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Commentary: Peterson's feats put to the Minnesota test

By Jim Souhan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Published: January 4, 2013
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In 1994 and ‘95, Cris Carter caught 122 passes each season. In 2003, Randy Moss caught 111 passes for 1,632 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“Randy Moss obviously was a great athlete, but you can't put these two in the same ballpark,” Eller said. “Everybody says this, and it's so true: Adrian is doing it with such grace. You bring up a guy like Moss, and it's no comparison.”

In 2004, Kevin Garnett won the NBA MVP award. In 2006, Justin Morneau became AL MVP. In both 2004 and ‘06, Johan Santana won the AL Cy Young.

In 2009, Joe Mauer won the MVP with perhaps the greatest season ever produced by a catcher, and Brett Favre produced the most efficient season of his record-setting career while taking the Vikings to the NFC title game.

“You know me, I'm a baseball guy,” said local sports historian Stew Thornley. “I'd love to tell you that a baseball player had the greatest season in Minnesota history. But I can't.

“I can't compare what Peterson is doing in the NFL today to anything that happened in the NBA when it was in its formative stages. Given that it's the NFL, given the way he's come back from that knee injury, and that the offense relies so heavily on him, and that he had the dramatic performance to lift his team into the playoffs, Peterson's performance has to rank as the best ever.”

Jim Klobuchar covered Minnesota sports for the Associated Press before moving to the Star Tribune, where he covered the Vikings and wrote columns for three decades. Speaking from Washington, where he was attending daughter Amy's swearing in for her second term as a senator from Minnesota, Jim reminisced about Bob McNamara returning a kickoff for a touchdown during his All-America senior season of 1954.

“He ran a kickoff back from his 2-yard-line and Murray Warmath, well, I've never heard a coach talk about an individual achievement the way he did,” Klobuchar said. “He said it was the greatest play he's ever seen, one man against 11, in his career.”

Before this year, Klobuchar would have ranked Page's MVP season as the best he's seen. “There were games when Alan singlehandedly disrupted the opposing offense,” Klobuchar said. “But I don't know that there is anything to compare to what Peterson has done. I've never seen a running back play like that.”

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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