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Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans: Key information and first quarter discussion

Let’s see if the Vikings can avoid 0-4

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After a little bit of a crazy week, it’s time for the Minnesota Vikings to once again get back to the business of football, as they try to avoid starting 0-4 for just the fifth time in team history as they take on the only team they’ve never lost to, the 0-3 Houston Texans.

Here is everything you need to know about today’s game.

Date and Time: Sunday, 4 October, 2020, noon Central time

Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

Television Coverage: KSTP-9 in the Twin Cities, FOX affiliates around the country, DirecTV Channel 713

Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 83, XM Channel 383

Line: Vikings +3.5, Over/Under 53.5

Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 28, Texans 27

Three Keys

1) Contain DeShaun Watson - Watson is on the short list of the NFL’s most talented quarterbacks, and is exactly the kind of signal caller that usually gives the Vikings trouble with his mobility and ability to get things done on the move. The Vikings’ pass rush has been basically non-existent so far this season, but that’s going to have to change this afternoon with Watson on the other side.

2) Keep the offense balanced - The Vikings kept things very balanced on offense last week with 226 yards on the ground and 238 through the air. While the Vikings should be able to exploit the Texans’ run defense, they can’t forget about Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and the pass game. Houston will likely be keying on Dalvin Cook, and Kirk Cousins should be able to take advantage of that through the air.

3) Avoid the big play - The Vikings had several plays against the Titans that saw them give up huge chunks of yardage and allowed the Titans to get back into the game when it looked like they had momentum. The Texans have a pair of fast wideouts in Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller, and the Vikings’ young secondary is going to have their hands full.

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Again, we’ll stay with the quarterly Open Threads, so keep an eye out for those and move the discussion accordingly.

With that, here’s hoping that turning the calendar to October will lead to new and better things for the purple, as a loss today will pretty much put an end to the competitive portion of the 2020 season at the quarter pole. While some people might be okay with that, I, quite frankly, am not, and I’m guessing the Vikings’ players wouldn’t be, either. So, here’s hoping we can all celebrate a win in a few hours.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!