Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson matchup 'really special'

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Days in which running backs piled up 1,000-yard seasons and turned in 20-plus-carry games week after week have largely been and gone.

The workhorse No. 1 back is an antiquated idea for most teams with a committee approach having taken over, a back for every down now commonplace.

On Sunday when the Bills host the Redskins amid a frigid setting, two of the top-six all-time rushers will oppose each other as Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson look to turn back the clock to the days of the running men.

"Two future Hall of Famers, no doubt," Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan said Wednesday via team transcript. "[I have] a lot of respect for Frank Gore and what he has done and accomplished throughout his career. I feel great about [Peterson] meeting that challenge. There's going to be a game within a game, let's face it. Those are two prideful, professional athletes that want to do really well and I know they've got a lot of respect for one another.

"It's really special to be around these types of guys, for the fans to see two great backs in a game like this, on a cold weather day, going up north. It'll be interesting, it'll be a lot of fun."

With Gore and Peterson, Sunday's game features the No. 4 and No. 6 all-time rushers, respectively.

Gore, 36, checks in with 15,170 yards, needing 100 to pass Barry Sanders for third all-time, while Peterson, 34, sits at sixth with 13,701 -- exactly 400 yards behind No. 5 Curtis Martin.

That's 28,871 yards, 29 seasons, 17 1,000-yard campaigns combined.

"Even now, I enjoy watching him and seeing that he's being successful," Peterson said via the team website's Zach Selby. "It's always a motivation to know I have another comrade two years older than me that's still getting it done."

Gore's leading the Bills with 422 yards rushing, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and 60.3 a game, while Peterson has emerged for a second straight year as the lead back for the Redskins with Derrius Guice injured once again. Peterson's 383 yards are also a team-high.

Neither is at the elite level they once showcased every Sunday, but they're still producing.

"That mental toughness is the reason why we're able to play for an extended period of time," Peterson said of the two.

On his third team in as many seasons, Gore is climbing up all-time lists and chasing a playoff berth with the Bills.

Peterson, who's in his second year with Washington but has likewise played for three franchises in three years, is on a struggling Redskins team with an uncertain future, but he's turned in a 100-yard game this season and continues to climb along with Gore.

"I don't know when you'll ever be able to say that you have two backs still playing in what people consider to be an older age that are still chasing history," Peterson said.

As they run to more history, Peterson and Gore could be focal points on Sunday and they could not.

Times have changed for running backs, but A.P. and Gore are still running.

These are the last of the running men as they once were.

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