NFL Quick Hits 2013: Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson’s headline-making 2012 season– he ran for 2,097 yards and averaged 6.0 yards per carry– was even more remarkable in context: he had torn his ACL and MCL in December 2011, yet he was starting for the Vikings on week one of the 2012 season, a mere nine months after the injury. When he did return, he had the best season of his career. Ordinarily, players require a full twelve months of recovery following surgery to repair torn knee ligament. When they do return, their production usually decreases. Peterson was a startling exception on both fronts. Peterson’s recovery was so remarkable, many fans described him as superhuman, while others, along with one Detroit linebacker, were asking whether there might be some other reason for his surprising return. Peterson told that linebacker last season and the rest of us this week: “I’m juicing on the blood of Jesus. Faith is what got me to this point.” It isn’t easy to talk about religion in the sports world, and I’ve touched on it only briefly here, but from a purely conversational/presentational perspective, Peterson needs a response to the question, “Are you juicing?” that does not recall President George W. Bush’s groaner of a response to a question about whether he was turning to a “Plan B” in Iraq: “Actually, I would call that a plan recommended by Baker-Hamilton, so it would be a Plan B-H.” When it comes to answering to opposing linebackers this season, Peterson probably should just let his knees, however reformed, do the talking.


Ziggy Ansah


Merry Monday

Christmas came early for the Detroit Lions, who dominated the Chargers on Christmas Eve and earned their first playoff berth since 1999, giving the team a chance to win their first playoff game since 1991, their first NFL championship since 1957, and their first Super Bowl ever. I’m carried away one sentence into this post, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. In other NFL news, the Packers proved that, if another team is to beat them, they will need their starting quarterback and running back in action. They face the Lions next week, and given the chance that those teams will see each other again in the playoffs, I expect the game to go one of two ways: 1) both teams lay out cautions gameplans, with the Packers particularly careful to protect their starters; 2) the Lions miss the memo detailing option (1) and go all-out in an attempt to knock Aaron Rogers out and get the remainder of their defense suspended in the process. All Lions-Packers games that happen from here on out will be played in Lambeau. Cold weather proved to get the better of Tim Tebow, who got destroyed by the Bills of Buffalo.

The NBA regular season returned yesterday, and most of the games were pleasantly close. Two that were not were the finals rematch between Miami and Dallas, where the visiting Heat handled the defending champs easily, and a game involving Oklahoma City. (That’s all I can say about the latter.) The Knicks won a close one over Boston in the early game, and many have been saying that, despite the win, New York’s weaknesses were exposed. I have been saying that, despite everything and nothing, Spike Lee is so, so tired. By contrast, the Bulls won a close game over the Lakers when Derick Rose blew right past the SAT check-in table to flip in a game-winning floater in the lane, and most people are saying that this close win for Chicago showed their strength. I have been saying that, despite that, it shows that the Lakers are going to have a really long, somewhat bad year. Finally, the other LA team continued its winning ways. This was the only game I watched most of. The Warriors hung around for the first three quarters, but new Clipper addition Chris Paul took charge in the second half of the fourth quarter (known as “the start of the game” in player parlance) and secured a comfortable win for his new team. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, someone said, “basketball?”

On the docket for this week is more bowl game coverage and some looks back at the year that is soon to end (i.e., 2011).


Isn’t one of you supposed to be….? Oh nevermind.