The Houston Texans franchise has come a long way since 2002. They have gone from being guaranteed a top 5 pick almost every season to now being a legitimate contender in the NFL. How legitimate? Well if they win on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings they will clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. This will keep them from potentially having to play in the winter conditions of New England and Denver. In town this week though is Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings and they have a lot to play for. Not only are they battling for a playoff spot but one of their players is battling for a spot in the record books. Adrian Peterson is 294 yards away from setting the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season. Just to shed more light on the situation, Monday will make the one year anniversary of when he tore his ACL. Normally it takes players two years to feel back to 100%. It is absolutely incredible what Peterson is doing this season.
The key for Houston will be obvious, stop Adrian Peterson. He is there entire offense and everyone knows it but no one has been able to shut him down this year. On the year Houston is 5th in run defense but last week they allowed Vick Ballard to run for 105 yards on 18 carries. The Colts as a team ran for 124 yards in the game. The week before that against New England they gave up 130 yards on the ground. Neither one of those teams has an elite running back like Adrian Peterson so the Texans will definitely need to play better against the run this week. If they can shut AP down then this one gets ugly quick because Christian Ponder poses no threat to the Texans at all. Especially since the Vikings number one receiver, Percy Harvin, is out for the year. But if Houston allows Peterson to get going early and wear down their defense while controlling the clock it could get interesting late in the game.
As for Houston’s offense, they need to do what they have been doing. Run the ball with Arian Foster and set up the play action pass game. The Vikings defense is admirable at best so scoring shouldn’t be a problem at all for Houston. Look for Schaub to have a big day as well as Andre, but of course it will all be set up by Foster. The problem for Houston won’t be scoring it will be can they stop Adrian Peterson. This is a big week for Houston and they need to clinch home field advantage as soon as possible. You don’t want other NFL teams controlling your fate or you don’t want to go into next week having to win. Houston could use next week to rest their players and get ready for a playoff run.
No I didn’t forget about JJ Watt! That’s right Peterson won’t be the only person chasing history on Sunday. Watt is just 3 sacks away from setting the NFL record but he is currently tied with Aldon Smith this season. So both of those guys will be doing all they can the next two weeks to bring the QB down just three more times. If Houston stops Peterson and makes Ponder throw the ball a lot, well JJ Watt could make history on Sunday.
Schaub- 25-34 255 yards 3 TD’s
Foster- 26 carries 115 yards TD
Johnson- 8 catches 100 yards TD
Watt- 1 sack
Defense- 3 sacks 2 turnovers
Ponder 18-26 146 yards TD 2 INT’s
Peterson 28 carries 128 yards 2 TD
Houston 32 Minnesota 21
Despite Peterson’s big day Houston locks up home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
About the Author
Written by Dustin Kelver
I am in my Sophomore year of college at Howard Payne, and I play baseball there. I live in Conroe, Texas and have been here for almost 6 years. I love sports and have played all sports competitvely at some point in my life. I want to one day have my own radio show. You can follow me on twitter @CleverKelver