Vikings-Houston preseason game preview

  • Updated: August 30, 2012 - 11:44 AM

VIKINGS AT HOUSTON

RELIANT STADIUM 6 p.m. • TV: Ch. 11 • Radio: 100.3-FM

ABOUT THE TEXANS (2-1)

Looking for a fun preseason underdog story? Then keep your eyes on on-the-bubble Texans receiver Trindon Holliday, who is listed at 5-5 and 170 pounds but has been tearing things up in the return game this preseason. Holliday, a former track standout at LSU, had a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown against Carolina in the preseason opener, added an 87-yard punt return score against San Francisco and busted off a 62-yard return against New Orleans. ... With starting QB Matt Schaub expected to sit, Houston turns things over to T.J. Yates, a bit of an underdog success story himself who produced three victories as a rookie last season, most notably a 31-10 defeat of Cincinnati in the opening round of the playoffs. Yates is 19-for-32 for 191 yards during the preseason. ... TE Garrett Graham is an intriguing player, who had four catches for 97 yards against the Saints this past weekend. ... Whitney Mercilus was the Texans' top draft pick in April, picked 26th overall. Houston hopes Mercilus can be a standout rush linebacker after a 2011 season at Illinois that saw him compile an NCAA-best 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles. In three preseason games, Mercilus has six tackles and 2 1/2 sacks.

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (1-2)

Joe Webb will start at QB and likely will play the entire first quarter. Webb is 17-for-34 for 152 yards with no TD passes or interceptions in three preseason games. He also has rushed for 73 yards on four attempts. Last week, against San Diego, Webb connected with Devin Aromashodu three times for 28 yards. ... S Robert Blanton will make his NFL debut after missing the first three preseason games because of a hamstring injury. Due to injuries in the secondary and the Vikings' hopes of holding out healthy starters Harrison Smith and Jamarca Sanford, Blanton might need to play the whole game. During the offseason, the rookie from Notre Dame impressed defensive coordinator Alan Williams with his aggressiveness, his instincts and his coverage ability, particularly against receivers in nickel packages. ... Fellow rookie Jarius Wright also will see a lot of action, both as a receiver and as a punt returner. Facing left-footed punter Donnie Jones will present a new challenge for Wright, who has been a bit inconsistent catching punts during camp. Wright also needs to show more in the passing game; he still hasn't caught a preseason pass. ... Also keep an eye on the production from the Vikings running backs with Lex Hilliard, Matt Asiata and Jordan Todman, all trying to make a case to stick around as the No. 3 option. If none of those three impress, they all could be gone by the weekend.

DAN WIEDERER

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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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