Peterson Falls short of Dickerson’s Record, AP Comments 31 Dec 12

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson

Q: You were pretty vocal about wanting to break the rushing record. How does it feel
to fall short?
A: It’s a bittersweet feeling inside. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard that I
was nine yards short was, ‘It is what it is. It wasn’t meant to happen.’ Not to say it doesn’t
hurt because it does. Ultimately we came in here tonight and accomplished the ultimate
goal of getting a win and taking our team into the playoffs.

Q: Can you take us through the emotions of your last run?
A: I just remember getting the ball and moving. I had a great block. The offensive line did
a tremendous job. It’s kind of funny because we called that play a couple of times and I
bounced it back and didn’t trust it. In the right time, I trusted it and was able to get a big
play. I was definitely trying to get in the end zone, by all means, but in my mind the smart
thing to do was to protect the ball. It was a good feeling, especially with the guys watching
on the sidelines, it felt pretty good.

Q: Did you ever know, at any time, what your numbers were throughout the game?
A: I never knew; I never knew. I wasn’t worried about it. I told myself to come to this game
and focus on one thing, winning and doing my job to contribute to the running game and
the passing game. If it happened, it would have come to me, but I didn’t want to focus on
it at all. I wasn’t focused on it. I went out and played my game and accomplished what we
wanted to. We’re in now. We’re in the playoffs. We get to fight another week.

Q: You still crossed 2000 yards, the second-highest total ever. That’s pretty darn
good.
A: Yeah, it’s pretty good. I know Eric Dickerson is probably feeling so good. God-willing I’ll
get it next year, or at least make it close.

Q: Have you ever talked to him (Dickerson) about the record?
A: No, we haven’t talked about it at all. I’ve seen him around previously. He’s a pretty cool
guy. He’s from Texas. I was compared to him a lot. He had good things to say about me.
There’s no love lost at all.

Q: At what point did you find out you were just short?
A: Right after the game.

Q: Who told you?
A: I think it was Pam Oliver. She came up and was like, ‘I think you were short. I don’t know
for sure, the exact number, but it was close! It was either 9 or 10 yards.’ I was like, ‘Aw,
dang. Oh well.’

Q: On your long run in the fourth quarter, did you know if you scored you would have
broken the record?

A: I didn’t know. I was focused on accomplishing our goal as a team, and not worrying about
the record.

Q: Did you tell people not to keep you updated during the game?
A: I didn’t really have to tell anyone. I think they kind of knew that I was in the zone and not
worried about all of that. I made it easy.

Q: A year ago tonight, you were coming out of surgery. What were you thinking a
year ago tonight?
A: I was pushing to get back. I remember talking to the doctor when I got out of surgery,
asking him immediately when I could start rehabbing and exercising to bounce back. I went
in just a couple of days after my injury to surgery. He said it normally took about two weeks
to start doing leg lifts. I started doing it right then, ‘Like this?’ My mind was on coming back.
I knew it was going to be hard, going to be tough, to overcome this adversity like I did so
many times in my life, with bigger things than ACL injuries. Ultimately through that battle I
was able to end up on top.

Q: BJ Raji stopped you a couple of times and went like this (hand gestures). Did you
notice that?
A: I didn’t notice it at all. He got me a couple of times. I congratulated him, you know ‘Good
play.’ But I got him a couple of times as well. It balanced out.

Q: Did you hear the crowd chant MVP?
A: Yes. I was really just taking in all of the love they were showing me. They were
chanting ‘MVP!’ It felt good. That’s pretty much it. Just taking it in and enjoying it.

Q: Would you be a bit surprised if you weren’t named MVP?
A: I don’t let rewards identify me. I don’t do that. I go out and let it find me. I can find myself
if I go out on the field. Surprised if I win it, or not, I can’t say I don’t want to, just like I wanted
to break the record. Either way, in my heart, I’m the MVP, and that’s all the matters.

Q: Were you surprised you won this type of game?
A: We jumped out ahead of those guys but it’s the Packers. There’s a reason why we dislike
them, they’re good, and we knew it was going to be a heavyweight battle and (inaudible),
and ultimately we were able to make the big play at the end. There was a lot on the line,
playoffs for us, first-round bye, if I’m correct, for those guys. We knew it was going to be a
tough one.

Q: Are you expecting the rematch to be just as tough?
A: Oh yeah, it’s win or go home now. I’m sure they’re going to accept it for what it is, ‘Hey,
we didn’t get the first-round bye. We have to win to stay in,’ and we’re going in with the
same mindset.

Q: Could you talk about any missed opportunities you had today?
A: I can go back to the 43 and 42 lead. On both of them, I kind of jumped back inside
instinctively. I felt I left some out there. ’38 G Boss,’ the one on the goal line, I think two on
the goal line, I let the defensive end or it might have been the free safety spook me on both
of those so I cut it back in and got two or three yards, but I think if I would have followed my
fullback, I could have stretched it out and still got some positive.

Q: Are you the kind to obsess over that or will you let it go?

A: I’m not going to think about it that much. I’ll still think about it a little bit but ultimately, it is
what it is.

Q: How about you catching your first touchdown pass in more than a year?
A: That felt good. It was funny because on that play, it was like me and Christian connected.
I’m looking at him, I’m like, ‘Throw the ball.’ It was like he was a little unsure if I was
going to catch it or not. I was like, ‘Throw the ball, run it, make a decision now.’ We were
communicating back and forth and he was able to throw the pass, I was able to catch it. It
was big.

Q: This is what you were thinking when you were in the end zone waiting for it?
A: The whole way, it was wide open. We both kind of curved out at the same angle, just vice
versa.

Q: And that message was eye-to-eye?
A: Yeah, it was eye-to-eye. Of course, no words, but yeah, eye-to-eye contact. ‘What are
you going to do? Are you going to run it so I need to turn and block? Or are you going to
throw it to me? I’m wide open. Trust me,’ and he did.

Q: How far has he come in the past few weeks?
A: He played his butt off today. He made some big throws and the receivers too, Mike
Jenkins, Jerome Simpson, all these guys played tremendous. Christian gave those guys
opportunities to make big plays. He’s getting better each week.

Q: Was it Jerome Felton who picked you up after the last run?
A: No, that was Jamarca Sanford.

Q: Were you thinking that you should kick the field goal first before that?
A: I was, I was. I was enjoying it, but then again in my head I’m like, ‘We need to kick this
and make sure we get it in first. I’m not celebrating right now.’ He made it, so it felt good.

Q: Did you look Christian in the eye before the 3rd-and-11 throw on the final drive?
A: No, in that moment he made a great throw, Jenkins made an amazing catch. What a way
to bounce back by Jenkins after dropping a pass in the end zone, making two clutch plays.
Christian, he played awesome today.

Q: Did the passing game help you open up the run?
A: Yeah, it was vice versa. The run opened up the pass game too, and the run as well.
Green Bay had to play honest. They had to respect the pass game and when we’re doing
that, we’re playing balanced football, we’re a tough team to beat.