Vikings defense puzzle Texans in first half
By Travis West
Dec 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) against the Chicago Bears at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Bears 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
The first half for the Vikings can be described as promising. On offense, the Vikings have been using Jarius Wright as they would use Harvin and it has been successful. Thankfully, Ponder has thrown the ball with confidence. He has stood in he pocket, made the correct reads and delivered the ball. Peterson opened the Vikings first drive with a 18 yard gain after Kyle Rudolph false started on the first play. The Vikings utilized Peterson with a nice play-action play and gained a chunk of yards on a completion to Rudolph. Michael Jenkins came up big with a completion that put the Vikings in the red zone where two plays later, Ponder found Rudolph for the TD.
With J.J. Watt barreling down on every play, Ponder was not able to get the same time he had the first drive to make the passes he did and since the first TD pass has looked average. Ponder finished the half with 119 yards. Peterson has struggled to get anything going on the ground after he broke for a couple big runs. Blair Walsh continued to impress as he nailed a 56 and 41 yard Field goal attempt to put the Vikings up 13-3. It is obvious that the Texans want to bottle up Peterson as much as they can so Ponder will need to play a complete game today.
The Vikings defense are flying to the ball. On a number of plays, multiple Viking defenders swarmed to the ball carrier. On the opening drive for the Houston Texans, the Vikings were able to hold them to a field goal. The Texans did have a few plays that got them the yardage needed to get into field goal range, but two big run stops for a loss were crucial and forced the Texans to pass on 3rd and long. The defense bent but didn’t break. Jasper Brinkley was able to strip the ball from running back, Arian Foster and was recovered by Vikings cornerback, A.J. Jefferson. So far the Vikings defense has played disciplined and made plays when the opportunity presented itself. The Vikings defense looks to have Schaub a little uncomfortable in the pocket and has made him make inaccurate throws. Harrison Smith had an impressive play that showed off his Notre Dame smarts. On third and short, Smith showed the discipline to stay with his man while Schaub rolled out. Schaub had no choice but to try and force the pass as he had a man casing him down. The Vikings have kept the Texans to to 12 yards rushing. The most impressive thing about the Viking defense is that have been able to get off the field on third down. The texans are 1/5 when converting 3rd down.