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Adrian Peterson has opportunity to surpass Marcus Allen’s age-36 season, while moving up NFL’s rushing list

Adrian Peterson has plenty of goals to set in the NFL, as the future Hall of Fame running back is not ready to wind down his career just yet. Peterson revealed this week he wants to play until he’s 40 while having an opportunity at a Super Bowl ring. If the veteran running back signs with a team this offseason, he will earn a chance to have the greatest age-36 season for a running back in NFL history — surpassing Hall of Famer Marcus Allen’s season in 1996. 

Allen has the most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns for any player in NFL history at age 36. Allen started 15 games for the Kansas City Chiefs and rushed for 830 yards and nine touchdowns in 1996. His 206 carries are also the most for a player at age 36. 

Peterson rushed for 604 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games for the Detroit Lions last season, starting 10 of them. Wherever he ends up, it’s likely Peterson won’t be a starter but he’ll be a contributor to the offense. If Peterson were to equal his rushing totals from last year, he’ll be at 15,424 rushing yards — passing Barry Sanders (15,269) for fourth on the all-time rushing list. He’ll also have 125 rushing touchdowns, passing Marcus Allen (123) for third in NFL history. 

All-time rushing leaders for players at age 36:

Rushing yards

  1. Marcus Allen (Chiefs, 1996) — 830
  2. John Riggins (Washington, 1985) — 677
  3. Frank Gore (Bills, 2019) — 599
  4. MacArthur Lane (Chiefs, 1978) — 277
  5. John Elway (Broncos, 1996) — 249

Rushing touchdowns

  1. Marcus Allen (Chiefs, 1996) — 9
  2. John Riggins (Washington, 1985) — 8
  3. John Elway (Broncos, 1996) — 4
  4. Steve Young (49ers, 1997) — 3
  5. Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers, 2018) — 3
  6. John Brodie (49ers, 1971) — 3

All-time rushing leaders for players age 35 and over:

Rushing yards

  1. Marcus Allen — 2,225
  2. Frank Gore — 1,974
  3. John Riggins — 1,916
  4. Doug Flutie — 1,289
  5. John Henry Johnson — 1,289

*Peterson is at 604 rushing yards

Rushing touchdowns

  1. Marcus Allen — 25
  2. John Riggins — 22
  3. Tom Brady — 15
  4. Steve Young — 13
  5. Drew Brees — 13

*Peterson is at seven rushing touchdowns




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