So it turns out a lot of people were wrong including me. I thought the Vikes had zero shot at going into Houston and beating the Texans. I thought Houston would swat the Vikings aside like flies. But it didn’t happen. Instead it was the Vikes doing the swatting. The effort on defense was the big story. Alan Williams called his second brilliant game in a row, bringing huge pressure against the quarterback. Matt Schaub looked as lost at times in this game as Sam Bradford did for most of last week’s game. The Vikes battered Schaub. And they totally bottled up the Texans’ running game. It was a brilliant effort again by the defensive line, led by Everson Griffen, who has been terrific in two games since taking over for the injured Brian Robison. Harrison Smith also played brilliantly for the Vikings. His coverage, tackling and blitzing were all outstanding. He made big plays all over the field for Minnesota. This guy is blossoming right before our eyes into one of the best safeties in the league. That is not an exaggeration.
Oh and did I mention? Adrian Peterson did not have a great day for the Vikes. Only 86 yards. Only? For AD that’s a so-so game. But it was enough for the Vikings who got a good, strong performance from Christian Ponder. The completion percentage wasn’t great for Ponder but stats have never told the story with him anyway. The question is, can he avoid big mistakes and make one or two good plays to complement the running game? Today the answer was yes…for the most part. He did actually have a fumble but the Texans failed to capitalize. And there was one other occasion where he nearly threw a pick in a situation where he should’ve eaten the ball. But outside of those burps, he was pretty good. He got it working with Jarius Wright and even Jerome Simpson who had a huge leaping catch for a first down. And he made plays with his legs. Last week he had a scramble for a TD, and this week he had a couple big runs including a huge, huge 29-yarder to help seal the victory. Overall Ponder’s decision-making was solid. He stood tall in the pocket a few times. He made some accurate throws on the run. He played probably his best game since the San Francisco game. And this was with Adrian getting pretty much stymied by Houston. Actually, Adrian got battered by Houston. J.J. Watt and company really beat him up. The Vikes finally had to pull him from the game and let Toby Gerhart punch in the game-sealing TD. So Dickerson’s record is safe for now. But keeping AD healthy is more important than some record. The Vikes are in the playoff hunt. They have a legit shot now to get in the postseason.
Crazy? Yes. But as we’ve learned, football is a crazy game. Don’t you agree Fred Evans?
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