AP Will Determine The Fate Of 2010 Vikings Season

Adrian PetersonMinnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is the NFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes, games won, consecutive games played, interceptions, self-created drama and media fascination. The Silver Fox has been one of the signature faces of the league going on 15 seasons. Despite all of this, for the Vikings to succeed in 2010, no one is more important than the man tasked with the responsibility of standing behind Favre at the line of scrimmage. 

All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson has no choice but to return to the production of his first two NFL seasons. The likelihood of Favre matching his stellar 2009 campaign, where he threw for 33 TD's and 7 INT's, is virtually impossible. 

The chances of history repeating itself have grown even smaller due to Favre's outwardly gimpy ankle and the hip injury to Favre's favorite target, wide receiver Sidney Rice.

As a result of this bevy of occurrences, the Vikings need AP to do what he was supposed to do last season.  Conventional wisdom believed that Favre's job would simply involve handing the ball to his immensely talented RB. 

In 2009, Peterson averaged the lowest yards-per-attempt of his career. He also continued to fumble the football at an alarming rate, losing possession on six occasions. The size of AP's giant hands are constantly mentioned, including by a fan who met him in Charlotte prior to last season's game vs. the Panthers. 

If his hands are so massive, why would he have any issues squeezing a football?

Peterson did score a career high 18 TD's, but most of this scoring took place near the goal line. The only true level of improvement involved Peterson catching a career high 43 passes. His pass catching abilities may need to grow even further this season to make up for the loss of third down specialist Chester Taylor.

AP simply did not perform to the level Vikings fans had grown accustomed to. This has to change or the Purple will once again be watching the Super Bowl from the comfort of their respective homes.  

Forget about Favre's need to be brilliant. If AP can be counted on to bust his share of long runs and hold onto the football, the Vikings will have every opportunity to be right back where they were last season.