Week 11 performance (pending the results of Monday Night Football), with an overall grade of 39.5, according to PFF.
Additionally, he sits dead last in PFF's rushing grade metric, which is a huge portion of what running backs are typically paid to do.
His elusive rating -- which is a formula derived from forced missed tackles -- is the second-lowest in the league, and his yards-per-contact rating (2.34 yards) places him 12th from the bottom.
Meanwhile, in comparison, it is important to note that Swift has passed the eyeball test so far, but doesn’t stack up all that well in the yards-after-contact or elusive rating, either.
He is also in the bottom 12 in the league in both categories.
From an overall grade standpoint, Swift ranks 28th, and provides a much more well-rounded, explosive skill set.
Detroit general manager Bob Quinn has two second-round draft picks on the roster that need to see more playing time when healthy.
Peterson could still have a role on this floundering team.
However, it needs to be a lot smaller moving forward, if the Lions want to find more consistent offensive success.
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