The Vikings league-leading plus-10 margin in turnover ratio is a stat that Texans coaches and players have noticed and want to change for the worse on Sunday.
Houston Head Coach Bill O'Brien and cornerback Johnathan Joseph both spoke this week to members of the media about the Vikings going without an offensive turnover in their first four games of the season.
Joseph, a first-round pick in 2006, has 26 career interceptions. Ten of those picks occurred in the three seasons (2008-10) that he played for Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer during part of Zimmer's time as Bengals defensive coordinator.
He and O'Brien credited the play of Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, who is 3-0 as a starter since he was acquired on Sept. 3, with helping limit opportunities for defenses.
"He's a big-arm talent, is able to make all of the throws, and what impresses me more than anything is him not turning the ball over on short notice like that, being traded at the last minute and having to fill in for a team with high hopes," Joseph said.
O'Brien, whose team has suffered six interceptions thrown by Texans new quarterback Brock Osweiler, credited decision-making and Vikings coaches.
"Being coached by [Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner] and those guys, obviously he's getting the best coaching there is. And those guys, they know what they're doing. And then you've got Sam, who's a very accurate, decision-making quarterback. He's in a good system; he's got good players around him, and I think he's playing really well."
Here are some other highlights for what the Texans said about the Vikings this week:
O'Brien on facing the Vikings defense:
"I don't think there's one part that's harder than another – I think it's all hard. I think you start up front – big, powerful, explosive guys up front. The linebackers all play well, all of them. And the secondary is very well coached, playing very well. They got [Xavier] Rhodes back, and obviously he did a nice job against the Giants. So it's a big challenge for us.
"You definitely have to execute at a high level. You're not going to go in there and play sloppy football and win, there's no doubt about that. … It's going to be tough. Tough on the road, big-time environment there, so it will be a big challenge for us."
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins on the Vikings defense:
"They have a very good defensive coach that does a great job of stopping the No. 1 receiver on teams, but that's why it's 11-man football, and 10 other guys on the football field to step up."
Hopkins on Rhodes:
"He's a good cornerback. I've been playing against him since college, so we know each other well. He's improved. He's athletic, 6-foot-2, you would think he's a safety or receiver."
Know the Houston Texans key contributors on offense, defense and special teams heading into the game on Sunday.
Osweiler on Harrison Smith:
"Any time you play against a guy of his caliber, you have to respect him no matter where he's at on the field. He's a bit of a wild card … he might be showing blitz but rotate back to the middle of the field at the snap. And vice versa, he might be in the middle of the field and then hit a blitz on the run and come off the line of scrimmage at the snap. I think you need to be aware of where he's at on the field at all times. You need to show him the respect he deserves because he's a tremendous football player. If you don't he's going to wreck your game plan."
Joseph on Stefon Diggs:
"You watch film on him, he's very competitive, fights for the ball. [He's] not the tallest guy in nature, but he plays with an aggression and attitude that goes in his favor most of the time."