Coming off season-ending knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, superstar running back Adrian Peterson appeared to be on the downside of his career in the NFL heading into the 2012 NFL regular season. Peterson’s numbers were on the decline and many believed the perennial Pro Bowler may have finally peaked with no telling whether or not he’d be able to bounce back from knee surgery.
Despite all the talk of Peterson more than likely having his best years behind him, the veteran running back surprised everyone during the 2012 campaign for the Minnesota Vikings rushing for a franchise-record 2,097 rushing yards and finishing as the second-best single-season total in NFL history behind Eric Dickerson.
Now that Peterson’s unbelievable season is in the books, the 27-year-old is headed to the Pro Bowl this weekend to face-off against the best of the best who are not on their way to the Super Bowl. Although there’s been a lot of talk about the poor play in the Pro Bowl over the past few weeks, Peterson has no intention of letting his foot off the gas pedal in Hawaii via Sporting News:
“When you play down, you put yourself in jeopardy of getting hurt going through the motions. So I won’t be playing down,” Peterson said earlier this month about Sunday’s game. “I’m going to play hard.”
Peterson also said another motivating factor for players in the Pro Bowl is the $50,000 given to the winners:
“We get 50 more racks so we can give it to our mom, our dad, our family, or go buy a car. There’s a lot you can do with 50,” Peterson said.
Fellow NFL MVP candidate Peyton Manning blasted players for their poor effort in the Pro Bowl in the years past saying it was simply unacceptable. With Manning and Peterson seemingly willing to play at a high level, the rest of the players may jump on board this weekend to change the perception of the game and make it entertaining for the fans once more.
John Madden also spoke out about the Pro Bowl and the fact that the NFL will likely get rid of the game altogether if the play of the players doesn’t turn around in the near future.