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 Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen /

Minnesota will crack Houston through the air

Looking at this matchup on paper, attacking the Texans through the air seems like a bad idea. The Vikings enter Sunday’s game averaging 195.6 passing yards per game (28th in NFL) while Houston has allowed 199.3 passing yards per matchup (third). But there’s more to the story that could help Minnesota on Sunday.

Despite their lofty standing in yardage, the Texans rank 19th in defensive DVOA against the pass. A good reason for this is a lot of the things the Vikings have had trouble with early in the season.

Bradley Roby (111.9) and Vernon Hargraves III (106.7) both have QB ratings north of 100 and Houston hasn’t been able to get pressure on the quarterback. Charles Omenihyu has a 7.8 pass rusher productivity rating, but J.J. Watt has shown his age with just nine pressures in the first three games.

With 92 passing attempts against the Texans in the first three weeks, a dominant defense is more of a sample size issue. Minnesota will try to run the ball to get Dalvin Cook going. But this should be another game where Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Kirk Cousins have their opportunities to convert through the air.