Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is so confident that he’ll one day break Emmitt Smith’s all-time NFL rushing record that he’s predicted the exact week and year in which believes it will happen.
In an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Peterson was told that he was on pace to break Smith’s NFL rushing record of 18,355 yards in Week 9 of the 2019 season. When told that he was 9,506 yards away from the record, the 28-year-old running back made a prediction of his own.
“Man. Oh boy. I have to do some calculations. I’ve been in the league seven years. I’m already right around [9,000 yards]. Calculate it out…let’s think. Maybe get a couple of 2,000-yard seasons…I’ve got…Hmmm…2017,” Peterson told the Star-Tribune’s Dan Wiederer.
When asked to name a specific week in the 2017 NFL season, Peterson took his prediction a step further. “Man. I better go late. I’m already getting too far in front of myself. I’ll say Week 16. There it is. Week 16 in 2017. Whoo. That’s pushing it, huh? But hey, pushing it is the only way to do it. You know it,” Peterson told the Star-Tribune.
Peterson has never been one to shy away from making bold predictions. In 2011, the Vikings star suffered a devastating ACL tear, failing to reach 1,000-yards rushing for the first time in his career and leaving many to wonder if he would ever be the same. Instead, Peterson vowed to come back stronger than ever. In 2012, he amassed 2,097 yards rushing, falling just short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record and earning the 2012 AP NFL MVP award in the process.
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Rather than rest on his laurels, Peterson expressed disappointment in his failure to break the single-season, telling the NFL Network that it was a “terrible feeling.” To make up for it, Peterson announced in January his intention to become the league’s first-ever 2,500-yard rusher. “I want to try to set the ball higher than that,” Peterson told NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk. “I want to make it the 2,500 club.”
To be fair, it would be extremely difficult for Peterson to break the NFL’s all-time rushing record. According to Deadspin, the 28-year-old would have to average 1,925 yards per season for the next five seasons to match his 2017 prediction. Still, if Peterson’s prediction of “a couple of 2,000-yard seasons” comes true, he may be proving his doubters wrong yet again.