The Vikings will remain in Minnesota in front of the home crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium for noon (CT) Sunday matchup against the AFC South defending champion Houston Texans (3-1).
Minnesota will face another tough test at wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Will Fuller, who have combined for 36 catches, 550 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Let’s see who the experts pick to win Monday’s matchup.
If there is one elite passer who can hit the *Vikings defense for five touchdowns, it's Brock Osweiler. Except not at all. If there is one game in which Houston's quarterback can ill-afford to underthrow/overthrow DeAndre Hopkins, it's this one. How many opportunities will the Texans WR1 get against Xavier Rhodes? Probably not too many -- at least if we're to take anything away from Rhodes' boffo effort against Odell Beckham,* Jr. *this past Monday night. Will Fuller must take advantage of Trae Waynes or whoever is on him Sunday. Kyle Rudolph, meanwhile, has been spreading the football around efficiently. Think he will continue the trend and ride his defense to win No. 4 for himself (and win No. 5 for the club). *#HOUvsMIN
Vikings 24, Texans 13 *— Elliot Harrison, *NFL.com
Look at what Mike Zimmer did to *Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Eli Manning in consecutive weeks.*
Brock Osweiler is not in their league. I expect him to throw his normal two weekly picks and then some against a defense that's channeling its inner 2015 Broncos.
Linval Joseph's presence will force *Lamar Miller off his game. The same goes for Xavier Rhodes on Will Fuller and Trae Waynes/Terence Newman/Mackensie Alexander on DeAndre Hopkins.*
Sam Bradford* can play it safe against the toughest set of corners he's seen as a Viking. He can outduel Osweiler by playing ball control.*
Vikings — Chris Simms, Bleacher Report
*The Vikings are rolling right now behind their defense. That will present big problems for Brock Osweiler, who has been inconsistent so far. The Vikings will stay undefeated as Sam Bradford plays well again. *
*Vikings 23, Texans 10 *— Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
The Vikings’ defense is going to eat *Brock Osweiler for lunch. This game could get ugly.*
*Vikings 20, Texans 3 *— Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
The Vikings enter their bye week on a high note, with two weeks to prepare for a showdown with the Eagles.
*Vikings 27, Texans 13 *— Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
*This one has the look and feel of an upset special, with Minnesota getting so much national attention following its Monday night win. But I don’t see a team built on defense and special teams, as Minnesota is, getting too high on itself or the headlines and adulation it’s receiving. We’re four weeks into the season, and Minnesota’s numbers are eerily similar across the board to a team’s from a season ago. That’d be the Super Bowl-winning Broncos. *
*Vikings 20, Texans 17 *— Peter Schrager, FOX Sports
Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's NFL simulation engine generates predictions and box scores for every NFL game for the coming week. The highly sophisticated algorithms simulate every play of every game to produce each team's likelihood to win. Each matchup is simulated 501 times.
Vikings Win Likelihood Percentage: 57.0 percent, Average Score: *Vikings 21.0, Texans 17.7 *— WhatIfSports.com
FiveThirtyEight’s 2015 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl 50. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.
Pre-game win probabilities: *Vikings 73 percent *— FiveThirtyEight.com
*10 of 10 experts pick the Vikings, *SB Nation
*8 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, *CBS Sports
*5 of 6 experts pick the Vikings, *FOX Sports
5 of 5 experts pick the Vikings, USA Today