I've been watching football for about 12 years. Never really saw Sanders play live, but I've seen actual original broadcasted games on TV. He was awesome. Sometimes it seemed like I wouldn't see somebody that good until I was 50 years old because his talent was so rare.
The guys that followed him like Faulk, Lewis, LT and the like just weren't as good.
Then came Peterson who lit up the league. Is it reasonable to say he MAY be a better pure runner than Sanders?
I'll explain. AP does not get taken out of goal line and short yardage situations. He has more power than Sanders. If a D-lineman sneaks into the backfield it's likely he ends up on the ground just after he got stiff armed. When AP breaks into the open field it's less likely he's going to be caught. We saw after about week 8 or 9 this year after his knee was fully recovered that this man can truly fly. Barry Sanders never seemed to have that 5th gear. And IF a defender got a decent hold on him he was pretty much going down, relatively speaking.
I will say this as elusive as AP is, he just can't compete in that category with Sanders. Barry's ability to make people miss stands out more than anything AP has in his repertoire.
But it's Peterson's combo of speed, power, agility, vision and size that perhaps elevates him above Sanders.
Let's be real. Peterson has ideal size. At 6'2" his arms are long and his body lean. He can distance himself from defenders with his stiff arm, but be thin enough to have long speed at the same time.
Is AP's well rounded game enough to vault him above Sanders electric elusiveness?