As Washington running back Adrian Peterson enters his 14th NFL season, he sits just 4,139 yards away from Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing yards mark of 18,355.
For Peterson, who has put together one of the best careers at the position ever and currently ranks fifth on the list, surpassing Smith has been something he's chased since he first stepped foot in the league in 2007.
‘Obviously that’s one of my goals that I set for myself when I entered into the NFL was to be able to pass the GOAT," Peterson said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football.
Now just over 4,000 yards away, the goal is in Peterson's sights. But the 35-year old veteran is not only trying to catch Smith, but outlast "Father Time" as well. Though the 2012 MVP has shown no signs of slowing down over the past two seasons in Washington, the yardage total he needs equals about four more grueling seasons of football that would push him near the age of 40.
As challenging as that may be, Peterson expects to get there. He's already explained that he wants to play four more seasons, and though his body will call the shots, he's feeling healthy and fresh entering the 2020 campaign.
“My body is feeling good. I look forward to playing a couple more years, three to four more years, who knows," Peterson said. "Depends on how my body is feeling, because it talks to me.”
He also didn't realize that he was only 4,139 yards from the record. To him, that makes the task even more plausible.
“I didn’t know it was that close. 4,000, that sounds a lot better than 6,000 or 5,000," Peterson said. "We’ll see what happens, I’ll put my best foot forward to reach it I promise you that.”
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While passing Smith is surely something Peterson will take note of as he continues to suit up each Sunday, his desire to continue playing the sport doesn't come from personal achievements.
Throughout his illustrious career, he's consistently collected personal accolades that demonstrate just how successful he's been. But, one thing that has eluded Peterson is team achievements. In 13 seasons, he's still yet to reach a Super Bowl. As he continues to show age is just a number, it's the ring that he really wants. Smith's rushing record would just be the icing on the cake.
“That’s not really my ultimate goal, it’s one of my top goals," Peterson said. "Win a championship is the one that I’m chasing the most.”
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