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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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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