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Vikings Mess With Texans, Win 31-13

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Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

On Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings got off to a fast start, and kept the Houston Texans' offense stuck in neutral almost all afternoon.

Sam Bradford was once again outstanding, and Adam Thielen had his best day as an NFL wide receiver as the Vikings throttled the Houston Texans by a final score of 31-13.

Minnesota got on the board on their first drive of the game, as they moved pretty effortlessly down the field on an 84-yard drive. Adam Thielen was the star of the drive, as he had two receptions for 59 yards. He was on the receiving end of a 36-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford that staked the Vikings to an early 7-0 lead.

The Vikings added more points on their next drive, a 55-yard effort after Marcus Sherels picked up some nice return yardage to start the Vikings at their own 45-yard line. The big play on the drive was a 23-yard pass from Bradford to Matt Asiata to convert on third down, and Asiata capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Blair Walsh hit his second extra point in a row. . .this is big news. . .and the Vikings found themselves ahead 14-0.

Minnesota added to their lead early in the second quarter on a 19-yard field goal by Blair Walsh after Mike Zimmer elected not to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1. That stretched the lead to 17-0. It didn't take them long to add to the lead, as Marcus Sherels took a Shane Lechler punt and returned in 80 yards for a score. Walsh's extra point made it 24-0, and the Vikings were on a roll. It was Sherels' second punt return for a score this season, making him the first player in Vikings' history to have two punt return scores in one season.

Houston finally got on the board midway through the second quarter, thanks to a 38-yard field goal by Nick Novak to make the score 24-3. They added another Novak field goal, this one a 30-yarder, to cut it to 24-6 with about a minute and a half left in the half. That's how they went into the locker room at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter of play, the Vikings added to their lead early in the fourth quarter. On second-and-goal from the 9-yard line, Bradford found Cordarrelle Patterson in the right side of the end zone, and he made a great catch for his first offensive touchdown in nearly two years. Walsh added the extra point, and the Vikings extended their lead to 31-6. It was Patterson's first offensive touchdown since a 4-yard touchdown reception against the Buffalo Bills on 19 October 2014.

Houston got a late touchdown for appearances sake, as Brock Osweiler found DeAndre Hopkins for a 1-yard score with four minutes left in the game. That made the score 31-13 in favor of the home team, and that's how it ended.

The Minnesota defense was, again, stifling. Houston didn't pick up a first down until midway through the second quarter, and had just fine in the first half. Brock Osweiler had an awful game, as he completed just 19-of-42 passes for 184 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz led the Texans in receiving on the day, pulling in four catches for 61 yards. The Vikings held DeAndre Hopkins to 56 yards and a score on five catches, but shut him out in the first half of play. Alfred Blue was the Texans' leading rusher thanks to some garbage time yards, picking up 39 yards on six carries. Minnesota's defense also sacked Brock Osweiler four times, two for Brian Robison and one each for Tom Johnson and Danielle Hunter.

On offense, Sam Bradford was once again outstanding. He completed 22-of-30 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns. Adam Thielen had the best game of his NFL career, as he went over the 100-yard mark for the first time. He caught seven passes for 127 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon. Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright chipped in with four catches each. Matt Asiata led the Vikings in rushing, with 14 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown.

The Vikings move to 5-0, and with the Philadelphia Eagles' loss remain the NFC's lone undefeated team. They will take Week 6 off, as they're on their bye. The Texans fall to 3-2 on the season, and will host the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6 action.

The Minnesota Vikings push their season-starting undefeated streak to five, as they thump the Houston Texans by a score of 31-13 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week's game right here at The Daily Norseman!