The Vikings 23-6 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday might have been the biggest victory of the season. It was the most complete domination of a team for the Vikings since the 2009 season and the Vikings put all three phases of the game together and did it on the road.
Christian Ponder found Kyle Rudolph for a 3-yard touchdown to put the Vikings up for good 7-3.
Adrian Peterson rushed for 86 yards on 25 carries and is 208 yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson's single season rushing record. That however takes a back seat to the bigger task at hand, getting into the playoffs.
"Our focus isn't on "I need this many yards", said Peterson. "Our focus is on how we continue to move the ball and be aggressive offensively and come out with a win."
The defense played their best game of the season. Holding the Texans offense to just two field goals and keeping their running game led by Arian Foster completely grounded. Highlighted by a goal line stand in the third quarter Harrison Smith made a touchdown saving tackle of Kevin Walter after it appeared the Texans were gaining momentum. Matt Schaub missed Owen Daniels on first down, Ben Tate was stuffed on second down and Fred Evans sacked Schaub on third down forcing the Texans to settle for a field goal.
"To hold a team like that, a 12-2 team with a great offense and great weapons to six points was awesome," said Ponder.
The special teams continue to be a strength of the team as the Vikings won the battle of the kicking game. Blair Walsh set an NFL record with his ninth field goal from beyond 50 yards and is perfect on the season. Chris Kluwe put his best punt of the year on Houston late in the game pinning the Texans at the one yard line.
The Vikings host Green Bay in the final game of the season and if the Vikings win, they are in the playoffs with the Packers a potential opponent in the playoffs. The two teams met in week 13 in Green Bay where the Packers came away with a 23-14 win. There has not been a win over the rival Packers since Brett Favre was in his first year as quarterback with the team in 2009.
Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday at 3:25 at Mall of America Field. The game can be seen live on FOX 9.