Pregame snapshot: Vikings at Texans

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 21, 2012 - 11:08 PM
Our snapshot look at the Vikings as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Texans at Reliant Stadium

PLAYER IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Until further notice, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will remain the central figure under the spotlight, continuing an extraordinary season that has him in position to break Eric Dickerson's single-season NFL rushing record of 2,105 yards.

And yeah, even being 294 yards shy of that mark, Peterson believes it's possible he can break the record Sunday.

Consider this: Houston's Arian Foster is having another standout season and leads the AFC with 1,313 rushing yards for the season. Peterson? He also has 1,313 rushing yards -- in his past eight games.

Foster has rewarded his offensive lineman by buying them all Segways for Christmas. There's no word on what kind of gift Peterson might deliver soon.

Said left guard Charlie Johnson: "I'm just doing my job. I get paid pretty well to do what I'm doing. But, at the same time, I'm not going to turn anything away."

Johnson is one of 52 teammates inside the Vikings locker room marveling at Peterson's dominance and still amazed by his clutch 52-yard run in the fourth quarter in St. Louis.

Said Johnson: "To have the ability to start downhill one way yet have the ability to get back to the back side so quickly, it's something I've never seen before."

MOST PRESSING QUESTION

Can the Vikings neutralize Texans defensive end J.J. Watt?

As terrific as Peterson has been, Watt's production might be equally remarkable. Active in the trenches of Houston's 3-4 defense, Watt has an NFL-best 19 1/2 sacks plus 15 pass deflections. On top of that, he also has had his hand in nine Texans takeaways.

Said coach Gary Kubiak: "He's had as good a year as a football player as I've ever been around in the National Football League."

Johnson and fellow guards Brandon Fusco and Geoff Schwartz will have their hands full as Watt moves around. Quarterback Christian Ponder will also have to work extra hard to create open throwing lanes and to stay poised in a pocket that may collapse frequently.

KEEP AN EYE ON ...

The Vikings kickoff coverage.

In a season where so many dramatic improvements have been made in taking care of little things, the Vikings kick coverage has been underappreciated.

Sure, Blair Walsh has produced 47 touchbacks on 73 kickoffs. At the same time, the Vikings haven't allowed a kick return past the 25-yard line since Week 5, leaving special teams coordinator Mike Priefer commending the front office for supplying so many dedicated young players.

"Special teams in some teams is kind of an insult," Priefer said, "where here we've got guys itching to play special teams. And I think that's the mentality and the culture we've established here that's really made a difference."

Last week in St. Louis, the Vikings made kickoff stops at the Rams 12 and 14. A week earlier, they stopped the Bears at their own 17, 11, 14 and 15.

TEXANS SCOOP

Despite clinching the AFC South last week, Houston still has everything to play for, needing a win to wrap up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Texans have outscored opponents 221-133 before halftime this season, imposing for a Vikings squad that's 1-5 when trailing at halftime. The Texans have also won time of possession in 12 of 14 games, ranking first in the NFL in that category (33:42 per game).

INJURY REPORT

Defensive end Brian Robison returned to practice in a limited capacity Friday, fighting through the discomfort of his Grade 3 shoulder sprain. He is listed as questionable for Sunday. Coach Leslie Frazier is saying he will wait to see how Robison responds physically and mentally to the work he did Friday.

"What he has to say will make a difference," Frazier said.

Cornerback Chris Cook, meanwhile, will be activated off injured reserve and will play in Houston after missing the past six games because of a broken bone in his right arm.

Other players on this week's injury report, all probable, are: Matt Kalil (illness), Adrian Peterson (abdomen/groin), Antoine Winfield (knee), Jared Allen (shoulder), Chris Kluwe (left knee/right groin), Phil Loadholt (knee), Mistral Raymond (ankle), Everson Griffen (elbow) and Marcus Sherels (quadriceps/elbow).

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Toronto 1 Bottom 5th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington 2 Top 7th Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets 5 Top 5th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 1 Bottom 4th Inning
Baltimore 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Chicago WSox 4 Top 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cleveland 0 Top 3rd Inning
Minnesota 1
Detroit 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Kansas City 1
Seattle 0 Top 3rd Inning
Houston 1
Los Angeles 2 Top 2nd Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Texas - N. Tepesch 2:35 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 20 3rd Qtr 7:31
Buffalo 3
Dallas 17 3rd Qtr 8:50
St. Louis 21
Washington 20 3rd Qtr 14:13
Philadelphia 21
Houston 0 3rd Qtr 6:25
NY Giants 17
Minnesota 9 3rd Qtr 9:09
New Orleans 13
Tennessee 0 3rd Qtr 9:16
Cincinnati 19
Baltimore 10 3rd Qtr 7:18
Cleveland 14
Green Bay 7 3rd Qtr 11:33
Detroit 12
Indianapolis 30 3rd Qtr 11:45
Jacksonville 0
Oakland 6 3rd Qtr 7:04
New England 10
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 2nd Prd 7:50
Carolina 2
Buffalo 4:00 PM
Washington
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 2:00 PM
Toronto FC
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 11:43
Montreal 15
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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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 Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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