Adrian Peterson is a first-ballot hall-of-famer, and likely will go down as one of the top five running-backs to ever step on an NFL field. And LeSean McCoy isn’t denying that. He just doesn’t view Peterson as the best running-back in the game in 2014.
In an interview on the always over-dramatic ESPN First Take this morning, Stephen A. Smith (whose journalistic skills have gone down the toilet) asked ‘Shady’ if he believes that he is the best running-back in the entire league. The always confident McCoy responded with a quick, “Yes, sir”.
While there is no denying that McCoy was the best running-back in the NFL a season ago, his comparison from 2011 to 2013 is a slightly unfair one. Considering that between the 2011 and 2013 seasons Peterson missed six games, it’s hard to get an accurate gauge on who was better during that time period. The season that Peterson was able to play all 16 games (2012), he was pretty much the only offensive weapon on a team that snuck into the playoffs, as he ran for 2,097 yards and won the leagues’ MVP award.
As Peterson approaches 30, McCoy may very well be the best runner in the game, even if Peterson is healthy. But put a healthy Peterson in his prime next to McCoy last year, and there is no comparison. McCoy is one of the best runners in the era, playing on a stacked offense. Peterson is one of the best running-backs of all-time, playing on an offense that, with the exception of the 2009 season, has been an empty cupboard of offensive talent.
At this point, McCoy might want to worry more about Washington’s Alfred Morris, who has nearly 3,000 rushing yards over the course of his first two NFL seasons, and is getting more and more offensive talent around him each season.