Adrian Peterson has been the subject of major discussion for the New Orleans Saints this offseason. Rightfully so. The signing of Peterson has definitely lit visions of another Super Bowl in the minds of deserving Saints fans.
Marcus Allen VS Adrian Peterson?
I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine, D.C., about who Adrian Peterson reminds him of. The Great Marcus Allen came up in the conversation. I said no way, but when you look at the numbers its amazing how close Marcus Allen and Adrian Peterson parallel each other.
For those too young to remember The Great Marcus Allen, he is 6-2 210lb. running back drafted in the 1st round out of USC in 1982 by the then L.A. Raiders. The former Heisman Trophy winning back achieved many accomplishments in his 16 year Hall Of Fame career between two teams(Raiders/Chiefs).
Marcus Allen is by far one of the greatest running backs of his time, being the first to rush for 10,000 yards and 5,000 yards receiving as well as the first to rush for 123 touchdowns.
Here’s Marcus Allen’s career stat line: 3,022 carries 12,243 rush yards, 123 rush TD’s, 4.1 yards a carry. As a receiver he delivered: 587 catches for 5,411 yards and 21 TD. And one of the most astounding facts: he only fumbled 17 times in 16 years!
Here are some more accomplishments from Marcus Allen:
He was invited to six pro bowls, awarded both a Super Bowl MVP and a regular season MVP
- NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1993)
- NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1985)
- NFL Rookie of the Year (1982)
- 2× NFL rushing touchdowns leader (1982, 1993)
- NFL rushing yards leader (1985)
- National champion (1978)
- Heisman Trophy (1981)
- Maxwell Award (1981)
- Walter Camp Award (1981)
- Pac-10 Player of the Year (1981)
- Unanimous All-American (1981)
Very successful career. And I almost forgot, he played until he was 37!!!!!!
I know you may be wondering where is the comparison? Let’s look at the illustrious career of Adrian Peterson aka Mr. All Day, who is considered by just about everybody as the best running back of his generation.
AP is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer if he retires today. But like Marcus Allen, Peterson wants to play until he’s 37.
AP played 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings and is now with the Saints, which is similar to Marcus Allen’s 11 yrs. with the Raiders and 5 with the Chiefs. A.P. career accolades are very similar to Marcus Allen’s and in some areas greater Allen’s ever were:
- 4× First-team All-Pro (2008, 2009, 2012, 2015)
- 3× Second-team All-Pro (2007, 2010, 2013)
- NFL Most Valuable Player (2012)
- NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2012)
- 2× Bert Bell Award (2008, 2012)
- NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2007)
- 3× NFL rushing yards leader (2008, 2012, 2015)
- 2× NFL rushing touchdowns leader (2009, 2015)
- NFL record 296 rushing yards in a game
- Unanimous All-American (2004)
- 3× First-team All-Big 12 (2004–2006)
- Hall Trophy (2003) Marcus Allen Induction
Adrian Peterson’s career stat line is: 123 games, 2,418 carries for 11,747 yds at 4.9 yds. a carry, along with 97 rushing TD’s. Let’s look at AP’s receptions so far in his career: 241 catches for 1,945 yards and 5 TD’s while averaging a whopping 8 yards a catch.
If that isn’t enough AP and Marcus Allen’s best year in the NFL are tied for 8th all time for yards from the line of scrimmage.
What a coincidence? AP is channeling his inner Marcus Allen. Both have a nose for the end zone with Peterson having at least 10 TD’s every season he was healthy. Marcus Allen was doing pretty much the same receiving and running most of his career before the great Bo Jackson started sharing his touches.
AP is the only running back I can see currently scoring 10 touchdowns to match Marcus Allen who rushed for 11 TD’s at the ripe old age of 37.
The bottom line
In conclusion the only area that I don’t see at least a slight comparison between A.P. and Marcus Allen stat wise is receiving yards. Marcus Allen also had a unique ability to throw the ball 60 yards down the field for a touchdown and although I haven’t seen AP do that yet, I wouldn’t bet against him that he could if given a chance.
Marcus Allen retired sometime ago and is still putting a whipping on Father Time, not looking anywhere near 57. AP is a athletic freak as well and has beaten injuries multiple times already in his career.
Peterson gets injured and seems to always come back stronger each time. Longevity is a great ally in both of these great backs arsenals. Adrian Peterson and Marcus Allen are truly two of a kind, both getting better with time like fine wine.
D.C. contributed to this report.