Vikings-Texans game scout

Will the Texans even need to try to establish the run with Andre Johnson running routes? Get the series history, keys to the game and more as the Vikings host the Texans.

Sunday
New York Jets (4-3) at Buffalo Bills (5-2)
Detroit Lions (0-7) at Chicago Bears (4-3)
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-8)
Baltimore Ravens (4-3) at Cleveland Browns (3-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-6)
Houston Texans (3-4) at Minnesota Vikings (3-4)
Arizona Cardinals (4-3) at St. Louis Rams (2-5)
Green Bay Packers (4-3) at Tennessee Titans (7-0)
Miami Dolphins (3-4) at Denver Broncos (4-3)
Dallas Cowboys (5-3) at New York Giants (6-1)
Atlanta Falcons (4-3) at Oakland Raiders (2-5)
Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) at Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
New England Patriots (5-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
Monday
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) at Washington Redskins (6-2)

Houston Texans (3-4) at Minnesota Vikings (3-4)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 11/02/08
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: CBS (Dick Enberg, Randy Cross)


SERIES

2nd regular-season meeting. Vikings lead the series, 1-0. The last time the two teams met was in 2004 with the Vikings winning 34-28 in overtime at Reliant Stadium. WR Andre Johnson had a career-high 12 receptions for a then-high 170 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans fell behind 28-14 in the fourth quarter before scoring 14 unanswered points to pull even at 28. Minnesota won the game on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Daunte Culpepper to WR Marcus Robinson on their second possession of overtime.

KEYS TO THE GAME

The Vikings' secondary is bracing for an onslaught. The Texans have little chance of mounting much of a ground game against the Vikings' second-ranked run defense, but they might not need it. Houston is averaging 29.2 points over its past five games on the strength of the passing game. The Texans are doing a good job of moving WR Andre Johnson around to combat constant double teams, and they lead the NFL with a 47.8 percent conversion rate on third downs.

The Texans defense allows 4.5 yards per carry and will see a heavy dose of RB Adrian Peterson early on. QB Gus Frerotte has been able to hurt teams who overplay the run, but he also had four interceptions in his last outing. In what could be a high-scoring game, the Vikings must make the most of their scoring opportunities. They are tied for last in the league, scoring a touchdown just 30 percent of the time (6-for-20) inside the red zone.

Key Injuries: Texans: RB Ahman Green (groin) and WR Kevin Walter (knee) are uncertain. Vikings: WR Sidney Rice (knee) should see increased snaps; S Madieu Williams (neck) is expected to make his season debut.

Need to know:

Johnson has a combined 41 catches for 593 yards the past four weeks. ... Peterson has averaged 159.5 rushing yards in four career starts against AFC teams.

NOTES

  • The Vikings threw for 388 yards and rushed for another 122 yards, amassing 510 total yards on offense in a 34-28 overtime victory over the Texans on Oct. 10, 2004.

  • Only eight current Vikings were with the team when they last played the Texans: Matt Birk, Jim Kleinsasser, Bryant McKinnie, Kevin Williams, Jeff Dugan, Anthony Herrera, Cullen Loeffler and Antoine Winfield.

  • This will be Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte's first career start against the Texans. Houston coach Gary Kubiak was Frerotte's position coach and coordinator during his tenure with Denver in 2000-2001.

  • The Vikings faced Miami in Super Bowl VIII, the first Super Bowl played in Houston in Rice Stadium on Jan. 13, 1974. The Dolphins won that game, 24-7.

  • DE Jared Allen got his first career sack against Houston and quarterback David Carr on Sept. 26, 2004.

  • LB Ben Leber had a career-high three sacks and seven tackles on Sept. 15, 2002 against the Texans as a member of the San Diego Chargers in his rookie season.

  • RB Chester Taylor got his first career touchdown as a member of the Baltimore Ravens on an 11-yard pass from Jeff Blake against the Texans on Dec. 15, 2002. He finished the day with three receptions for a season-high 40 yards.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 0-2 — Vikings record in Houston against the Oilers. Minnesota lost to the Oilers, 20-16, at the Astrodome in 1980 and 23-10 in 1986. That franchise, of course, relocated to Tennessee.


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