NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The Houston Texans have a chance to not just set the all time record for wins in a single season for the franchise, they also have a chance to secure home field advantage with a win against the Minnesota Vikings. The Texans will attempt contain MVP candidate Adrian Peterson who’s been on a rampage all season long as he’s racked up a league leading 1,812 yards on the ground. Peterson has long been considered the best RB in the game and now has his eyes set on Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson’s all time single season mark of 2,105 yards. The Texans will be looking to stop Peterson this week and force young QB Christian Ponder to beat them with his arm.
The Texans will have their hands full trying to stop Adrian Peterson this week. But it must happen for them to win this game.
The Texans were in a bit of a offensive slump until last week against the Colts when just about every offensive weapon they have had a good game. If they are going to be successful in truly limiting Peterson on the ground this week they’ll have to get the offense rolling and keep their foot on the pedal to start this game. If Matt Schaub and the offense can move the ball effectively and take an early lead the Vikings are less likely to hand the ball to Peterson. The Texans will look to dominate the ball and time of possession af they have all season using their All Pro RB Arian Foster to take a lead early in this game, and if the run game gets going then the play action pass game should work down field on a secondary and LB core that has struggled at times this season. The Viking Defensive line is the one 1 solid part of the defense and the Texans offense are prepared for what’s coming after them this week. HC Gary Kubiak had this to say about the Vikings defensive line: “Vikings’ D-line could be as good as any we’ve faced this year. They’ll make you work for what you do.” The Texans know what will have to be done to get this win, and offensively that is stay patient and don’t give the ball away. Texans QB Matt Schaub said this about preparing for the game this week: “Vikings are a physical group, stout against the run. Really good, LB corps has played a lot of football together.”
Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson is 1 catch away from becoming the 25th player in NFL history with 800 catches.
On defense the story is the same as usual for the Texans, stop the run and the rest will fall into place. But in most cases stopping the run is much easier than it’ll be this week. The Houston Texans defense has been brutal on young QB’s all year long from Ryan Tannehill to Jake Locker but neither one of them had a RB like Adrian Peterson to hand the ball off to. In most cases putting 8 in the box would be enough to slow a teams running game. That isn’t the case with the Vikes though. “Everybody has put 8 or 9 defenders in the box against Vikings. Impressive that Peterson and offense have been successful.”This was said by Texans HC Gary Kubiak in a press conference this week and it’s true. In order to really beat the Vikings, as a team you must be disciplined tacklers. I’ve personally seen plays when I thought what he did was down right impossible. Texans DC Wade Phillips said this about Peterson this week:”When you put on film of him, it looks like somebody made a highlight reel of him, not a game film.” If the Texans aren’t disciplined in their gaps and tackling they will be Peterson’s latest victims. If the defense is able to stop Peterson long enough for the offense to grab any kond of lead look for the Texans ro bring the heat on young QB Christian Ponder. Ponder’s already been sacked 30 times this season, which was his total from last year. The Texans will have OLB Brooks Reed back this week after missing the last 3 games with injury, Reed and fellow OLB Connor Barwin should both be factors with the attention Watt will be seeing this week. Texans DE JJ Watt is now tied with Aldon Smith for the league lead with 19.5 sacks on the season and will be looking to break Micheal Strahan’s single season mark before the season is out.
JJ Watt and the Houston Texans defense will hope to stop AP and get after Ponder this week in Houston.