I'm going to open this untimely edition of "Three and Out" with a simple question. If Adrian Peterson breaks Eric Dickerson's record of 2,105 rushing yards in a single season, and J.J. Watt breaks Michael Strahan's record (asterisked as it may be, thanks to Brett Favre laying down for him and Deacon Jones playing before the NFL started tracking sacks) of 22.5 sacks in a single season, which would you consider to be the more impressive accomplishment? At first blush, I'd go with Peterson. Looking a little deeper, I'm tempted to side with Watt; 23 sacks or more, coming from a 3-4 DE/DT, is patently absurd. Then again, Peterson would have made history with the lion's share of his yards coming less than a year after he shredded his knee.
There's no right answer, yet it seems very possible we could be staring that debate in the face in a little more than a week's time. That's insane. Like, thinking-the-world-is-gonna-end-because-a-calendar-from-antiquity-says-it-will level insane. These are heady times we live in, my friends.
Time for me to make with the predictions.
1. Adrian Peterson, who I am contractually bound to despise because of where he attended "college," will enter his Week 17 game against the Packers needing 154 yards to break Dickerson's record. He's also going to rush for two touchdowns at Reliant on Sunday. He'll do all this while everyone in the world, including but not limited to Wade Phillips, knows that the ball is going to him. He is that good.
2. Christian Ponder, though? He's
no Jack Kennedy Adrian Peterson. Ponder gets intercepted twice (Kareem Jackson and Brandon Harris) and sacked three times. 1.5 of those sacks will be courtesy of Justin James Watt.
3. With all the talk about Adrian Peterson, don't forget about 'Dre. Andre Johnson will find the end zone and finish with six catches for 82 yards. Matt Schaub will also connect with Owen Daniels for a TD. Arian Foster? Peterson will rush for more yards and touchdowns tomorrow, but Arian will account for a TD and 108 rushing yards.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Even the glory that is Adrian Peterson cannot overcome what is simply a stronger Houston team. As one astute analyst alluded to, if the Texans get up by a couple of scores early, this game has the potential to turn ugly. While I recognize that possibility, I believe the Vikings have some success taking the air out of the ball via Peterson and keeping Schaub & Co. off the field for a decent portion of the first half. That sound tactic will not work for the entire game, and I expect the Texans to pull away in the second half. Christian Ponder will not be able to keep Minnesota in the game, and the AFC Playoffs will go through Reliant Stadium. Vikings 17, Texans 28.
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