Grading the game: Texans

The Vikings played what was probably their most complete game of the season, with a solid, persistent running game and an efficient passing game of offense. On defense, they limited the Texans' running game and came up with two interceptions in the secondary. Meanwhile the special teams were good and there were no obvious calls to second-guess by the coaches.

PASSING OFFENSE: B — Gus Frerotte threw for only 182 yards - his first sub 200-yard performance since Week 3 when he took over as the starter - but he did have three touchdown passes and a season-high 111.6 passer rating. On the first play from scrimmage, Frerotte hit Bernard Berrian on a 55-yard pass to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Adrian Peterson. Frerotte's scoring passes includes an 8-yarder to Sidney Rice, a 49-yarder to Berrian and a 25-yarder to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. Frerotte's biggest miscue came in the first quarter when cornerback Jacques Reeves picked off a pass and went 44 yards for a Houston touchdown. Berrian, however, accidentally tipped a ball he probably should have caught right into Reeves hands. Frerotte also was sacked three times but certainly did not take the type of pounding he had in a few games earlier this season.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — Running back Adrian Peterson had only 36 yards on 15 carries in the opening half, a less-than-impressive 2.4 average, but that slow start was forgotten by the time four quarters had been completed. Peterson rushed for 103 yards on 10 attempts in the second half and finished with a 5.6 average. Some adjustments in the offensive line's blocking scheme certainly helped. Peterson's impressive display included runs of 21 and 22 yards in the fourth quarter on a drive that ended with Frerotte's touchdown pass to Shiancoe. Peterson now has five 100-yard rushing performances in eight games this season and was second in the league in rushing entering Monday night's game.

PASS DEFENSE: C — This one is a bit hard to judge. The Vikings put a priority on limiting Texans Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson. They did a pretty good job at this as Johnson finished with only four receptions for 62 yards, although one was a 14-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. The trade off for limiting Johnson's explosive play potential was the Texans were able to complete several shorts passes into the seam, and tight end Owen Daniels had a huge day with 11 catches for 133 yards. Texans quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels combined to throw for 363 yards, the most the Vikings defense has surrendered this season. Nonetheless, the Texans biggest single pass play went for 31 yards. Not bad considering the Vikings fear was seeing Johnson catch a couple 50- or 60-yard bombs. The Vikings also had five sacks, including four by their linemen.

RUSH DEFENSE: B — A report surfaced last week that Pro Bowl defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams were facing four-game suspensions for violating the NFL's steroid policy. It's not clear where that stands, but it certainly did not serve as a distraction for either of the Williamses on Sunday. Texans running back Steve Slaton was held to 62 yards on 16 carries with no touchdowns as one of the NFL's top-ranked run defenses had another solid performance. Pat Williams had three tackles and Kevin Williams had two tackles, a sack, a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hurry. Establishing any type of a consistent run against the Vikings remains a difficult assignment.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B — This unit had given up five touchdowns in seven games entering Sunday but actually played pretty well against Houston. Chris Kluwe averaged 44.0 yards gross and 44.2 yards net on six punts, putting four of them inside the 20. Kluwe did a good job against Houston's Jacoby Jones, who had two punt returns for touchdowns this season. Jones only had an opportunity for two returns and had minus-1 yard. Houston did average 20.2 yards on five kickoff returns. The Vikings did not get any significant plays from their special teams when they touched the ball, but at least they did not have any plays they regretted either.

COACHING: B — The last time the Vikings played at the Metrodome chants of "Fire Childress" could be heard throughout the second half as fans voiced their displeasure with Brad Childress in a sloppy victory over Detroit. That did not happen this time as the Vikings opened a two-game home stand with a victory over the Texans. Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell got their team off to a good start by calling for a deep pass from Gus Frerotte to Bernard Berrian to open the game. Sure enough, Frerotte hit Berrian for a 55-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and the Vikings took an early 7-0 lead. The defensive plan of stopping Andre Johnson at all costs was interesting and led to big passing yards for the Texans but Houston was held to two offensive touchdowns. About the only thing that left fans unhappy this time around was the Vikings did not try to score a touchdown with seconds remaining when they took over on downs at the Houston 2-yard line.

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