On 11/24/19, Frank Gore passed Barry Sanders for third in NFL history for career rushing yards with 15,289. That feat alone makes Gore an all-time great.
The consensus is that he will enter the NFL Hall of Fame soon after he retires.
What does this mean for Adrian Peterson? It means he is also a Hall of Fame running back. Even though people seem to forget about him. Much like they have done to Gore.
While Gore is third, AP has the 6th most rushing yards in NFL history with 13,861.
But how much do Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson have left in the tank?
Peterson is averaging 54.3 ypg in 2019. With five games left, he is on pace for 272 yards. Which means he would pass Martin and end the season with the fifth most rushing yards in NFL history.
With five games left, Gore is averaging 49.2 ypg. Which means he will end the season with 246 more yards and be just under 1,200 yards shy of Sweetness. To eclipse him, he will need to play two more seasons at his current production.
Comparing their production, you realize how similar the careers of Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson have been.
Gore is 36-years old and is in his 15th season with his fourth NFL team. Peterson is 34-years old and is in his 14th NFL season with his fourth team. Only 1,468 rushing yards seperate them.
Due to injury and suspension, Adrian Peterson missed almost two full seasons (2014 and 2016). Because of that, there is a desparity in carries – Gore has had 3,519 to Peterson’s 2,959. 560 more carries!
Based on his career ypc average of 4.7, that gives AP 2,632 more yards. But that is merely hypothetical – and fun to think about.
If Gore retires after 2019, AP would pass Gore for third all-time in 26 games, based on his current average ypg of 54.3. Possible, but not probable. But if anyone could stick around, AP is the guy.
What about rushing touchdowns? This is where Peterson creates seperation from Gore.
Adrian Peterson has 107 rushing touchdowns which is 5th most in NFL history. He is three TD away from tying Walter Payton for 4th with 110.
Frank Gore is 21st all-time with rushing 79 TD. He is one TD away from tying Edgerrin James for 20th.
What about most total touchdowns?
Adrian Peterson has scored 113 total touchdowns, tied for 15th most in NFL history. Frank Gore has scored 98 which is 25th most in NFL history.
Which running back has the most yards from scrimmage in NFL history – Gore or Peterson?
Interestingly, and to much less acclaim, Gore also passed Marshall Faulk for fourth place on the NFL Yards From Scrimmage list with 19,155 total yards.
But Peterson weighing in at 14th all-time is nothing to sneeze at. And frankly, more than I thought he would have.
Entering the last 1/3 of the 2019 NFL season, we are watching two of the best running backs in NFL history wind down their careers at the same time. Which is a real treat for NFL history buffs.
So who is better – Frank Gore or Adrian Peterson?
After analyzing all this data, I think both players are Hall of Fame caliber and should ultimately be inducted. Statisitcally, in an era where RBs have been completely devalued, they have both produced at historic levels.
Both backs have had such similar, and successful, careers that it becomes a matter of personal preference.
How do YOU take your RBs?
Want speed and power? AP is your guy. Want shiftiness and great hands? Gore is for you.
In the meantime, we should enjoy every remaining carry for both Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson. And realize that each player has had a special career before they are over.