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5 Takeaways: Vikings Make Final Stand to Secure 1st Win

The Vikings are in the win column for the first time in 2020, as Minnesota put together a solid all-around effort in Houston to get a 31-23 win.

Credit a stout red-zone defense for helping secure the win, including in a wild final sequence.

The Texans had first-and-goal three times Sunday, and didn't score a touchdown on any of the three sequences.

The final stand came in the final two minutes after the Texans had first-and-goal at the 4-yard line.

But after a 3-yard Houston run, Anthony Harris stuffed the next play for no gain. The Texans then suffered a 4-yard loss when David Johnson bobbled an option pitch. George Iloka made the tackle.

View game action images as the Minnesota Vikings take on the Houston Texans in Week 4.

That set up a fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard line, but Deshaun Watson's final pass was incomplete. The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but officials overturned the play.

The Vikings also turned away the Texans in the second quarter (when Houston had first-and-goal from the 10) and in the third quarter (when Houston had first-and-goal from the 8). The Texans kicked field goals on those possessions.

Minnesota made all three of those stands without safety and captain Harrison Smith, who was ejected late in the second quarter for a helmet-to-helmet hit on a quick play over the middle.

The Vikings are now 1-3 and will head to Seattle in Week 5 for a matchup with the 4-0 Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.

Here are four more takeaways from Sunday:

1. A historic offensive showing

Minnesota offensive playmakers showed up in a big way Sunday, and the top trio of Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson also found themselves in rare air.

Cook ran for 130 yards and a pair of scores, while Thielen (eight catches for 114 yards and a score) and Jefferson (four catches for 103 yards) both went over the 100-yard mark.

The last time the Vikings had a pair of 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in the same game was back in 2000, when the trio of Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Robert Smith did it against the Panthers.

2. A trio of firsts

A handful of Vikings recorded some firsts on Sunday in Houston.

Defensive end D.J. Wonnum got to Watson in the opening quarter for the fourth-round pick's first NFL sack.

Late in the first quarter, the Vikings made a highlight-reel play on special teams.

Houston's DeAndre Carter fielded a punt and evaded pressure from Dan Chisena, but Vikings running back Mike Boone popped the ball loose for his first-career forced fumble.

Chisena pounced on the loose ball at Houston's 35-yard line for his first-ever fumble recovery. He also drew a holding penalty on the play that was declined.

The Vikings kicked a field goal after the turnover to take a 10-0 lead.

3. Controlling the clock

Entering Sunday, the Vikings ranked last in the league with an average of 22 minutes and 56 seconds in time of possession.

They flipped that script Sunday when the Vikings dominated in time of possession.

Minnesota ran the ball for 162 yards against the league's 32nd-ranked run defense, and held the ball for a whopping 36:31. The Texans controlled the ball for just 23:29.

3. Avoiding 0-4

The Vikings avoided their first 0-4 start under Zimmer with Sunday's win. Minnesota also avoided a four-game losing streak, something that has happened just once under Zimmer's tenure in Minnesota.

The Vikings also gave their early-season playoff hopes a boost.

While the playoff chances for 0-4 teams in the past 30 years is 1.03 percent, the playoff chances for 1-3 teams is 14.3 percent (30 of 21 teams).