Adrian Peterson is on the type of run that gets NFL players talked about in superhero terms, lands them on the cover of Sports Illustrated and makes opposing defensive coordinators weep.
He's rushed for more than 150 yards in six of his last eight games, gone for more than 200 yards in two of the last three contests.
As Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips puts it, watching Peterson's carry by carry game film makes you think it's a highlight tape. That's how many good runs there are — one after another after another.
"We try to keep all running backs under 100 yards. With Adrian Peterson, we know it's going to be hard. But he has been kept under 100 yards a few times."
Still Phillips' Bulls On Parade defense is a proud bunch. That's how he raised them. And this defense takes on the most dangerous offensive weapon in football (with apologies to Calvin Johnson) with a mission in mind.
Phillips jokes about hoping that Peterson doesn't break the NFL's all-time single season rushing record against them (he comes into Sunday's game needing 294 yards to do it). But the Texans D really has another number in view.
"We try to keep all running backs under 100 yards," defensive end Antonio Smith says. "With Adrian Peterson, we know it's going to be hard. But he has been kept under 100 yards a few times.
"So it is possible."
Pederson has actually been held under 100 yards five times in 14 games. But all five of those games came in the first six weeks of the season when Pederson was still in the early stages of his miracle recovery from complete ACL and MCL tears in his left knee.
The only team that can say it's done an even half decent job of containing AP since then? The Chicago Bears, who limited him to 108 yards in a 28-10 defeat of the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 25. And Pederson still averaged 6.0 yards per carry in that game.
If the Texans (12-2) can pull off something similar, they will not just clinch homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and remove any pressure from their season finale at Indianapolis. They'll restore plenty of roar to a defense that is determined to regain the dominating form it showed in last season's playoffs.
Second-year linebacker Brooks Reed will return to the lineup for the first time since Thanksgiving and his power will come in handy against Peterson.
The one thing the Bears were able to do against Peterson is prevent him from ripping off any game-breaking runs. His longest carry against Chicago went for 23 yards. In the three weeks since — including a rematch with the Bears that the Vikings (8-6) won, the Palestine, Texas native has four runs of more than 50 yards — including two 82-yard gallops.
"He's the whole offense in my opinion," Smith says.
The most notable thing Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has done this season is marrying ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier agrees with the Texan. Earlier this week, Frazier frankly noted, "It's not like we have a lot of things around (Peterson)."
Minnesota is the worst passing team in the NFL, averaging a measly 168.1 yards per game through the air. The most notable thing Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has done this season is marrying ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele, a blonde three years his senior who got her start on the Longhorn Network and already draws breathless Erin Andrews comparisons.
The Vikings are confident Peterson can carry them though. It's not like he hasn't done it before.
How sure is Minnesota? Right guard Brandon Fusco is talking about running the ball right down the throat of the Texans' No. 1 defensive game changer — J.J. Watt.
"We're ready to get after (Watt)," Fusco told the Pioneer Press. "It's a fun challenge for us. Go out there, be physical with him and do what we like to do best: Run the football right down his throat, basically."
For Peterson, it will be his first game played in Houston since the nightclub arrest in his second home this summer. Peterson was exonerated in the case with a grand jury declining to indict him on resisting arrest charges after listening to the tailback for just 25 minutes.
He'll be ready for the stage. The Bulls On Parade think they will be too.
"This is our chance to show we have a good run defense," Reed says.
It's a numbers game. And a pride game.