Former NFL MVP and seven-time Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson recently hit the free agency market, and the Packers are among one of the many teams mentioned when talking about possible destinations for the future Hall of Fame running back. Last season, Adrian Peterson ran for just 72 yards on 37 attempts throughout three games, an average of just 1.95 YPC. Two years ago, in 2015, Peterson ran for a league-leading 1,485 yards.
Adrian Peterson Could Fit in Green Bay
Adrian Peterson and Aaron Rodgers Could be Deadly Combination
The thought of those two players on the same team is enough to send shivers down the spine of any team in the NFC. Peterson, who won NFL MVP in 2012, lined up with two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. Peterson may be past his prime, but he’s still a major threat when healthy. A tandem of two of the most talented players to grace their positions would make Green Bay an easy Super Bowl favorite in the NFC.
Imagine the offensive capability a Packers team with Aaron Rodgers and a healthy Adrian Peterson. Separation for receivers wouldn’t be as big of an issue for Green Bay with Peterson making opposing defenses respect the run. Coming to Green Bay would give Peterson the opportunity to play with an elite quarterback, something he hasn’t had since Brett Favre in 2009. It would also fulfill his desire to play with a team that competes for a Super Bowl on a yearly basis.
Peterson Has History of Coming Back Strong From Injuries
Adrian Peterson’s career took a major hit in 2011 when he tore his ACL. Peterson came back in 2012 with a monster 2,000-yard campaign that won him league MVP. Widely considered one of the greatest comeback seasons of all time, it gives me hope that Peterson could have a strong comeback should he decide to sign with Green Bay. Peterson is only two years off from leading the league in yards in 2015, so it isn’t as if he hasn’t had success in ages. His explosiveness is still there and was possibly hindered by a weak Vikings offensive line last season. Green Bay’s offensive line is a major step up from what Peterson had in Minnesota.
Packers Suffered Without a Substantial Running Game Last Season
Ty Montgomery did his best, but the void at running back left by Eddie Lacy did not completely get filled last year. Rodgers consistently had to throw more than normal (not always a bad thing) and Green Bay relied on the short passing game to compliment the run. With the addition of an MVP-caliber running back, the Packers immediately become more dynamic on offense. Mike McCarthy would be able to open up the playbook to include many more runs and Green Bay would find itself controlling time of possession more often than not. Rodgers would have far more time to throw and many more opportunities to spread the field and go for deeper passes with defensive backs being forced to respect the run. It would become a “pick your poison” scenario for opposing defenses.
Many Packer fans remember the pain that came with Brett Favre joining the Vikings. Should Green Bay pick up Peterson, who is perhaps one of if not the greatest Viking of all time, it would be a sweet taste of revenge for the Favre debacle that caused so much resentment amongst Packer fans. The image of Peterson in Green and Gold would be enough for Vikings fans to wrench, much as Favre in Purple and Gold caused Packers fans to look away in disgust.
Of course, all of this is just speculation and there’s no way to know if Peterson will ever be as good as he once was or if he’ll even consider coming to Green Bay. It’s always fun to consider the possibilities though, right?