Adrian Peterson is still showing value as an NFL running back


Adrian Peterson is probably going going to be a first-ballot entrant into the NFL Corridor of Fame. For now, although, he’s a free agent searching for a brand new workforce. Underneath regular circumstances, including a 36-year-old operating again wouldn’t be a smart move. Nonetheless, regardless of his general degree of play declining in current seasons, the superior metrics present that Peterson can nonetheless present worth to an NFL offense.

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Adrian Peterson’s field rating statistics from 2020 have been nonetheless aggressive

After a pair of stable seasons with the Washington Soccer Group, Peterson signed with the Detroit Lions in 2020. In his debut season with the Lions, Peterson ran for 604 yards and seven touchdowns. On the floor, these are respectable statistics, particularly for a operating again of Peterson’s age.

That mentioned, these numbers do signify the continuation of a worrying development of declining statistics for Peterson in current seasons. In 2018, his first season in Washington, Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards. The subsequent 12 months, that complete fell to 898. If his numbers proceed to say no at that fee, Peterson will likely be contributing virtually nothing earlier than lengthy.

In equity to Peterson, the Lions took a much more committee-based strategy to their backfield than Washington did. Whereas Washington used Peterson as their main again, in Detroit, he break up carries with D’Andre Swift. Regardless of that, Peterson was nonetheless the Lions’ main producer on the bottom, outgaining Swift by about 80 yards. In that context, his 604 yards appear way more affordable.

The superior metrics additionally painting Peterson favorably

Like his conventional statistics, Peterson’s superior metrics have stayed aggressive over the previous couple of years. In accordance with the Offensive Worth Metric (OVM), a grading system created by the (Bx) Motion to judge gamers based mostly on how efficient a participant was given their circumstances, Peterson remained one of the crucial environment friendly operating backs within the NFL final season.

In 2020, he earned an OVM grade of 9.76. At first look, that may not look like a very excessive quantity. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that operating again OVM grades are typically decrease than these earned by gamers at different positions.

When in comparison with different operating backs, Peterson carried out moderately nicely, along with his grade rating 18th out of 55 qualifying gamers. Though not an elite grade, Peterson nonetheless did a greater job of filling his function than many operating backs at the moment filling NFL rosters.

Peterson’s OVM grades have been fluctuating for a number of years

Though Peterson’s grade in contrast favorably to different operating backs final season, it’s value noting that it — like his field rating statistics — fell in 2020, evaluating poorly to a stellar 2019 efficiency.

In 2019, he earned a grade of 16.85, considerably larger than what he acquired in 2020. Clearly, Peterson’s influence on his offense fell dramatically over the past two seasons.

Nonetheless, it’s value noting that Peterson’s OVM grades haven’t been persistently trending downwards in the identical method his field rating statistics have. As an alternative, his play has been fluctuating from season to season, incomes a grade of 11.23 in 2018 and 18.61 in 2017.

These numbers don’t seem to signify a downward development in the identical method that his field rating statistics do. Maybe 2021 could possibly be one other rebound 12 months for Peterson.

Analyzing the superior metrics behind Adrian Peterson’s OVM grades

As a way to clarify the adjustments in Peterson’s grades over the past two seasons, we have to have a look at the superior metrics concerned in calculating a operating again’s OVM grade.

In 2020, the first issue growing Peterson’s grade was the period of time he noticed eight or extra defenders across the line of scrimmage. When he was within the backfield, he discovered himself in that state of affairs 29.49% of the time. That was the Sixteenth-highest proportion within the NFL.

Most of his different metrics have been unimpressive, typically rating beneath the league common. Nonetheless, these statistics develop into a lot simpler to excuse when you think about his troublesome circumstances, which made dashing effectively far tougher.

Apparently, Peterson was in that state of affairs a nearly an identical proportion of the time the season earlier than, at 29.38%. Nonetheless, he additionally had higher statistics in each different space the OVM takes under consideration, explaining his larger grade. He was in equally difficult conditions however carried out higher inside them.

Analyzing Peterson’s weekly grades

For an additional examination of Adrian Peterson’s efficiency over the past two NFL seasons, let’s check out his weekly OVM grades. Under, you may see a pair of charts exhibiting Peterson’s grades from every week of these seasons represented by the black dots. For comparability, the yellow strains signify the regular-season common grade for operating backs throughout these respective years.


these charts, the very first thing that you’ll in all probability discover is that Peterson earned fewer grades in 2020 than he did in 2019. As a result of his decrease function within the offense final season, he didn’t qualify for a grade as typically. The opposite main takeaway from them, and the extra related one for our functions, is that Peterson was really way more inconsistent in 2019 than in 2020.

In 2019, his grades ranged from 0.53 to 32.79. Final season, however, he had a far decrease peak, at 22.81, however a equally disparate ground, at 8.25. As such, whereas Peterson’s general grades point out that he was much less efficient on common in 2020 than in 2019, he was a extra constant participant within the latter season.

Lack of receiving talents hurts his probabilities of getting signed

The truth that Peterson has but to be picked up by an NFL workforce might need one thing to do along with his limitations as a receiver. In Detroit final season, he was solely focused 18 instances, leading to 12 receptions for 101 yards.

That isn’t a brand new phenomenon; Peterson has solely totaled greater than 300 receiving yards twice in his profession and hasn’t carried out so since 2010. Subsequently, that lack of versatility possible hurts Peterson’s probabilities of discovering a brand new workforce.

Any group wanting so as to add a operating again who can contribute within the passing sport gained’t even look in Peterson’s route. The one groups that will have an interest are these searching for an early-down operating again.

Peterson can nonetheless be a worthwhile contributor to an NFL offense

Peterson is clearly not the participant he as soon as was. That mentioned, the statistics present that he’s nonetheless a stable participant. He could possibly be a succesful contributor to an offense in want of a lift at operating again.

In some ways, the truth that I can write these phrases sincerely is spectacular in its personal proper. Peterson is an outdated man taking part in a younger man’s sport at a good youthful man’s place. And but, he’s nonetheless outperforming lots of his younger counterparts. That’s value celebrating, even when his profession is probably going nearing its finish.

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Lucas Ellinas is a author for Professional Soccer Community. You may comply with him on Twitter @Lucas_Ellinas.


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