Adrian Peterson didn’t have a hundred yard game. Christian Ponder, while making some nice plays early on, didn’t suddenly transform into Tom Brady. Jarius Wright is obviously not at the same level as Percy Harvin.
Still, the Vikings dealt Houston a convincing 23-6 loss, and the defense can stand proud after this one.
Rookie Harrison Smith led the Vikings with seven tackles, while also adding a forced fumble and a sack. Jasper Brinkley and company held Arian Foster to almost no gains whatsoever, and he also had a forced fumble. Everson Griffen and A.J. Jefferson took advantage of those forced fumbles with each recovering one. Antoine Winfield and Fred Evans each came up with timely sacks, and Matt Schaub never seemed quite able to develop the rhythm that has downed plenty of their 2012 opponents.
The special teams did their job, as well, led by Blair Walsh who broke an NFL record for 50-yard-or-longer field goals. He scored from 56, 41, and then 39 yards out.
Coach Leslie Frazier should be proud of the way his team played on Sunday, despite the fact that his passing game still looks completely lost at times, as the Vikings have edged a huge step closer to being included in the postseason tournament.