5 questions behind enemy lines: Minnesota Vikings vs Houston Texans

Oct 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans fan holds up signs during the game against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans fan holds up signs during the game against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Minnesota Vikings playing Houston in week 5, there is no better time to talk to Toro Times, a FanSided blog devoted to covering Texans football.

The Houston Texans will pose an interesting challenge to the Minnesota Vikings during week 5 of the 2016 NFL season. The two teams currently sit on top of their respective divisions, with hopes that they can continue their winning ways.

To get some insight on what is happening in Houston, The Viking Age called upon Toro Times expert Josh McSwain to answer five questions about the Texans. Thankfully, Mr. McSwain gave some great information on the dangers the Minnesota Vikings opponents will present on Sunday.

Here are the five questions that were asked:

1: Brock Osweiler was the team’s high-priced acquisition and their hope for a replacement at quarterback. Has he shown hope that he can be the future passer of the Houston Texans?

"“So far he has not lived up to expectations. He is turning the ball over in a way that is reminiscent of Brian Hoyer. I am willing to give him a pass for now because of the new system and him having to adjust to new teammates and all. But at some point this season he has to start producing. He has made some good plays so far, but the negative ones have overshadowed the good throws he has made. I still think he can develop into an effective quarterback and be more than just a game manager, like he was in Denver, or a question mark, like he is now.”"

2: Considering the huge losses on the Texans defense, how will the team manage to get by and who will be the individuals to step up in their absence?

"“There isn’t anyone who can replace JJ Watt, and one of the other bodies that was going to be in the mix, Devon Still, is also on IR. So that leaves the likes of Brandon Dunn and Christian Covington to pick up the slack. They also brought in veteran Antonio Smith to give them another body. But now the burden of pass rush falls on Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus. They both have two sacks this year, and it is up to them to get the job done without Watt. But the team leader is sacks is actually John Simon with 2.5. You’re going to be hearing Simon’s name quite a bit.Brian Cushing had an injury that kept him out for a couple of games and unfortunately he is liable to get hurt again any time. Max Bullough has been the third inside linebacker with Cushing and McKinney, but Bullough is getting better and has become a capable replacement.”"

3: Why is DeAndre Hopkins struggling to get going this year and can he turn things around against a tough Vikings defense?

"“I think one of the reasons his numbers are down is actually a good thing–Will Fuller. He has finally given the Texans a capable #2 receiver and is taking some of the targets away from Hopkins. Last year Hopkins was all Houston had, so they threw to him even though he was constantly getting double teamed. Now Osweiler knows he doesn’t have to force the ball to Hopkins. Also, adjusting to a new quarterback is a challenge for any receiver. I think he will be hard pressed to get back on track in this game though, the Vikings secondary is arguably the best in the league. Furthermore, I think the Texans will place a bigger emphasis on the run this week because that seems like the more effective way to go after the Vikings defense.”"

4: Who are one player on offense and one player on defense that Vikings fans may not know, but will make an impact during the game?

"“Offensively I would go with a tight end–CJ Fiedorowicz if he plays or Ryan Griffin if he does not. Stephen Anderson might be able to return in this game, and if he does look out for the former Cal Bear. Defensively the guy who has been solid in the middle is Benardrick McKinney. Most fans know about Brian Cushing, but McKinney is stepping up in his second year.”"

5: What is your final score prediction for the game and why you feel it will turn out that way?

"“I have the Vikings winning a defensive struggle something like 17-9. Points will be hard to come by, and taking care of the ball is paramount. If the Texans turn the ball over and give the Vikings easy points, they will have a very hard time coming from behind. Both teams are going to try to run so establishing the line will be crucial. The team that does that will win the game.”"

To read my answers to the questions from Toro Times click THIS LINK!

Next: 5 keys to a Vikings victory over the Texans

Huge thanks go out to Josh McSwain of Toro Times for taking the time to discuss the Minnesota Vikings game against the Houston Texans on Sunday, October 9, 2016. This should be one of the most important games of the week in the NFL, and these two stellar defenses will be putting on a show for fans. Don’t miss the game!