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The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Houston Texans 23-6 at Reliant Stadium to improve to 9-6 and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder played efficiently, completing 16 of 30 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown. Ponder connected with tight-end Kyle Rudolph on a three yard play action pass to go ahead 7-3. Ponder’s favorite receiver was rookie Jarius Wright, who caught five passes for 53 yards.
Running back Adrian Peterson carried the ball 25 times for 86 yards. This was Peterson’s first game being held under 100 yards after running for over 100 in the last eight games. Peterson needs 208 yards to surpass Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record.
Vikings rookie kicker Blair Walsh hit three field goals from 39, 41 and 56 yards to help Minnesota stay ahead. Walsh broke an NFL record with nine field goals of 50 yards or longer.
The Houston Texans offense was out of sync the entire day and was only able to compile 187 total yards. Quarterback Matt Schaub completed 18 of 32 passes for 178 yards. This was Schaub’s fourth game this season without throwing a touchdown pass and the Texans lost three of those four games.
Schaub’s favorite target was wideout Andre Johnson, who hauled in seven passes for 97 yards. Back-up quarterback T.J. Yates came in on Houston’s final drive. Running back Arian Foster was limited to 10 carries for 15 yards and one fumble. His 1.5 yards per carry was a season worse for the four year back. Foster left the game because of an irregular heart beat.
Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt recorded one sack to expand his total to 20.5 sacks. Watt needs 2.5 sacks to surpass Michael Strahan’s single season record.
The Vikings will have another tough match-up next week against NFC North rivals the Green Bay Packers. The Texans will end the season next week against AFC South rivals the Indianapolis Colts and will look to clinch home field advantage in the playoffs.
Image Courtesy : Houston Texans