The next two games of Adrian Peterson's life will be historic, whether he breaks Eric Dickerson's all-time rushing record or not. Peterson needs 188 yards to become the seventh player ever to rush for 2,000 yards in a season ... and he'd be the first to do it coming off knee reconstruction, which he had last Dec. 30, six days after ripping up the knee at Washington. But, as has been well-documented, 2,000 won't be good enough.
As he told me 12 days ago, "Two thousand, that's easy.'' What he really wanted, he volunteered to me that day, was the Dickerson record of 2,105 yards in a season. He needed 506 for that. In three games. Last Sunday, against St. Louis, he put a 212-yard dent into the chase. So he enters Sunday's game in Houston -- which the Texan considers his adoptive home city; he has a condo at the tony Galleria shopping mall on the west side of town -- 294 yards shy of the record. A home game with Green Bay ends the Minnesota regular season.
Houston is fifth in the NFL against the run this year. Green Bay is 14th. It's going to be a challenge, a big one. But the man on the training table when we spoke for my SI.com podcast this week was there for a good reason. He was getting his groin, an ankle, the knee and his back worked on during his off day.
You can hear the podcast, along with an interview with Dallas tight end Jason Witten (I apologize in advance for the sound quality on the Peterson interview; he was in a busy trainers' room at the Vikings complex.)
A few of my favorite takeaways from the interview:
Player You Need to Know This Weekend
Ten Things I'll Be Watching For This Weekend
"The biggest difference they're doing since we last played them is they've installed the gun-read game into their offense and they're doing it a lot,'' Fangio said. "They had shown it very sparingly prior to the last game. Now they're doing it a lot. I think they've done it over 10 times [a game] in the last three games, and that really has sparked their offense a little bit. And the quarterback's just gotten better and better. He's very elusive, he's fast, got good command of their offense, throws the deep stuff well.'' Fun game Sunday night.