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Early Look: Texans at Vikings

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings are one of three unbeaten NFL teams left after scoring a 24-10 win over the Giants on Monday Night Football.

Minnesota is 4-0 and has now won seven straight regular-season games dating back to last season, the longest such streak in the league.

The Vikings are on a short week but will now turn their attention toward the Houston Texans. The teams will play at noon (CT) Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in the second game of Minnesota's only back-to-back home games this season.

Houston earned a 27-20 win over Tennessee, moving to 3-1 behind strong play from all three phases.

Here's an early look:

Passing: Vikings quarterback Kyle Rudolph turned in another efficient outing on Monday night, completing 26 of 36 passes for 262 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions for a passer rating of 101.9.

He was especially efficient on third down, moving the sticks on 8 of 15 pass attempts against New York, including a touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Bradford, who has not thrown an interception in three games as Minnesota's starter, has thrown for 719 yards and four touchdowns with the Vikings. Bradford is 1-0 in his career against the Texans, throwing for three touchdowns in a 38-13 win in 2013 while with the Rams.

Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler had an up-and-down day against the Titans, completing 25 of 37 passes for 254 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

Osweiler, who signed as a free agent with the Texans this past offseason, has thrown for 949 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions thus far in 2016. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes and is a perfect 3-0 at home with Houston.

Rushing: The Vikings produced their best ground game performance of the season Monday night, rushing for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. It was the first time Minnesota broke the 100-yard barrier in 2016.

Jerick McKinnon had a season-high 85 yards on 18 carries, notching his first touchdown of the season and recording a season-long run of 25 yards. Nick Easton added a score of his own and had six rushing yards.

McKinnon leads the Vikings with 138 rushing yards. He and Asiata share the team lead with a touchdown apiece.

Running back Lamar Miller had 19 carries for 82 yards in Houston's victory over the Titans. Miller joined the Texans in the offseason and has been a workhorse so far. Miller ranks second in NFL with 93 carries and is third in the AFC with 351 rushing yards.

Receiving: Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph caught a touchdown pass from Bradford for the third straight game. He finished Monday's game with five catches for 55 yards. Charles Johnson led the Vikings with 70 yards on a pair of catches, and Stefon Diggs had five catches for 47 yards.

Diggs leads the Vikings with 372 receiving yards through four games and is on pace for a 100-catch season. Rudolph's three touchdowns top the team. The Vikings have had a different receiver lead them in yards in each of the past three weeks (Diggs, 185 vs. Green Bay; Rudolph, 70 at Carolina; Johnson, 70 vs. New York).

The Texans are headlined by star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who has at least one catch in 52 straight games. Hopkins had just one reception for a gain of 4 yards on Sunday. Houston was led by rookie Will Fuller V, who had seven catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Fuller leads the Texans with 323 yards, and Hopkins has 227. Both players have a pair of touchdown catches. Tight end Ryan Griffin has 128 receiving yards.

Defense: The Vikings defense put forth another stellar effort Monday night as they limited the Giants to less than 80 rushing yards and kept New York's aerial attack in check.

Minnesota didn't record any sacks but cornerback Xavier Rhodes picked off Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The Vikings are second in the league with 15 sacks.

Minnesota has given up just 12.5 points per game through four games, which is good for second in the NFL. The Vikings have also forced 11 takeaways and are plus-10 in turnover margin, which leads the NFL.

The Texans will be without standout defensive end J.J. Watt, who underwent back surgery last week. Houston won without him Sunday, holding Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota to 202 passing yards while intercepting him once.

Houston is allowing 18.3 points per game, which ranks eighth in the NFL. Texans linebacker John Simon leads the team with 2.5 sacks.

Special Teams: Minnesota's special teams units played another big role in the Vikings fourth win. Cordarrelle Patterson's pressure as a gunner forced a muffed punt that was recovered by Marcus Sherels. The Vikings scored a touchdown on their ensuing drive.

Punter Kevin McDermott continued his strong season thus far, landing three of his six punts inside the 20-yard line. He averaged 44 yards per punt with a net average of 40.7 yards. Kicker Kevin McDermott made one field goal from 44 and missed one from 46. He added three extra points.

Fuller sparked the Texans to a win Sunday with a tie-breaking 67-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Houston kicker Nick Novak made two of three field goal tries and converted three extra point tries. Texans punter Shane Lechler averaged 50 yards on his three punts with a net average of 41 yards. 

Over The Years

The Vikings are 3-0 all-time against Houston and have played the Texans, who became a franchise in 2002, the least amount of times of any franchise in Minnesota's 56 seasons.

View images from the Vikings first preseason game of 2013 which was against the Texans on August 9.

Last meeting: Vikings 23, Texans 6, Dec. 23, 2012, In Houston

The Vikings relied on the leg of kicker Blair Walsh in the teams' last meeting as Walsh drilled a trio of field goals in the win. Walsh, who made kicks from 39, 41 and 56 yards, also added a pair of extra points. The 56-yard field goal tied a Vikings franchise record and is the longest ever by a Minnesota player in a road game.

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Christian Ponder, and running back Toby Gerhart had a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the victory.

The Vikings sacked Houston quarterback Matt Schaub four times during the game, with defensive end Jared Allen notching 2.0 of them. Fred Evans and Harrison Smith each recorded a sack.

Minnesota improved to 9-6 on its way to making the playoffs as a Wild Card team with a 10-6 record. Houston fell to 12-3 but went on to win the AFC South.

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