Vikings Playoff loss proves unimportance of the RB in the NFL
The Minnesota Vikings were soundly defeated by the Green Bay Packers 10-24 and the biggest truth the game proved is the continued decline of the value of franchise running backs in the NFL. Adrian Peterson was the biggest story going into the game, because he was only 9 yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season record with 2,097 yards after coming back from major knee surgery. However Peterson may have led the Vikings to the Playoffs at 10-6, but the real killer for the Vikings against the Green Bay Packers was a lack of a franchise quarterback. Christian Ponder was ruled out of the game due to injury and Joe Webb gave a horrendous performance only completing 11 out of 30 of his passes only 1 garbage touchdown and 1 int. Peterson on the other hand led the team to the Playoffs, but when all of the offense was heaped upon him to win.
The Packers were able to contain Peterson and led to the blowout. The loss calls into question the real value of running backs in the NFL. Most of the franchise running backs force teams into paying them fat contracts with little added value in the Playoffs like Maurice Jones Drew, Chris Johnson or Steven Jackson and what’s alarmingly how much of a waste of money those contracts were. That money could have gone to players who are much more important to the overall success of the team. Yet the money went to running backs that have no shot at making it to the Super Bowl by themselves.
When you go down the list of the 7 running backs that made 2,000 yards rushing in a single season: Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Chris Johnson, Jamal Lewis, Terrell Davis, O.J. Simpson and Adrian Peterson all couldn’t lead their teams to the Super Bowl. Terrell Davis made it to the Super Bowl, but is overshadowed by John Elway. This doesn’t mean that running backs have no value or that Peterson isn’t one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, but that running backs aren’t as important in the age of passing offenses. This only proves the real value of Adrian Peterson though, because he was able to lead his team to the Playoffs in an era where running backs become increasingly less important to the team’s success. That has to show for something, but the era of running backs being the most important player on the team should be officially be over.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.