5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Houston Texans – Week 4

(Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Deshaun Watson /

Houston’s passing offense is in for a revival

Establishing Dalvin Cook will be important for the Vikings on Sunday as the Texans have several players that know how to get open downfield. Deshaun Watson has been kept quiet for the first three weeks of the season, ranking 29th in QB rating 20+ yards downfield, but that’s exactly where Minnesota’s passing defense has struggled.

According to Sharp’s Football Stats, the Vikings defense ranks last in explosive pass play (20+ yards) percentage at 13 percent this season. This comes off the heels of a Week 3 eruption from Titans receiver Kalif Raymond, who torched Minnesota’s defense for 118 yards including a big third quarter reception that helped Tennessee take the lead.

The results haven’t been there for Houston’s offense so far, but that explosion could be coming on Sunday. Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks have eight deep targets in the first three games per Pro Football Focus. But the degree of difficulty should be much lighter against a team like the Vikings that ranks 30th against the pass this year.

Kansas City, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh was a brutal stretch for any team coming out of the gate, but the Texans should have an easier time through the air on Sunday.