Frank Gore Vs. Adrian Peterson – Who Makes Hall Of Fame?

Frank Gore Vs. Adrian Peterson

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.

(Related – Adrian Peterson Handshake – I Tested His Grip At The ESPYS!)

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.

List of Most Rushing Yards In NFL History

So far in 2019, Peterson has quietly passed Jerome Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson and ascended from 8th to 6th. He is 240 yards behind Curtis Martin for 5th place.

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.

Gore is 1,437 yards behind Walter Payton for second most rushing yards in NFL history. He is 3,066 behind Emmitt Smith, who has the most rushing yards in NFL history with 18,355.

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.

List of Most Rushing Touchdowns In NFL History

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?

List of Most Touchdowns In NFL History

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?

List of NFL Most Yards From Scrimmage

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.

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I’ve been a freelance journalist since 2000 and have had my work published via AskMen, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, Busted Coverage, and Autotrader. I’ve done stand-up comedy. I'm a dad, youth soccer coach, and team statistician for the oldest indoor football team in the world, the Omaha Beef. I own a design agency in Omaha, NE called little guy design. I’ve married six couples in 10 years and my Marriage to Still Married ratio is 6:6. I always say, it isn’t so much about the “love,” as it is the tasteless jokes that became vows. I started the I-80 Sports Blog to have all the work I've published located in one place and to write about things I want to write about. I don't take anything too seriously and it is a real time saver.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Nice & quite positive article on both Gore and Peterson. In my mind, Peterson is the best running back that has ever played in the NFL. Basically, he has the strength to simply bowl over or actually throw a defender to the ground with one arm, and the speed to outrun everyone when he gets an opening. Walter Payton probably was the best all-around NFL RB (including blocking, catching, and throwing) but he would get caught from behind, even in his first few years in the NFL. Barry Sanders probably was the most elusive NFL RB (Sayers is close or even better) but he was not the kind of back to bowl defenders over (like Peterson or Earl Campbell). Peterson has plenty of haters because of his child abuse case, but anyone who has seen his highlights (especially in his rookie year at Chicago and vs San Diego) should agree that there has never been another player that could match his combination of strength, speed, and elusiveness (strength showed up more in subsequent years; see 3rd TD run at Cleveland in 2009). Gore was steady and amazingly durable after suffering two major knee injuries before entering NFL. What Peterson did in 2012 after completely rupturing his ACL and MCL near the end of the 2011 season and playing the latter half of 2012 with a sports hernia is almost inhuman.

    • Thanks for the comment Julius. Love that you mentioned the 3rd TD against the Browns. That is the greatest run I’ve ever seen in my lifetime:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O8Lih25NYE

      The way he came back from the knee injury completely changed how we view recovery time from knee injuries, in every sport and scenario. The child abuse situation damaged how he was viewed, and people have been trying to shovel dirt on his grave for the last 3 years. But everywhere he goes, he produces.

      Gore was an injury risk coming out of Miami as you mentioned. He also has torn both labrums, and that says a lot about his running style. Unbelievably tough back.

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