ATL Mailbag: Can Adrian Peterson repeat greatness?


The ATL Mailbag is back. (Author patiently waits for thunderous applause to die down.) As always, thanks to all those who submitted a question.

Let's get to it.

I'll start by saying I don't see Adrian Peterson's workload dropping off. It's easy to forget, but the Minnesota Vikings eased Peterson back into the lineup last fall. Peterson even said he "kind of sat out" the first five games.

As for the second part of your question, history tells us that Peterson won't come close to matching his 2012 campaign. Of the six previous players to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, only one (Barry Sanders) broke the 1,400-yard barrier the following year.

That said, I'm out of the Doubting Purple Jesus business. The bank foreclosed on that horribly misguided enterprise.

I'd say the odds are better than you think. It tends to get lost in the bluster, but Rex Ryan can coach some ball. He's also motivated with his job hanging in the balance. The New York Jets' defense should be above average, even with Darrelle Revis out of the picture. The defensive line, bolstered by first-round draft pick Sheldon Richardson, could become a particular area of strength.

Playoff contention will come down to the quarterback play. Mark Sanchez needs to be (much) better. He also needs to stop hanging out with E-Cigarette-Smoking Socialites From Mars.

Make no mistake: The news around the New England Patriots right now is crazy grim. And -- purely from a football standpoint -- the loss of tight end Aaron Hernandez is a terrible blow to the offense. But I also have immense respect for Tom Brady as a player and competitor, so don't be surprised if the offense is better than people expect.

What we need to know is how much the Patriots will get from another tight end, Rob Gronkowski. As Chris Wesseling pointed out last month, Brady was producing like an MVP before Gronk's initial forearm injury in November. If Gronkowski doesn't miss significant time, I expect the Patriots to have an above-average offense. Brady won't set records, but he doesn't need to.

I don't have any updates, but I just want you to know I enjoyed your sublimely ridiculous hashtag.

None. I think we will look back at the Class of 2012 in the same way people recall the Class of 1983. It wouldn't be surprising if either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III were MVP candidates this year. Russell Wilson didn't give any indication he'd be a one-hit wonder. I'm not as high on Ryan Tannehill as others, but he's well-positioned to improve with added weapons on offense. I even like Brandon Weeden with a better coaching staff around him.

They shouldn't be. I agree with Gregg Rosenthal: People can be bored by greatness. That's the only possible reason why Aaron Rodgers slipped on a "Top 100" list that was assembled by fellow players. Rodgers isn't the reason the Green Bay Packers' defense hasn't been able to stop anybody the past two postseasons.

It's important you guys know that I welcome these types of questions.

My first instinct is to take an unwarranted potshot at Channing Tatum because the ladies love him in a way they will never love me. But that's a petty way to look at things, and I'm trying to be a better man. Tatum appears physically capable of handling Secret Service duties, though I'd like to get a look at his Wonderlic score before I pronounce him mentally prepared for such an important job.

As for Jamie Foxx, I don't see much of a presidential glow there. They also could have at least aged him up some for the role in "White House Down." He looks ready to bust into "My Name Is Willie" at any moment in the trailer.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.