Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Peterson has only 40 yards, but Vikings lead 13-3 at the half

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, AFC, NFC, Adrian Peterson Updated: December 23, 2012 - 1:28 PM

HOUSTON -- What the heck is going on in Houston?

Playing for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, the 12-2 Texans are getting embarrassed 13-3 at the half in front of a crowd that's getting downright angry at their normally explosive offense.

Meanwhile, the Vikings are getting an unusually quiet game from Adrian Peterson (40 yards on 13 carries, including 20 on his last 12 carries), but an unusually exceptional day from quarterback Christian Ponder, who has completed 10 of 17 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. He also ran 21 yards for a first down on third down.

Defensively, the Vikings have held Houston to 107 yards. And then there's Blair Walsh, who, of course, is kicking field goals that would be good from Dallas. And

The Texans took the opening kickoff and drove 46 yards in nine plays and took a 3-0 lead on a 51-yard field goal by Shayne Graham. The Texans' drive stalled when A.J. Jefferson reached in and broke up a pass to Andre Johnson. Chris Cook, who had been on injured reserve the previous six weeks, started the game but split time with Jefferson in the first half.

The Vikings took a 7-3 lead on their first possession. Peterson ran for 20 yards on the first play to extend his NFL-leading runs of 20 or more to 21. His next three carries netted zero yards, but Ponder carried the Vikings the rest of the way, completing 3 of 3 passes for 62 yards, including a 3-yard TD to Kyle Rudolph.

For those keeping tabs on the wildly inconsistent season that Ponder is having, here are the second-year QB's numbers on the first drives of the past two games: 6 for 6 for 100 yards, one touchdown rushing and one passing. One of his completions today was a 32-yarder to Michael Jenkins aganst a blitz on third-and-six.

The Vikings' defense set up the next score when Jasper Brinkley forced running back Arian Foster to fumble. Jefferson fell on it at the Vikings' 21-yard line. 

Walsh capped the drive with his NFL record-setting ninth field goal of 50 yards or longer this season. This one tied Paul Edinger's team-record long of 56 yards. Walsh, a rookie, is 9 for 9 from 50 or longer. That broke the mark of eight held by Morten Andersen and Jason Hanson.

Walsh added a 41-yarder with 37 seconds left in the half. Walsh is 31 of 34 on the season.



Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 2 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 9
Washington 0 FINAL
Miami 8
Boston 4 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Houston 3
Toronto - WP: C. Hynes 9 FINAL
Boston - LP: D. Hinojosa 7
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Norberto 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Whitley 0
St. Louis 5 FINAL
NY Mets 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Kansas City 4
LA Angels 1 FINAL
Oakland 4
San Diego 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox 2
Chicago WSox 12 FINAL
Seattle 4
Cleveland 2 FINAL
San Francisco 5
Milwaukee 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 11
Arizona 3 FINAL
Cincinnati 0
Texas 4 FINAL
Colorado 10
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Detroit 78 FINAL
Charlotte 102
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Washington 106
San Antonio 103 FINAL
Orlando 91
Indiana 87 FINAL
Boston 100
Brooklyn 100 FINAL
New York 98
Chicago 91 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Dallas 135 FINAL
Oklahoma City 131
Sacramento 111 FINAL
Houston 115
Toronto 113 FINAL
Minnesota 99
Denver 74 4th Qtr 3:40
Utah 89
LA Clippers 55 3rd Qtr
Portland 68
New Orleans 29 1st Qtr 0:02
LA Lakers 31
Toronto 3 FINAL
Buffalo 4
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Edmonton 0 2nd Prd 13:56
Anaheim 2
Colorado 0 1st Prd 4:08
San Jose 0
Loyola-Chicago 63 FINAL
ULM 62
Michigan 65
Temple 58 FINAL
West Virginia 66
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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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