The Minnesota Vikings are set to keep their suprising run for a playoff bid alive when they travel to Reliant Stadium to face the red-hot Houston Texans, kickoff is scheduled for Sunday December 23rd at 1 pm.
The Vikings are coming off a 36-22 win over the St. Louis Rams, where Vikings RB Adrian Peterson lead the way with 212 yards rushing and one touchdown. The Vikings defense was the difference maker, scoring 10 points off turnovers by Rams QB Sam Bradford. The game was never really close as Peterson and the Vikings had control throughout the whole game. The highlight play of the day was made by Peterson who took a handoff, breaking tackles on the way to a 82-yard touchdown. The Vikings would’ve loved to have more production from QB Christian Ponder though.
Ponder finished the day with only 131 yards passing and 1 rushing touchdown on the day. He wasn’t much of a difference maker, but then again with Peterson running all over they don’t need top QB play. The Rams offense seemed somewhat more explosive as usual. Bradford had his best game of the season throwing for 377 yard and 3 touchdowns. That could be a problem that the Texans may be looking to expose.
The Texans are coming off a very important 29-17 win against the dvision rival Indianapolis Colts. The Texans clinched the AFC South with the win over the Colts, while their defense made rookie sensation Andrew Luck look like an unexperienced rookie. Much like Peterson, Texans RB Arian Foster had 165 yards rushing as the Texans controlled the game. JJ Watt and the Texans defnese proved too much for the young Colts, as the Texans inched closer to getting a first round bye. The Texans are looking at the bigger picture, which is a Super Bowl run while the Vikings just want to get in.
Peterson is eyeing the record for most yards rushing in a season, set by Eric Dickerson(2,105), and he is 294 yards shy of it. I think Peterson would rather win out and make the playoffs than get the record. Although, doing both would make him extremely happy. Peterson is having a remarkable year, he’s on the cusp of 2,000 yards just one year removed from a serious knee injury. The Texans boast the leagues 5th best rushing defense, only allowing 93.2 yards a game. It’ll be the perfect clash as Peterson will be looking inch closer to the record. However, I think Ponder will be the player to keep an eye on. This Vikings team hasn’t excelled in games where Peterson hasn’t won for them. If the Texans take Peterson out of the game, will Ponder be able to lead this team to a victory? Will the Vikings be able to stay composed and keep their surprising run alive?
Prediction: Peterson will garner at least 150 yards rushing, and make it difficult for Texans QB Matt Shaub to get in a rhythm. At some point the Texans defense will slow Peterson, forcing Ponder to lead the team. In the end it will come down to the team who can make the least amount of mistakes. Look for the Vikings to surprise the Texans and the league.
Final score: Vikings 17, Texans 13