We have to cherish history.
It doesn’t matter if you missed out on Adrian Peterson in your fantasy draft this year. Heck, I even told people not to draft him. But that doesn’t mean I want him to fail. I want him to prevail. I want to watch something historical happen. I want to tell my kids someday, “Yeah. Adrian Peterson. He tore up his knee so bad at the end of the 2011 season, and still broke the single-season rushing record the following year.”
Now, by the point my future children can comprehend what an ACL tear is, I’d expect there to be some insane technology that can repair one in just a few weeks. My children may not get it. They may not be able to fully respect what Number 28 is doing. I mean, I guess I don’t even get it. How many times have you torn an ACL?
All I know is that Adrian Peterson is probably the best football player I’ve ever seen. What the Vikings’ running back is doing right now is nothing short of absurd. I could write an entire “By the Numbers” article just on his numbers over the last 8 weeks. Instead, I’ve only selected a few.
Week 15 Numbers
Tom Brady threw 12 more passes than the Manning brothers threw combined.
Brady threw 65 times against San Francisco on Sunday Night Football, while Peyton and Eli combined to threw 53 passes.
Russell Wilson rushed for two more touchdowns in one half in Week 15 than Ryan Mathews has over the entire season.
Wilson had 3 rushing touchdowns in the first half of the Seahawks game on Sunday, while Ryan Mathews has found the end zone just once all year long.
Ryan Tannehill had more rushing yards than Ray Rice.
Tannehill finished with 52 rushing, while Rice got 38 on the ground. Why won’t the Ravens feed Rice more?
Adrian Peterson rushed for more yards than the 7th and 8th highest Week 15 rushing totals combined.
The Vikings back ended the day with 212 yards on the ground, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis (7th ranked rusher) and Vick Ballard (8th ranked rusher) combined to run for 211 yards.
Steven Jackson and Danny Woodhead each had 10 targets through the air. Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Randall Cobb, Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones and Victor Cruz had less than Jackson and Woodhead.
Jackson’s receiving out of the backfield was more of a surprise than Woodhead’s, who was featured heavily in the second half after the Patriots went down 31-3 to the 49ers.
Kirk Cousins scored 21 standard fantasy points. Before Sunday, the Browns defense had given up that many fantasy points to an opposing quarterback just twice.
The two other times the Browns surrendered 21 points was against Cincinnati (Dalton) and Baltimore (Flacco). Both Dalton and Flacco posted 22 standard fantasy points during those weeks.
Josh Freeman and Mark Sanchez, in Week 15, threw for the same number of interceptions as Robert Griffin III has thrown all season.
And you wonder why I think RGIII should win the Offensive Rookie of the Year?
Michael Hoomanawanui scored as many standard fantasy points as Philip Rivers.
Hoomanawanui had a nice catch for 41 yards against San Francisco, while Rivers just couldn’t get anything done against Carolina.
Dallas Clark finished second amongst tight ends in targets.
Only behind Aaron Hernandez, Dallas Clark finished Sunday with 12 targets against New Orleans. Jason Witten owners in championship matchups shoul feel good about his matchup against New Orleans this week.
The Cardinals had more defensive touchdowns than 16 starting quarterbacks had touchdown passes.
There were 11 quarterbacks in Week 15 with just a single touchdown pass, and 5 with a goose egg in the touchdown pass column.
Some Year to Date Statistics
Adrian Peterson, over his last 8 games, has the same number of rushing yards as Arian Foster’s season total.
Only Alfred Morris and Marshawn Lynch have rushed for more season yards as Adrian Peterson has over his last 8 games. Wow.
No quarterback has thrown for more passing yards over the last 5 weeks than Tony Romo.
This counts his big Thanksgiving Day game, but his performance is a big reason the Cowboys are in the playoff hunt.
Cam Newton has 293 rushing yards over the last 5 weeks. That’s more than Stevan Ridley, Mikel Leshoure and Ryan Mathews.
Skewing this is Cam’s long touchdown run two weeks ago, but hey, a stat is a stat.
Aside from Adrian Peterson, the league’s leading rusher over the past 5 weeks has been BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
I’m not a fan of The Law Firm, but Green-Ellis has had a very, very nice stretch of games.
Michael Crabtree, over the last three weeks, is fourth in the NFL in receiving and just one yard shy of Andre Johnson.
He had a great game against New England, and Colin Kaepernick seems to like him a lot. Could be a value pick in next year’s fantasy draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have sacked the quarterback 15 times this season. That’s at least 6 less than any other team.
Next time you want to stream the Jags defense, keep in mind that they’re not very good.
Mathew Stafford has had at least 55 more pass attempts than any other quarterback this season.
And, sadly, Stafford has the 9th most points at the quarterback position.
Last season, 14 quarterbacks scored more than 200 standard fantasy points. This year, 16 quarterbacks have already hit that mark.
The field caught up to the elite guys, and the field simply expanded. More quarterbacks are passing the ball, and more are putting up startable fantasy numbers. This, in turn, makes them more replaceable.
James Jones leads the NFL in 2012 receiving touchdowns. He ranks 45th in targets.
I mentioned this in my column yesterday, but it appears that Rodgers’ trusts James Jones most in the red zone because he’s been one of the only consistent pieces on offense all season long. I wouldn’t expect it to change, potentially into 2013 with Greg Jennings’ contract ending.
Calvin Johnson is 14 receiving yards shy of his 2011 season total.
So much for the Madden Curse, eh?
Wes Welker and Roddy White were the only two receivers with 100-plus receptions last year. This season, 5 receivers already have over 90, and 3 are over 100.
The reason for this is because we’re seeing more “elite” receivers this year than we did last season with the resurgence of Brandon Marshall and the stellar play of AJ Green.
Six running backs are averaging over 87 rushing yards per game. Last season, only Maurice Jones-Drew had an average of 87 or more yards.
The number 87 seems a little random, sure, but it helped make this statistic more alarming. The NFL may be moving to be pass-heavy, but there are some elite running backs that are continuously getting touches.