Archive for the History Category


The Greatest Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers Games of the Past Decade

If you’re an ESPN executive, the most exciting sentence in the English language right now probably goes a little something like this:

Brett Favre takes on the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

Combine a bitter rivalry with a hugely polarizing star, stick it in the most popular timeslot of the most popular sport in America, and what do you get?

One seriously popular product, that’s what. Dolphins-Colts drew nearly 15 million viewers a few weeks ago on Monday night. It’s hard to imagine Vikings-Packers won’t blow that number out of the water. Whatever the final score, the “Worldwide Leader” is poised to put up some seriously crooked numbers.

The craziest part? Monday night’s game isn’t even the most exciting showdown between the two teams this season. That won’t come until Nov. 1, when Favre takes the stage in front of 72,000 of his scorned admirers at Lambeau Field. As Samuel L. Jackson might tell us, “Hold on to your butts.”

On the eve of the opening act of one of most riveting regular-season dramas we can remember, we’re compelled to look back at a handful of the classic Minnesota-Green Bay clashes that have paved the way.

Here, we highlight four such games. Our guess is that before the season is over, we’ll have a strong candidate to round out the top five.

 

Oct. 5, 1998, Lambeau Field: Vikings 37, Packers 24

Between Sept. 3, 1995 and Oct. 5, 1998, the Packers played 25 regular-season games at Lambeau.

They won all of them.

That’s a three-year stretch of dominance that rivals the length of the average NFL career. In other words, a whole generation of players came and went without seeing the Packers lose at home.

Then Randy Moss made his way into the league, and everything changed.

Moss made an impact from Week One of his rookie campaign, but this game served as his coming-out party: Five catches, 190 yards, two touchdowns, and one shattered winning streak.

Randall Cunningham threw for 442 yards and four scores on the day. Favre tossed three picks before getting the hook in favor of Doug Pederson, and a young Ryan Longwell kicked a field goal and three PATs in a losing effort.

Some Packer fans will tell you this game was the beginning of the end of the Holmgren era. For Vikings fans getting caught up in the magical 1998 season, it was the beginning of something special.


Nov. 6, 2000, Lambeau Field: Packers 26, Vikings 20 (OT)

If you read the box score, it looked simple: Antonio Freeman caught a 43-yard pass from Brett Favre to win the game.

If you remember the play that went down as “The Improbable Bobble,” it was anything but.

On a messy night in Green Bay, Daunte Culpepper and the Vikings spent four quarters matching the Pack blow-for-blow. Both offenses were pass-happy, and neither moved the ball well in the rain. 

The Vikings nearly won the game in regulation, but as Gary Anderson lined up for a 33-yard field goal with seven seconds to play, Mitch Berger muffed the snap, then chucked up an ill-advised pass attempt that was picked off to send the game into overtime.

On 3rd-and-4 during Green Bay’s first possession of OT, Minnesota pressured Favre into a long lob to Antonio Freeman. Vikings corner Chris Dishman broke it up.

Or so he thought.

Dishman whacked the ball out of the air and off of his body. Freeman, face-down on the ground, somehow came up with the ricochet on the fly.

Dishman didn’t notice that Freeman wasn’t down, and Freeman waltzed Scot-free into the endzone for the win.

As Favre tells it, he mobbed Freeman during the ensuing celebration before asking in a whisper, “Did you catch it?”

Freeman’s reply: “Hell yeah, I got it.”


Jan. 9, 2005, Lambeau Field: Vikings 31, Packers 14

In many respects, Minnesota’s 2004 season was an affair to forget.

The Vikings started 5-1 and finished 8-8. Mike Tice was nailed for running a Super Bowl ticket scalping operation a few months after the season ended. Randy Moss ruffled plenty of feathers when he headed to the locker room with a few seconds left on the clock at the end of a Week 17 loss in Washington.

But this particular night in Green Bay was one to remember.

The first and only playoff meeting between the Vikings and Packers was a tale of two quarterbacks. Culpepper racked up 284 yards passing and two touchdowns; Favre threw for 216 yards, a touchdown, and four interceptions.

Moss, allegedly nursing a hamstring injury, caught four balls for 70 yards and two scores. He punctuated his second trip to the end zone by giving Packer fans—notorious for mooning the visiting team’s bus as it approaches and leaves the stadium—a little taste of their own medicine.

If you ask me, the league’s $10,000 fine for the stunt was a small price to pay for making the ever-obnoxious Joe Buck freak out on the air about an act he deemed “disgusting.” Evidently, Buck was unaware that Moss had in fact kept his pants on.

The Vikings went on to get pasted by the Eagles the following week, but if there was ever a win to validate a long, ugly season, this was it.


Nov. 9, 2008, the Metrodome: Minnesota Vikings 28, Green Bay Packers 27

When Lovie Smith took over as the Bears head coach, his first stated goal was clear: Beat the Packers.

When Brad Childress took the Vikings job, he never went public with a similar intention. Considering Minnesota kicked off his tenure with an 0-5 skid against Green Bay, that’s probably a good thing.

Heading into this game, Childress had plenty to worry about besides that streak. The Vikings were 4-4 and a tied for third place. In their last divisional game, they’d turned the ball over five times and given up 48 points in a loss to the Bears. The high-profile acquisitions they’d made in the offseason (Jared Allen, Bernard Berrian) hadn’t vaulted them into contention.

In other words, they needed a win here.

To get one, Childress put the ball in the hands of Adrian Peterson.

As Sam Adams would say, always a good decision.

Peterson ripped off 192 yards rushing on 30 carries, including a 29-yard rumble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to stop a 17-0 Green Bay run. The PAT gave the Vikings a one-point lead with a little more than two minutes to play.

Aaron Rodgers brought the Pack to the outskirts of field goal range, but Mason Crosby pushed the go-ahead kick a few feet wide of the upright from 52 yards out, giving Childress his first win over his biggest rival.

Vikings fans can only hope that it won’t be his last.

 

This article is also featured on Purple Reign, a part of MTR Media. For more on the NFL, follow Marino on Twitter @MarinoEccher.

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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Randall McDaniel: A Football Hall Of Famer; A Life Already Enshrined.

“ …I am a Viking, I will always be a Viking, everyone knows that.” the soft words spoken by the gentle giant who was paramount for the Vikings organization, and fanbase, for 14 years.

Meet Randall McDaniel.

McDaniel is a soft spoken giant who hails from the desert region of Arizona only to ironically make a home in the tundra of Minnesota.

A low key player who refuted the limelight yet rather let his actions, leadership, and tenacity speak the volumes it did for the consummate pro.

An individual who, aside from football, put the community and his time with children first throughout his long career, and then made those children his new career after his time on the field.

Professionally, there are few that have come along and played Guard with as much speed, agility and tenacity as McDaniels did; there are fewer that achieved the monumental accomplishments McDaniels did.

All Rookie in 1988, 12 Pro Bowl selections AND starts, seven-time First Team All-Pro, as well as 202 consecutive starts between the years 1990 to 2001 without a single missed practice during the same time period.

In 1994 McDaniel’s forged line held opponents to one sack every 22.7 pass attempt.

In 1998, while playing for the incredibly explosive Viking Offense that registered a team record 556 points, McDaniels led the way for the gruesome two-some rushing attack of Leroy Hoard and Robert Smith, and it was that year the tandem combined for 1,666 yards.

Trust me, anyone who watched that line with those two guys will instantly recall McDaniel’s contribution both as a blocker, and as a fullback; something the Vikings also utilized with the endlessly talented McDaniels.

That 1998 season was the pinnacle of McDaniel’s career; he defined that O-line and paved the way for the explosive attack of the Vikings while working in unison with his fellow lineman to make getting to the quarterback as easy as breaking through a brick wall with a rubber mallet.

The O-line that year gave up no more than 20 sacks; they helped paved the way for a team total 1,936 yards on the ground and 17 rushing touchdowns.

He afforded Cunningham a crystal clear path to see the field and a cavernous pocket to relax in that allowed the passing game to yield 61 touchdowns in addition to 4,492 passing yards out of 533 attempts; a 61.4 percent completion rate.

McDaniels shared the field with some of the biggest names in Vikings history:

Cris Carter, Jake Reed, Gary Zimmerman, Randal Cunningham, Warren Moon, John Randle, Robert Griffith, Randy Moss, and Andrew Glover; this list literally could go on for miles.

In addition, McDaniels enjoyed incredible company in the trenches with five players that were all household names in the snowy landscape of Minnesota.

Todd Steussie, Jeff Christy, Korey Stringer, John Gerak and Dave Dixon who eventually replaced Gerak in 1997.

McDaniels had the absolute pleasure of working with some of the greatest Viking players to come along during his time; but  there were other people McDaniels worked with that were just as equally special to him—children.

In the offseason, McDaniels would regularly spend time with the elementary children in his community.

 McDaniels would spend an immeasurable amount of time taking the children on literary journeys as he read line after line of the pages of countless books.

 He found a great appreciation and love with his time spent with his littlest fans, and it was this discovery, this passion and budding relationship that led McDaniels to a new path after his exodus from football.

No more than a single day after his retirement, McDaniels obtained a license to work in elementary education, and today he works with the disadvantaged children within that system.

Interestingly enough, the low profile existence McDaniels insisted upon as a professional football player, is also the same approach he now assumes in his work within the elementary school system of Minnesota.

By the time he arrived at Westonka School District, Mr. McDaniels as he is known today, had figured that only the parents may remember him, but as the word got out, the children quickly became familiar with McDaniels as a football player.

In addition to his work with the students and acting as a guide in the realm of education, McDaniels also takes time out of his life to work with his wife Marianne. Together they plan and coordinate community service outings; a busy individual who selflessly dedicates his time to everyone else.

The ceremonies at the HOF this weekend will serve as a reminder of McDaniel’s accomplishments as a selfless player, a tried and tested leader, and an inspirational trench soldier who never quit for a single moment.

But it is his perpetual contribution to his community; to the children throughout Minnesota, and the countless lives he has touched and inspired that is the greatest example of just what it means to be enshrined in the game of life.

Congratulations Mr. McDaniel!

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Randall McDaniel: A Football Hall Of Famer; A Life Already Enshrined.

“ …I am a Viking, I will always be a Vikings, everyone knows that.” the soft words spoken by the gentle giant who was paramount for the Vikings organization, and fanbase, for 14 years.

Meet Randall McDaniel.

McDaniel is a soft spoken giant who hails from the desert region of Arizona only to ironically make a home in the tundra of Minnesota.

A low key player who refuted the limelight yet rather let his actions, leadership, and tenacity speak the volumes it did for the consummate pro.

An individual who, aside from football, put the community and his time with children first throughout his long career, and then made those children his new career after his time on the field.

Professionally, there are few that have come along and played Guard with as much speed, agility and tenacity as McDaniels did; there are fewer that achieved the monumental accomplishments McDaniels did.

All Rookie in 1988, 12 Pro Bowl selections AND starts, seven-time First Team All-Pro, as well as 202 consecutive starts between the years 1990 to 2001 without a single missed practice during the same time period.

In 1994 McDaniel’s forged line held opponents to one sack every 22.7 pass attempt.

In 1998, while playing for the incredibly explosive Viking Offense that registered a team record 556 points, McDaniels led the way for the gruesome two-some rushing attack of Leroy Hoard and Robert Smith, and it was that year the tandem combined for 1,666 yards.

Trust me, anyone who watched that line with those two guys will instantly recall McDaniel’s contribution both as a blocker, and as a fullback; something the Vikings also utilized with the endlessly talented McDaniels.

That 1998 season was the pinnacle of McDaniel’s career; he defined that O-line and paved the way for the explosive attack of the Vikings while working in unison with his fellow lineman to make getting to the quarterback as easy as breaking through a brick wall with a rubber mallet.

The O-line that year gave up no more than 20 sacks; they helped paved the way for a team total 1,936 yards on the ground and 17 rushing touchdowns.

He afforded Cunningham a crystal clear path to see the field and a cavernous pocket to relax in that allowed the passing game to yield 61 touchdowns in addition to 4,492 passing yards out of 533 attempts; a 61.4 percent completion rate.

McDaniels shared the field with some of the biggest names in Vikings history:

Cris Carter, Jake Reed, Gary Zimmerman, Randal Cunningham, Warren Moon, John Randle, Robert Griffith, Randy Moss, and Andrew Glover; this list literally could go on for miles.

In addition, McDaniels enjoyed incredible company in the trenches with five players that were all household names in the snowy landscape of Minnesota.

Todd Steussie, Jeff Christy, Korey Stringer, John Gerak and Dave Dixon who eventually replaced Gerak in 1997.

McDaniels had the absolute pleasure of working with some of the greatest Viking players to come along during his time; but it there were  other people McDaniels worked with that were just as equally special to him—children.

In the offseason, McDaniels would regularly spend time with the elementary children in his community.

 McDaniels would spend an immeasurable amount of time taking the children on literary journeys as he read line after line of the pages of countless books.

 He found a great appreciation and love with his time spent with his littlest fans, and it was this discovery, this passion and budding relationship that led McDaniels to a new path after his exodus from football.

No more than a single day after his retirement, McDaniels obtained a license to work in elementary education, and today he works with the disadvantaged children within that system.

Interestingly enough, the low profile existence McDaniels insisted upon as a professional football player, is also the same approach he now assumes in his work within the elementary school system of Minnesota.

By the time he arrived at Westonka School District, Mr. McDaniels as he is known today, had figured that only the parents may remember him, but as the word got out, the children quickly became familiar with McDaniels as a football player.

In addition to his work with the students and acting as a guide in the realm of education, McDaniels also takes time out of his life to work with his wife Marianne. Together they plan and coordinate community service outings; a busy individual who selflessly dedicates his time to everyone else.

The ceremonies at the HOF this weekend will serve as a reminder of McDaniel’s accomplishments as a selfless player, a tried and tested leader, and an inspirational trench soldier who never quit for a single moment.

But it is his perpetual contribution to his community; to the children throughout Minnesota, and the countless lives he has touched and inspired that is the greatest example of just what it means to be enshrined in the game of life.

Congratulations Mr. McDaniel!

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Should Minnesota Vikings Fans Be Excited About the Upcoming Season?

Before I begin this article, I would like to state, for the record, that I’m a die-hard Vikings fan and will continue to follow, support, cheer for the team, etc. for the rest of my life.

It’s been a pretty tough decade for Vikings fans, but things seem to be taking turn for the better, right? Hopefully. Because of the course of events in recent seasons, it’s been really difficult for fans to get excited.

Most recently, the team has been having trouble selling out it’s home games (although they haven’t been blacked out locally since 1997). However, almost every season this decade had some reason for the average fan to just get giddy about only to have those feelings crushed by the sad reality that the team underachieved.

I’m not suggesting that the 2009 season will be one of those seasons (I, personally, am very excited about it), but, unfortunately, I do have some reasons why Vikings fans should be skeptical instead of optimistic.

2000: I would not be listing this season if it weren’t for the final game. The vikings had a great year going 11-5 and winning the division. Daunte Culpepper put up pro-bowl numbers in his first full season and the team seemed pretty strong.

After beating New Orleans in the playoffs, the team played the New York Giants in the NFC Championship. The result of that game: The team fell apart and lost 41-0 in the worst loss in team history.

2001: The previous season was successful for the most-part and there was plenty of reasons for optimism heading into the season before tragedy struck. Korey Stringer collapsed during training training camp and passed away.

Throughout the season, the team fell apart. Daunte Culpepper had a very subpar season as he was nagged by injuries and team chemistry was nowhere to be seen. The team went 5-11 and did not win any of their road games.

They lost their season opener to the Carolina Panthers, who did not win another game the rest of that season, and later, they gave the 0-12 Lions their first win of that season. Head Coach Dennis Green resigned with one game left to play, leaving assistant Mike Tice to coach the final game.

2002: This season was an exception because the team had a new coach and had lost Cris Carter, one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. Overall, the 2002 season was kind of a chance to start over.

The Vikings had some embarrassing losses, but a couple of impressive wins, including their first road victory in over a year. The team finished 6-10 after winning its final three games.

2003: This was easily the most disappointing season since 1998 (If you don’t know about the ’98 vikings, don’t look them up). The team began the season 6-0 and everything seemed to click. Daunte Culpepper returned to form and even became a finalist for league MVP.

Then there were a couple of losses and it didn’t seem so bad. The Vikings had a commanding lead in the division and seemed destined for the playoffs. The there were a couple more losses and reasons to get concerned. The division lead slipped as the Green Bay Packers surged after a slow start.

It all came down to the last game of the season. All the Vikings had to do was beat the 3-12 Arizona Cardinals and the division title was theirs. After leading the entire game, the team gave up a touchdown on the final play and their season ended.

The 2003 Vikings went 9-7; 4 of those losses coming against teams that would end the season 4-12 (which happened to be the worst record of any team in the NFL that season).

2004: This season wasn’t all that bad. The team started strong and ended up backing into the playoffs with an 8-8 record. After surprisingly beating Green Bay in the wild card round, the team traveled to Philadelphia to play the Eagles.

Needless to say, Andy Reid out-coached Mike Tice and the team lost in a rather embarrassing fashion. During the off season, the team had a little overhaul.

Randy Moss was traded. Darren Sharper was brought in to help bolster the pass defense, and the team was pretty high on their two first-round draft picks, Troy Williamson and Erasmus James. Once again, there was a feeling that the team could build off of the 2004 season.

2005: In my opinion, 2005 was the most unexciting winning season by any team in NFL history. It started off slow with a couple of losses, and then Culpepper injured his knee and in came Brad Johnson in his second stint with the team.

Johnson ended up winning games for the team as they went 9-7, but missed the playoffs. Mike Tice was fired after the season and Daunte Culpepper was traded and it was time to start over with Brad Childress as coach.

From 2006 forward, the Vikings have improved consistently each year. They have gone from 6-10 to 8-8 to 10-6 and winning the division. Brad Childress, for the most part, has been a competent head coach, with the exception of not being able to settle on a solid starting quarterback.

Even so, the team has showed us that it is moving in the right direction. Owners Zygi and Mark Wilf have shown that they’re willing to spend the money to bring in players and the personnel have been very smart with the teams draft picks in recent years.

The Vikings currently have a good handful of All-Star caliber players and roster full of solid starters. If you’re a Vikings fan, you have reason to be excited for the upcoming season. Besides, after looking back at past seasons this decade, it can’t really get much worse.

Go ahead, be really excited; and if the team goes out and has a disappointing season, you probably never would’ve seen it coming.

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Minnesota Sports Franchises: The Ultimate Professional Farm System

If an NFL or MLB team ever needed a player, who do they look for? They go into the Twins or Vikings organizations.

Through the years, Minnesota franchises have done very well in bringing up great players only to let them walk and become superstars in other places.

Most notable is David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox.

For six years, the Twins groomed Ortiz to be their designated hitter. After his best season with the team in 2002 where he hit 20 home runs and 75 RBI’s, they let him go to the Red Sox.

Over the next six years of his career, Ortiz hit 231 home runs while driving in 731 runs.

How about Fred Robbins?

While he may not stand out as much as David Ortiz, Robbins played for four years with the Vikings before leaving for the New York Giants.

In his five seasons there, he has 23 sacks in 66 starts and has been a road block for opposing running backs since his arrival.

Of course there’s Matt Garza and Jason Bartlet, who the Twins got rid of in one day.

Garza has posted an ERA of 3.70 in Tampa Bay in his two seasons with 223 strikeouts.

Bartlett should have been starting in this year’s All-Star Game as he’s only two home runs shy of tying his total in four years with the Twins.

Both are playing their best baseball right now.

You could also make a case for Randy Moss.

Even though his years were filled with run-ins with the law, he was the best receiver in the game. He’s not happy with the direction the way the organization is being run so they trade him away. That’s not always the correct way to settle things.

I don’t care what he was like. He was the best at what he did and is now a role model for wide receivers everywhere.

It’s not only players that the franchises are bringing up, but coaches as well.

The moment Mike Tomlin got enough recognition as a defensive coordinator, the Vikings let him walk and become the head coach of the Steelers.

What did he do? Well, he just won a Super Bowl with one of the most dominating defenses ever to play the game.

We are only a year or two away from losing our current defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. He is supposed to be a Tony Dungy replica and I’ll be damned if I were to let him slip away to another team.

The newest member Minnesota got rid of was Marion Gaborik of the Minnesota Wild.

While he’s had his share of injuries, he was still one of the most dynamic players in the game. He didn’t fit the defensive scheme well and wanted out.

The Wild finally got a new coach and are going to change, but without Gaborik.

It’s tough seeing all this talent walk out of Minnesota only to find success elsewhere. I can only imagine what the Twins would be like with Mauer, Morneau, and Ortiz hitting together.

I can only imagine what it would be like having a Mike Tomlin for a head coach instead of a predictable conservative coach.

As fans of Minnesota, we forget these players because others take their place only to be let go sooner or later.

It’s all part of life up here. We just have to keep waiting for the chance to strike it big. Until then, we’ll have to settle being the farm system of the professional sports.

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Why the Vikings Are in Danger of Overworking Adrian Peterson

Several months ago, I wrote an article, “The Workhorse Running Back: A Dying Trend in the NFL.”

 

This piece highlighted the importance of utilizing a two or even three-back system to extend a running back’s career, as the Panthers did with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams last season, or the Ravens with Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, and LeRon McClain.

 

Memo to the Vikings: Take note of this.

 

Adrian Peterson is good.

 

He’s very good.

 

In fact, he is on pace to be one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League.

 

His first two years were Hall of Fame worthy. He started in the Pro Bowl as a rookie, earned All-Pro honors in both seasons, and finished in the top two in the league in rushing yards both seasons.

 

He’s already drawn comparisons to the great ones—Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, and so on. It’s too early to project a whole career for AP, but he looks to have a bright future ahead based on the two seasons we as football fans have seen from him.

 

Only three running backs have every rushed for more yards in their first two seasons than Peterson. Only 12 backs have ever rushed for more touchdowns. And only 11 backs have carried the ball as many times as Peterson.

 

That’s a red flag right there.

 

No. 1 way to ruin a running back’s career: overuse him.

 

Look at Terrell Davis. Earl Campbell. Larry Johnson.

 

These guys were the best of the best, but couldn’t take the pounding from being the feature back—or the only back—for their team. All had prematurely short careers.

 

After averaging 374 touches per year in his first four seasons, Terrell Davis got injured and never again was the full-time starter.

 

Was it worth it to Denver fans?

 

Sure.

 

They got two Super Bowl titles and a Super Bowl MVP performance from Davis. And he was arguably the best running back in the game for about three years.

 

But it would have been nice for Davis to play more than four full seasons in the NFL.

 

Campbell averaged 351 carries per season in each of his first four years in the pros before injuries limited him to just 207 carries per year in his final four seasons.

 

And Larry Johnson averaged 386 carries per season after taking over the starting duties for the Chiefs, including an NFL-record 416 carries in 2006. In the two years since, he has averaged fewer than 200 carries per season, after missing 12 games due to injury.

 

In fact, there have been 26 instances in football history in which a running back has topped 370 carries in a single season.

 

Of those 26 times, the running back has suffered an injury the following season nine times. 35 percent of the time.

 

That’s a pretty big risk to the Vikings.

 

Of the five times a running back has topped 400 carries in a season, two of the five runners have gotten hurt the following season. Those two—Larry Johnson and Jamal Anderson—combined for just 177 carries in their following year.

 

Teams should be wary of giving their star running backs that many carries, especially a team like Minnesota that possesses a talented backup runner—Chester Taylor—capable of filling in as the full-time back.

 

Peterson is a special back—the kind you want to protect. Running backs don’t have long careers, but the Vikings want to be able to still rely on him in five or six years.

 

370 carries doesn’t guarantee an injury. In fact, most of the time the running back DOESN’T get hurt the next year.

 

Eric Dickerson—a physical freak of nature—is the only back in history with four seasons to his resume of 370-plus carries. And he never got hurt in any of the succeeding years.

 

But why take the chance?

 

Even if the back manages to stay healthy, there is a pretty good chance he will see a significant decrease in his yards per carry.

 

Ricky Williams was used 383 times by the Dolphins in 2002, gaining a league-best 1,853 rushing yards on 4.6 yards per carry.

 

The following year, he took the pounding from 392 carries, and didn’t miss a game.

 

But he paid the price. His yards dropped to 1,372 and his yards per carry average dropped over a full yard, down to 3.5 per rush.

 

Same with Eddie George.

 

George carried the rock 403 times for the Titans in 2000, helping the team to the playoffs. He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, but totaled 1,509 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns.

 

The next season, George again played all 16 games and carried the ball 315 times. He failed to even top 1,000 yards however, averaging just a paltry 2.96 yards per carry.

 

In his final three seasons, George never again topped 3.4 yards per carry.

 

I have no ties to the Vikings. All they are to me is competition for the NFC title, but I would like to see a fair fight.

 

Ideally, I think Peterson should get 320 carries and 40 receptions, with Taylor handling around 125 carries and 30 receptions.

 

It’s tempting to want to overwork a star. Especially when it gets your team that elusive Super Bowl trophy.

 

And maybe Peterson will turn out to be that once-in-a-lifetime back like Dickerson or Barry Sanders, who just doesn’t get hurt.

 

But I wouldn’t take my chances.

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