Adrian Peterson became the first Vikings running back to lead the NFL in rushing last season with 1,760 yards. Through eight games this year, Peterson is tied for third in the league with 784 yards. That puts him 175 yards behind NFL leader Chris Johnson of Tennessee.
So is Peterson concerned about losing his crown?
"It's not that big of a deal, but of course, you guys know my mentality," Peterson said Thursday during his weekly news conference at Winter Park. "I want to be the best in whatever I do. Two different teams, two different situations [from 2008 to 2009]. I am contributing in the pass game and in the run game. ... It will come if it comes and that will be all good. If not, hopefully we'll be playing in the big game on the East Coast."
For the Vikings to accomplish those goals, Peterson needs to remain fresh. Peterson's 182 combined touches rushing and receiving through eight games are the same amount he had last year, but this season's offensive balance has helped him stay healthier.
"I feel real good," Peterson said. "Last year around this time, my body had a little more wear and tear, but we have so many different ways to score on the offensive side. We have a lot of guys contributing and stepping up and making big plays. It's not really about focusing on the running game. We are balanced. So with that I don't have to take a pounding so much, so I feel pretty good."