Found December 23, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Texans botched a chance to lock up home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with their worst offensive showing of the season in Sunday's 23-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
"Very disappointing because we had a chance to line up here and get something done today," coach Gary Kubiak said. "That doesn't mean we still can't get it done. That's the most important thing."
Houston (12-3) could still clinch home-field advantage next with a win at Indianapolis.
The Texans' latest stumble was fueled by an anemic running game that combined for 34 yards and an inability to convert on third downs.
"We didn't play well," Kubiak said. "I think we battled defensively, but offensively we probably played as bad as we've played. I take full responsibility for that. It's a huge, huge disappointment. We've got to get over it really quick."
Quarterback Matt Schaub went 18 of 32 for 178 yards, and Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 97 yards, but the Texans were a woeful 1 for 11 on third downs.
While Houston had a season-low 187 yards in failing to score a touchdown for the first time since the 2006 season, the Vikings (9-6) were 9 for 18 on third-down conversions.
"That was frustrating," said Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who had a sack to give him 20 , making him the ninth player in NFL history with 20 sacks in a season. "I know we gave up some third-and-shorts. We can't put ourselves in that situation."
Arian Foster, Houston's leading rusher, left the game with an irregular heartbeat in the third quarter and did not return. He finished with 15 yards rushing on 10 carries. He also had two catches for 14 yards.
"He's doing fine," Kubiak said. "That is something that happened once before in practice . (It was a) precaution."
Ben Tate took over midway through the third quarter and didn't fare much better, totaling 17 yards on four carries.
The Texans held Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to below-average numbers, but Minnesota found other ways to inflict damage.
One of them was rookie kicker Blair Walsh, who made three field goals, including a record-setting 56-yarder in the first half. The kick gave Walsh, a rookie, the NFL record with nine field goals of 50 yards or longer this season.
Peterson finished with 86 yards on 25 carries, leaving him with 1,898 yards for the season and 208 short of the Eric Dickerson's NFL record for yards rushing in a single season.
Peterson had his lowest rushing total since getting 79 yards on Oct. 14 in a loss at Washington, breaking a streak of eight 100-yard games.
He is trying to become just the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season and the first since Chris Johnson in 2009.
Christian Ponder threw a touchdown pass, and Toby Gerhart added a score to cap the win for the Vikings, who remain in contention for a playoff spot with a game to go.
"We have to play better in all facets of the game," Watt said.
The Vikings took a 10-3 lead on the 56-yard field goal by Walsh.
Houston got within 10 points before Gerhart's 3-yard run extended the lead to 23-6 with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter. That drive was helped by a 29-yard carry by Ponder.
Ponder was 16 of 30 for 174 yards to help the Vikings pile up 345 yards. He finished with seven rushes for 48 yards -- 14 more yards rushing than the Texans had.
Houston got to the Minnesota 1 with a 12-yard reception by Kevin Walter late in the third quarter. Then came an incomplete pass followed by a run for no gain by Tate. Schaub was sacked by Fred Evans for a loss of 14 yards to make the Texans settle for a 33-yard field to cut the lead to 16-6.
"It was ugly," Kubiak said. "We made things really hard on ourselves."
Houston had to punt on its first possession of the third quarter, but got the ball right back when Watt sacked Ponder and forced a fumble. Bradie James recovered, but the Texans couldn't take advantage of the miscue and had to punt again.
"We hurt ourselves," Schaub said. "We had a chance. We've got to execute and have a killer instinct to score down there."
The Vikings extended their lead to 16-3 when Walsh made a 39-yard field goal on the first drive of the second half.
Houston was on the Minnesota 28 early in the second quarter when Jasper Brinkley forced Foster's fumble, which was recovered by A.J. Jefferson.
Houston had to punt later in the second quarter when Schaub was sacked for a 9-yard loss. A 41-yard field goal by Walsh left Minnesota up 13-3 at halftime.
Peterson ran for 20 yards to get Minnesota's offense going. The Vikings took a 7-3 lead when Kyle Rudolph grabbed a 3-yard touchdown reception. Rudolph also had a 27-yard catch that drive.
NOTES: The Texans wore decals with the initials S.H.E.S. as a tribute to the school shooting victims at Sandy Hook. ... Playing in his 137th game, Johnson got his 800th career reception on his first catch, making him the second-fastest player to reach the milestone. Marvin Harrison did it in his 131st game. ... Johnson has 100 catches this season, making him the fifth player in NFL history to have at least 100 catches in four or more seasons.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Texans have a chance to clinch the top seed in the AFC this week.
Now that we're in the last two weeks of the season, the playoff scenarios are starting to come into focus.
Here's a look at the scenarios and my predictions:
AFC - Playoff Scenarios
HOUSTON TEXANS - Playing Minnesota
Houston can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) HOU win...
With week 16 being the championship weekend in many fantasy football leagues, Arian Foster’s name was on the mind’s of the bulk of the football public on Sunday.
Fantasy became harsh reality when word seeped out of Houston’s loss to Minnesota that Foster left the game due to a serious health concern.
Please Click Here To Read This Update
Texans running back Arian Foster is "back to normal" after a heart scare and expected to play Sunday at Indianapolis.
Foster was forced to leave Sunday's loss to the Vikings due to an irregular heartbeat. On Monday he tweeted: "I appreciate all the concern and support. I am doing well. Saw a cardiologist today and everything is back to normal."
In a strictly proactive move, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster left Sunday’s loss against the Minnesota Viking after experiencing an irregular heartbeat,
Head Coach Gary Kubiak said after the game via ESPN. Kubiak also said that Foster is doing fine and called the move ‘precautionary.’
Foster rushed for 15 yards on 10 carries. He also had two catches for 14 yards...
The Houston Texans blew a chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with Sunday's ugly loss to Minnesota.
They'll get another opportunity to do it in the regular-season finale at Indianapolis next Sunday.
But first, coach Gary Kubiak is looking to correct many problems on his team. The biggest one, he says, is improving on third downs. Houston (12...
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster left today’s game against the Vikings with an irregular heart beat. He claims that he’s OK. Arian Foster left Sunday’s game with irregular heartbeat. He told team he’s ok, prob could’ve played, but Texans played it safe, rested him. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2012 We certainly...
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster left during the third quarter of the Texans 23-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings and did not return.
Coach Gary Kubiak said after the game that Foster was suffering from an irregular heartbeat. Doctors told Kubiak Foster could return to the game but he decided to go with backups Ben Tate and Justin Forsett to finish the game.
The Texans need to worry about Foster's availability.
Here are my Power Rankings and a quick note about each team.
1) San Francisco - Don't panic after lose in Seattle.
2) Texans - They are solid on both sides of the ball.
3) Patriots - Suspect defense keep them from the top spot.
4) Denver - On the rise, are they a Super Bowl sleeper?
5) Falcons - They need to show...
Arian Foster and Brooks Reed are both expected to start in Houston’s Week 17 contest against the Indianapolis Colts despite both players leaving Sunday’s game against the Vikings with medical issues, the Houston Chronicle reports. Foster left Sunday’s 23-6 Week 16 loss to Minnesota in the third quarter with an irregular heartbeat. Though doctors said he could have returned...
It wasn’t supposed to be this way for the Houston Texans.
The team with the best record in the AFC got their hats handed to them in New England, and now they have to deal with the humiliation of getting upset by the Vikings, who not many gave a chance to win this game.
The Vikings keep their playoff hopes, while the Texans were kept from clinching home-field advantage throughout...
Houston Texans linebacker Brooks Reed will return from a
groin injury today against the Minnesota Vikings, reports John McClain of The
Outside linebacker Brooks Reed said after practice Thursday
he’s 100 percent and ready to go. He missed three games with a groin injury
that had been bothering him before it sidelined him in the victory at Detroit
on Nov. 22...
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster sent out a tweet that he is OK a day after leaving Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings with an irregular heartbeat. Foster carried the ball 10 times for 15 yards and made two receptions for 14 yards before exiting in the third quarter after experiencing an irregular heartbeat. Houston lost 23-6. "I appreciate all the concern...
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster left Sunday's game with an irregular heartbeat, but apparently the problem subsided by game's end. Texans coach Gary Kubiak said trainers told him late in the game that Foster could return, according to the Houston Chronicle, but Kubiak decided not to put Foster back in the game. Foster left the stadium before he could be questioned...
Minnesota Vikings (8-6) at Houston Texans (12-2)
The Vikings kept their playoff hopes alive last week, as they are one of many 8-6 teams in the NFC. They are long shot hopes, however. Not only do they not control their own destiny, their final 2 games are against Houston and Green Bay, two of the better teams in the NFL. Making matters worse, the Vikings are in a bad spot trends...