PHILADELPHIA — The Washington Redskins felt an 11-day layoff would refresh running back Adrian Peterson. He then showed just how fresh he was on one second-quarter carry, establishing a new career high for himself and a Redskins record.
From his own 10-yard line, Peterson ran through the middle and then cut to his left en route to a 90-yard touchdown in Washington’s 28-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s the longest run of his career and the longest rushing touchdown in Washington’s history. Peterson, 33, became the oldest player with a 90-yard touchdown run in NFL history. At the time, it gave Washington a 10-7 lead.
“As the play developed, I saw the blitz coming off to the right side,” Peterson said. “I knew I wanted to be patient and press it and see what presented itself. I kind of predetermined that it would be the cut-back or just straight ahead. It was about being patient and seeing how it developed. Trent [Williams] and [Jonathan] Cooper did a great job sealing it off. I was able to bounce it and, once I broke free from the one tackle, it was lights out in my eyes.”
The scoring run also tied him with Jim Brown for fifth place on the all-time list with 106 rushing touchdowns.
“Definitely looked up to Jim Brown,” Peterson said. “He’s a guy that inspires me. He is definitely one of those guys, when I look on that list, that I want to surpass. He paved the way. Arguably the greatest running back to play the game. To be in a position to tie him and, God’s will, to go past him is a humbling feeling.”
And it gave Peterson his 16th career touchdown run of at least 50 yards, snapping a tie with Barry Sanders for most in NFL history.
Peterson had managed just 171 yards rushing in the previous four games, with the Redskins losing three of them. The Redskins reduced his practice load after losing at Dallas on Thanksgiving, as Peterson did not work until Friday. He has been dealing with a bad shoulder in addition to various leg issues. But he has not yet missed a game.
Washington also hoped the return of Chris Thompson on Monday would help reduce the burden on Peterson.
Peterson gained more on his one carry than he had in the previous two games combined (86). He now has three rushes of 40 yards or more, one less than he had from 2014-17 combined. And he hit a max speed of 20.84 miles per hour, according to Next Gen Stats, his fastest speed in the past three seasons.
Peterson also became the oldest player with multiple 50-yard touchdown runs this season. He ran 64 yards for a touchdown against the New York Giants in Week 8.
But the long run did not lead to a great night, as Peterson finished with 98 yards on nine carries.