It's easy to forget how informal yardage measurements are in the National Football League. After all, there's no such thing as gaining half a yard. It's either an eight-yard run or a nine-yard run.
With that in mind, a very clever gentleman named Jeremy Scheff calculated the margin for error under those circumstances in order to determine the odds that Adrian Peterson actually outgained Eric Dickerson in 2012. Peterson, of course, fell nine yards short of Dickerson's single-season mark. That's almost an entire first down, but considering how high their respective totals were, that gap was actually quite small, and thus the margin for error was actually decent.
After all, Peterson ran for 99.6 percent of the yards Dickerson picked up in his record-breaking season.
From these simulations, it was straightforward to assign probabilities to these possibilities by testing which player had more simulated years as the overall rushing champ. I found that 85% of the time, Dickerson came out on top. This means that… There is approximately a 15% chance that Adrian Peterson actually broke Dickerson’s record, but it was not noticed due errors accumulated by rounding the lengths of rushes to integer values.
How 'bout that?