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Vikings Defense Stymies Texans Offense in Win

MINNEAPOLIS — Moments after the Vikings defense harassed and bullied another opponent, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn looked through the postgame stat sheet in the locker room.

Munnerlyn said he was pleased with Minnesota's performance on third down as the Vikings limited the Texans to just one conversion in 13 tries.

But perhaps what's even more impressive is that even after the Vikings 31-13 win on Sunday, Minnesota's defense has yet to allow a point in the third quarter this season.

"Wow, I didn't know that," Munnerlyn said. "We need to keep that going. We need to pitch that goose egg, that zero.

"We're just going out there and competing at a very high level," he added. "Guys in the locker room believe in each other."

Said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer: "We have good players. They do things right. I don't think it's a big secret. I think they like to compete and prove how good they can be."

Opposing quarterbacks might be believers of Minnesota's defense, too.

Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler completed 19 of 42 passes for 184 yards with one touchdown and an interception.

Osweiler, who was sacked four times, compiled a passer rating of 56.1, his lowest mark of the season.

Four of the five quarterbacks who have played the Vikings have had their lowest passer ratings of the season against Minnesota's defense.

"They're a good defense," said Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. "They beat us fair and square. Can't make any excuses."

The Vikings defense has given up 63 points through five games, good for an average of 12.6 points per game.

Minnesota defensive end Brian Robison is in his 10th season in Purple. Robison, who recorded a pair of the Vikings four sacks, said he hasn't seen anything like this unit. 

"It's fun, it really is," Robison said. "At the end of the day, this is probably one of the most fun defenses I've ever played on.

"We've got a great group of guys, we've just got to keep doing what we've been doing," he added. "We'll have our opportunity to hopefully be able to call ourselves one of the best."

Minnesota's effort on third down was superb, nearly matching an 0-for-11 that the Vikings put on the 49ers on Sept. 27, 2009.

Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo nabbed his first interception of the year when Osweiler tried to move the chains on a pass down the middle.

Sendejo said he sensed an air of frustration from the Texans during the game.

"They definitely weren't happy about it," he said.

The Vikings defense didn't allow the Texans to convert their first 12 third-down tries, a performance Munnerlyn took pride in and one Zimmer praised.

"I'm a guy who looks at third downs because I'm a nickel back," Munnerlyn said with a smile. "We try to get better each and every week at that, and I feel like we did a great job today."

Added Zimmer: "I thought we covered really well today. Defensively, I thought we were swarming to the football pretty good today."

Zimmer lauded the 66,683 fans that packed U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon, noting the crowd noise certainly affected Houston's offense.

The Vikings faithful had plenty to cheer for Sunday as they watch one of the league's top defenses put on another show.

Vikings nose tackle Linval Joseph has a Super Bowl ring from his time with the Giants, a team that was known for their strong defense.

"Right now," Joseph said, "this is the best defense I've been around."

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