With two games remaining, Adrian Peterson has a legitimate shot of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. But nearly as impressive is how much better he has been than any other running back this year.
With 1,812 yards, Peterson has 433 more yards than the next highest total. In fact, if we just counted Peterson’s last eight games (1,313 yards), he would still be ranked third in the NFL, just 66 yards behind Marshawn Lynch.
And if we look at a larger sample of running backs (see chart below), Peterson is on pace to have 680 more yards than the average of the next nine leading rushers this season. That is less than OJ Simpson in 1973 when he became the NFL’s first 2,000-yard rusher (968) and in 1984 when Eric Dickerson broke Simpson’s record (780). But it would still be the eighth-largest difference in the last 43 seasons…
Data via Pro-Football-Reference.com