In 2012, Adrian Peterson was superhuman.
This season, his play has been overshadowed by the high goals he set for himself before the season, as well as a quarterback situation that has left much to be desired.
With the Vikings coming off their bye week, where does AP sit in comparison to last year, and what can we expect post-bye?
Behold, the answers.
At this point: AP had 332 yards last year after four games. Opponents rush D's in 2012 in the first four weeks (with end of season rank against the run in parentheses) were Jacksonville (30th), Indianapolis (29th), San Francisco (4th), and Detroit (16th).
Pace: If AP would've continued at the pace he set following four games, he would've put up a pedestrian (for him) 1,328 yards.
After the bye: Peterson had four consecutive 100-yard games going into the Vikings bye week, which was Week 11 last season, and it didn't break his momentum one bit, piling up four more after the bye. In the six games following, he averaged an absurd 161.5 yards per game. The only contest in which Peterson didn't reach 100 yards was in a 23-6 win over Houston. Peterson later said he was battling a hernia injury, which required surgery.
At this point: Peterson is outgaining the 2012 version of himself by 89 yards at this mark in the year, sitting at 421 heading into his fifth contest of the season. The defenses he's faced this year (with their ranks against the run in parentheses) are Detroit (27th), Chicago (t-14th), Cleveland (10th), and Pittsburgh (t-14th).
Pace: Should Peterson continue to rack up just north of 105 yds/gm, it would put him at 1,684 this season, third most in his career (2012, 2008).
After the bye: He only got stronger last year, and after 140 yards against an admittedly awful Pittsburgh team, it seems Peterson is gaining some steam. The next four games for the Vikings are Carolina (3rd against run), the Giants (29th), Green Bay (1st), and Dallas (7th).
Those next four, aside from the Giants because they're bad in every way, are tough.
The overarching point to take out of this, though, is that AP has been stronger in the first four games than he was in 2012, against tougher run defenses than he faced in 2012, and Week 7 last year is when he started to go other-worldly on the league.
Josh Freeman, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, whoever it is under center for Minnesota, there's always Peterson, who is in prime position to hit that mid-to-late season overdrive button he did in 2012.
Why is that? Because it seems increasingly more obvious that when it comes to AP, the opponent doesn't matter.