November 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) throws the ball to wide receiver Andre Johnson (not pictured) during the 2nd half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Texans won 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY SportsOn Sunday, The Houston Texans host the Minnesota Vikings in a game with multiple playoff implications. The Texans and Vikings are two very different teams who are both finding success in their own way.
The Texans are a more balanced team, using running back Arian Forster on the ground and on the outside, while wide receivers Andre Johnson and tight end Owen Daniels find separation through the passing game. They also have one of the better, but not dominant defenses in the league. While the run game has been stout, the passing game has started to gouge the defense as injuries have mounted in the second level.
The Vikings are much different as the have an old school type game plan. With wide receiver Percy Harvin on injury reserve, the Vikings have only one threat on their team. Running back Adrian Peterson is getting the ball more often and he has exploded. As one of the comments stated on a previous article, Peterson is averaging 170 yards in the past eight games, which is close as it is actually 165.6. Regardless, Peterson is having the box stacked like Maurice Jones-Drew did last year, and it still able to power through for long touchdown runs, proving how much of a threat he is.
If the Texans are going to find successes this coming Sunday, they should continue spreading the ball around. Outside of Johnson and Owens, the wide receiver group hasn’t been too productive. Against the Vikings they could find more success as they are 23rd against the pass. While a huge stat line shouldn’t be expected, receivers Kevin Walter and Lestar Jean should be more involved as the Texans fight to clinch a first round bye.
The Vikings on the other hand will continue to hand the ball of to no surprise. Quarterback Christian Ponder will also have to look Kyle Rudolph whose had a knack of finding the end zone , as the Texans are the fifth worst against tight ends. Rudolph will have no easy task however, as he is the only threat remaining in the passing game. If Peterson can find success early, Ponder can expose the Texans is mismatches.
– Antonio Furgiuele