Texans, Vikings both bring solid defense

The outside of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota

After taking over for offensive coordinator George Godsey as the play-caller last week, the Texans offense moved the ball much more effectively than in the weeks prior. In the Texans' three home games - all victories - they have outscored opponents by an average of 23 points and averaged 5.2 yards per play.

Houston is going without J.J. Watt, which will hurt a bit. This puts added pressure on defensive linemen Jadeveon Clowney, Vince Wilfork, and Whitney Mercilus, who will have to step up in his absence. Through four weeks, the Vikings forced more turnovers than any other team and boasts the best turnover margin in the National Football League (plus-10). If they can force the turnover-prone Brock Osweiler and the Texans into a handful of mistakes, the Vikings will control the game.

Minnesota boasts one of the best defenses out there in 2016.

The Vikings thought they had a possible franchise quarterback in place in Teddy Bridgewater, but he went down August 30 with a season-ending knee injury. Patterson has been willing to do whatever he is asked in order to help this team win and has actually been the embodiment of how Mike Zimmer would like each player on his roster to act.

Osweiler led the Texans on a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

Yes, Brock Osweiler has a contract befitting a franchise player, but he joined the Houston Texans this year with only seven career starts.

U.S. Bank Stadium gets so loud even its own players want the fans to be quiet
U.S. Bank Stadium gets so loud even its own players want the fans to be quiet

While he had led the Texans to a 3-1 record, Osweiler has thrown for five touchdowns against six interceptions in his club's first four games. With Sam registering a passer rating of 105.5, paired with the Vikings scary-good defense, the Texans might be in over their heads. DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller had zero catches between them in the first half. He played three days later against the New York Giants, but the Monday night game gave him one less day to recover.

It's tough to drop an idle team but the Vikings are to blame for this. A couple of runs by Matt Asiata sandwiched around a pass from Sam Bradford to Adam Thielen garnered another first down for the Vikings, and a pass to Jerick McKinnon for 11 yards pushed them down to the Houston 24.

The Vikings are leading 17-0 with 9:58 left in the second quarter.

Dominance, though, is expected from Zimmer's preferred side of the football and when you consider what this defense did to the 2014 MVP Aaron Rodgers, his 2015 successor, Cam Newton, and a two-time Super Bowl victor in Eli Manning over three consecutive weeks, it was folly to expect a work in progress like Osweiler to do much with that unit. "If you're a team that has one in Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees or Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger, it's a lot easier win, lose or draw to go into the facility on Monday morning knowing you've got a guy you know you have a chance with".

With Diggs likely out for the game, the Vikings are forced to rely on Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson, and Cordarrelle Patterson as their top receivers. Bradford connected with the third-year wide receiver on the Vikings first drive of the game for a big 36-yard touchdown.

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