The 2010s were not a kind decade to the Redskins. The team had a combined 62-97-1 record and made the playoffs just twice over the 10-year span, with neither trip to the postseason resulting in any victories.
So when the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame released their All-Decade team on Monday, it was not surprising to see the Redskins have just one representative on the squad. That would be running back Adrian Peterson, who joined the Redskins in 2018 and has been with the team since.
The NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team Offense! pic.twitter.com/Yrd8VshcVU— NFL (@NFL) April 6, 2020
Peterson's selection to the All-Decade team is largely due to his successful tenure with the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of the decade. Peterson spent six seasons with Minnesota during the 2010s and was named the NFL MVP in 2012, rushing for 2,097 yards, just eight short of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing yards record.
Over the 10-year span, Peterson ran for 71 touchdowns, the most of any running back. The 35-year-old rushed for 9,732 yards during the decade, the third-most of any rusher, trailing only LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore. All three, along with Marshawn Lynch, were named to the All-Decade squad.
Peterson's arrival in Washington in 2018 came largely as an emergency due to an ACL injury to Derrius Guice. But over the past two seasons, the veteran running back has been extraordinary for the Burgundy and Gold.
In 2018, Peterson rushed for over 1,000 yards for the eighth time in his career and the first time since 2015, all behind an offensive line that was constantly changing. The then 33-year-old's efforts were rewarded when he was named the team's Offensive MVP.
Last season, the future Hall of Famer was inexplicably benched for the season opener by former head coach Jay Gruden. But after Guice suffered another injury in Week 1, Peterson slid back into the starting role. No. 26 went on to start the remaining 15 games for Washington, rushing for a team-high 898 yards and five touchdowns behind an even worse offensive line from the year prior and way less talented offensive unit as a whole.
The Redskins completely overhauled their coaching staff this offseason, and some wondered if that would be the end of Peterson's tenure in Washington. But the team exercised its option on the ageless running back in March, officially bringing back Peterson for another season.
New head coach Ron Rivera has repeatedly praised Peterson since taking over the job and believes the running back will be a vital part in helping change the culture in Redskins Park.
Simply put, what Peterson has been able to do in Washington has been nothing short of incredible. While his All-Decade selection has plenty to do with his time in the Twin Cities, the second act of his career in Washington certainly had an impact, too.
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