Adrian Peterson Wins 2015 Rushing Title, Enters Elite Company
As the 2015 NFL season comes to a close, so do the races for various league honors. Among them is Adrian Peterson, who clenched the 2015 rushing title today, without even hitting the field yet.
As the season drew down to the final week, it became a race between Peterson and Tampa Bay's Doug Martin. Martin entered his game today 64 yards short of Peterson's yardage mark, but only rushed for 48 yards against the Panthers as the Buccaneers' season came to a close. This means Peterson has Martin beat by 16 yards before the Vikings' final regular season game against the Packers on Sunday Night Football.
In winning his third title in the 9 seasons he's been in the league, he becomes only the 8th player in league history to earn 3 rushing titles. He joins Jim Brown, Steve Van Buren, O.J. Simpson, Eric Dickerson, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Earl Campbell. Brown won a record total of 8 titles, while Dickerson, Smith, Simpson, Can Buren, and Sanders won 4; and Campbell won 3.
Peterson also became only the third running back to win a rushing title in his 30s. Marion Motley (30) did it in 1950 and Curtis Martin (31) did it in 2004.
Peterson's other two rushing titles were in 2008 and 2012. During his 2008 campaign, he racked up 1,760 yards; and rushed for a near-record 2,097 in 2012. Entering the final game of the regular season, Peterson has 1,418 yards.
One thing you'll notice about all of the names above is that they are all Hall of Famers. Whether or not Peterson joins that list as well won't be decided for some time, but this is another step in that direction.