With 12 minutes left in the game, Adrian Peterson once again made NFL history. On first-and-goal from the seven yard line, Peterson took a hand off, made one sharp cut to his left and carried his legacy across the goal line for six points.
And for sixth-place on the all-time career rushing touchdowns list.
In his first season in burgundy and gold, Peterson moved past Redskins legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee John Riggins, who had 104 rushing touchdowns over his 14-year career.
Peterson came into Sunday’s game with 103 career rushing touchdowns. On his first touchdown of the day, he tied Riggins when he ran it in from three yards out, and then he was able to move into sole possession of sixth all-time with his 105th rushing touchdown.
“There’s been some talk about Riggins and it’s a great accomplishment to, what’s the odds? I’m here, and to pass him at home, it’s bittersweet," Peterson said. "You lose Alex and you lose a close game like this. But, hands down, to be able to pass a Washington Redskins legend like him, it feels good.”
And it's true, Sunday wasn't a good day for the Redskins. They lost starting quarterback Alex Smith for the season to a gruesome leg injury suffered in the third quarter, and they lost the game on a missed field goal attempt (albeit on a 63-yard longshot).
“It was rough to think about it but it means a lot, just as a testament to the hard work that I’ve put in and the guys that’s in front of me, that’s helped me accomplish those goals as well," Peterson said. "It’s always special.”
The play above was Peterson's first touchdown of the game, and was made possible by a key block on the outside by wide receiver Josh Doctson. Peterson said he gave Doctson the ball because his block made that touchdown, the one to tie Riggins' record, possible.
Peterson's second touchdown of the game was unique for the Redskins in another way, as it was also the first lead change in any game they’ve played in this season. In their first nine games this season, the team that scored first ended up winning the contest and didn’t relinquish the lead once.
Peterson's second touchdown of the game was unique for the Redskins in another way, as it was also the first lead change in any game they’ve played in this season. In their first nine games this season, the team that scored first ended up winning the contest and didn’t relinquish the lead once. Peterson's touchdown changed that.
Peterson is one touchdown behind the legendary Jim Brown, who has 106 career rushing touchdowns. It’s fair to assume barring anything crazy that Peterson moves into fifth on the all-time list by getting one more, and two more to gain sole possession of the spot.
After that is Walter Payton with 110 touchdowns. Peterson would need six more to move into sole possession of the fourth spot on the list, which could be reasonable as he’s on pace for three or four more this season, but he will need a few good games to get there. Regardless, Peterson is rushing his way right into NFL history.