Week One: NaVorro Bowman Vs. Adrian Peterson


Later today, NaVorro Bowman and Adrian Peterson will duel in a perfect week one matchup.

It’s certain that the San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings are thrilled to have their great star players on the field again. The meeting between these two teams will show fans if they made the necessary corrections from the disappointments of last season.

Despite Adrian Peterson’s recent off-field drama, he is a proven Hall of Fame caliber running back. An ESPN article by Paul Gutierrez mentioned the season when Peterson ran for 2,097 yards in his first year after an ACL injury.

NaVorro Bowman is currently experiencing a similar situation. With his healthy return, Bowman is expected to be the leader and heart of the San Francisco 49ers. There are a lot of questions on this team, but Bowman isn’t one of them. NaVorro Bowman has earned a trust from fans and the team that he will perform at a top level every day. Most NFL players can’t say they’ve achieved that type of respect.

Adrian Peterson, like Bowman, was expected to be the star player on his team after suffering an injury. Essentially, Peterson carried the 2012 Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs by himself. There aren’t words for how great his impact was only one year after suffering an ACL Injury. The above article quoted Peterson’s thoughts on Bowman:

"“Just watching him, it’s the preseason, but it doesn’t look like he’s coming off an ACL injury. So with that, I have so much respect for him because I know how hard it is to get up every morning and push yourself to get back to 100 percent. And the way that he is playing, it’s just a testimony of the hard work he put in. It’s showing, so I’m happy for him.”"

It seems perfectly fitting that Bowman and Peterson are facing each other in week one of the 2015 season. For both of them, it’s a great test to show the type of productivity they can display at this stage of their careers. Plus, a matchup between great offensive and defensive players always makes for an entertaining game to watch.

Throughout the preseason, NaVorro Bowman played with a drive that showed he’s ready to perform at a 100 percent level. Bowman understands where the San Francisco 49ers are right now. He stood on the sideline during last year’s 8-8 season, so he had a good opportunity to analyze that state of the team.

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Bowman is a great physical player, but people don’t always realize how smart he is as well. During his time off with the injury, Bowman became a student of the game while he watched the 49ers struggle greatly. His injury was truly a blessing in disguise because he took it as a opportunity to develop his mental strengths while his body recovered.

With a healthy knee, a burning heart, and a sharper focus on the game, NaVorro Bowman will be a scary player for opposing offenses to face this season. He’s clearly the type of linebacker who is up for any challenge. In regards to the matchup against Adrian Peterson, Bowman said:

"“He’s a great [running] back. I’m excited about the matchup. When you say I’ve been out a while, this is the back that you want to face, just to see if you’re back at the level that I was at.”"

Perhaps the most impressive thing about NaVorro Bowman is his competive spirit. Most people would be reserved about playing a regular season game after a devastating injury. However, Bowman accepted the challenge as a test to see how much he has grown since he last played. In this Monday Night Football contest, Bowman will surely turn out the lights on the Vikings’ offense.

Next: San Francisco 49ers are Back in All-Blacks