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Updated: December 23rd, 2012 5:52pm
Adrian Peterson still wants record, but won't 'let it overwhelm me'

Adrian Peterson still wants record, but won't 'let it overwhelm me'

by Tom Pelissero
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HOUSTON -- If Adrian Peterson is going to catch Eric Dickerson, he'll need a monster game in next week's finale against Green Bay.

Three long runs weren't enough to spur Peterson to his ninth consecutive 100-yard game in the Minnesota Vikings' 23-6 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

He finished with 86 yards on 25 carries (3.4 average) to put him at 1,898 yards for the season -- 207 yards short of Dickerson's single-season record on 2,105, set in 1984.

"Of course, I care about (the record)," Peterson said. "But I'm not going to let it overwhelm me. I just go out and play my game, and if it comes, it'll come."

With more than 100 friends and family members watching the game in his hometown, Peterson gained 20 yards on the Vikings' first play from scrimmage and again on the last play of the third quarter. He also had a 21-yard run early in the third quarter.

But the Texans' fifth-ranked run defense didn't let Peterson take over the game. Fourteen of Peterson's carries (56%) went for loss or no gain before he departed as a precaution while battling abdominal soreness in the fourth quarter.

"When he doesn't rush for 200, then you feel like you've done a good job," coach Leslie Frazier said. "But he did everything we asked him to do (Sunday). He had some tough runs. That's a very good defense that he was going up against."

Peterson has made no secret of wanting to topple Dickerson's 28-year-old record. But he was in good spirits while discussing the Vikings' victory in Week 16 -- the same time of year he suffered a major left knee injury last season at Washington.

"It was just staying within the game, not getting frustrated by anything," Peterson said. "Not focusing on, 'Hey, I need this many yards.' Focus on we continue to move the ball and be aggressive offensively and come out with a win.

"I'm happy right now. We accomplished what we wanted to do, and that was come down here and get a 'W'."

It's also not as if he's incapable of going off for 208 yards in a game. He eclipsed that figure in the Vikings' last meeting with the Packers on Dec. 2 at Lambeau Field (210 on 21 carries) and again two weeks later at St. Louis (212 on 24 carries).

Will he get any sleep this week, with so much at stake for him and the team against the Packers?

"Yeah," Peterson said, smiling. "I'll get some rest and be ready to get a 'W' and break that record."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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