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Peterson faces most eight man fronts in league

Minnesota Vikings v Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 30: Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs for a nine yard touchdown in the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers October 30, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Vikings won 24 - 21. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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Adrian Peterson’s season has once again slipped under the radar because he plays on a lousy team.

He’s the league leader in rushes, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns, which is all the more impressive because teams know what’s coming when they face the Vikings.

Mike Sando of reports that no running back faces more eight-man fronts than Peterson. He has 59 runs against eight-man fronts, for 217 yards and four touchdowns.

If you don’t add an extra defender against Peterson, he will wreck you. (Jon Gruden voice.) Peterson averages 5.37 yards-per-carry when the opposition doesn’t stack the box against him.

Sando notes that Frank Gore ranks second in the league in facing eight-man fronts. That’s a sign that opponents still don’t respect San Francisco’s passing game much.

These stats help show what I’ve thought the last two years: Peterson is playing some of the best football of his career, but this Vikings team is holding him back.

It would be a shame if they waste the prime of an all-time great’s career.