On Sunday, the Texans will take their struggling offense to Minnesota to face the 4-0 Vikings and one of the top-ranked defenses in the NFL. On paper, this is not exactly a great matchup - but in reality Minnesota has their struggles on offense as well. Let’s see how the BRB staff sees this one going:
Tim: Vikings 23, Texans 16.
With Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson out, you might think the Texans might have the advantage here; I surely did before the season started. Unfortunately, I just haven't seen enough--yet--from the Texans' offense to believe that they can score points against a good defense on the road. I would really like to predict Sunday is going to be the launching pad for the rest of the 2016 season in the same fashion the MNF game against the Bengals was last year, and there's a part of that thinks it's a possibility, especially with Sam Bradford (who I'm still not buying) at QB for the Vikings.
Sadly, I foresee the Vikings' defense getting after Brock Osweiler and forcing him into a mistake or two. I firmly believe whichever team wins the turnover battle wins the game, and I simply can't envision the Texans being on the right side of that equation right now. This could well be a game I'd pick differently if it was played in December instead of October, but for now I have to go with the home team as the Texans continue to figure out who they are.
Chris HDH: Vikings 23, Texans 13.
The Texans and Brock Osweiler are going to get better on offense. Not because they can’t get much worse, but because they are a well-coached, talented group. I just feel like they’re "learning on the job right now" with so many new starters and a patchwork offensive line. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like this will be the week Houston breaks out. I think the Vikings will overwhelm Houston’s offensive line, and the turnover problems are likely to continue.
Brett: Vikings 10, Texans 7.
Both touchdowns will be defensive touchdowns. Blair Walsh will miss an easy field goal, and then inexplicably hit a 52-yarder to win it at the end of regulation for Minnesota.
BFMF’nD: Vikings 17, Texans 6.
This game was going to be tough regardless, but it looks even more difficult with our poor offensive line play.
Offensively, we'll continue to see what the Patriots and, to a lesser extent, the BE-SFs did to us scheme-wise. That is, specifically, bracket both Will Fuller V and DeAndre Hopkins, and force Brock to target TEs 15 times. If you're the opposing defensive coordinator, and Brock is throwing balls to Ryan Griffin and Jay Prosch, that's #winning. The offensive line will have a hard time keeping Brock clean, and he'll toss a couple easy picks for good measure.
Defensively, Sam Bradford has been shockingly competent this year. If you've followed Bradford's career at all, competent is the best that can be expected of him. Their offensive match-up, however, is just as bad as ours, and we could be looking at a game with 10+ sacks and 6+ turnovers.
Luke: Vikings 24, Texans 16.
The defense puts up a valiant effort but eventually buckles under the weight of the Texans’ offensive turnovers giving the Vikings extra possessions.
Capt. Ron: Vikings 13, Texans 9.
Bill O'Brien has a terrible record on the road against good teams in his two years and four games as the Houston head coach. Meanwhile Mike Zimmer--a guy who has also been an NFL head coach for two years and four games--is leading one of only two remaining undefeated NFL teams (the Broncos are the other) after losing his starting QB (Teddy Bridgewater) and All-Pro RB (Adrian Peterson) to injury. Respect!
The Texans’ offense won't score in this game, but they will scratch their way into field goal range where Nick Novak will clear three of five attempts for a total of nine points. The Vikings’ offense will struggle against Houston's defense until late in the game when the war of attrition finally breaks down the good guys. I'm guessing blown coverage will result in a deep touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Minnesota a late victory.
Mike: Texans 16, Vikings 13.
While Sam Bradford has looked really good so far, he hasn't really been tested. He'll get dirty this week as Whitney Mercilus, Benardrick McKinney and A.J. Bouye all get sacks, which will get him rattled enough to throw his first two picks of the year.
Meanwhile, Houston rolls out the hurry-up offense and catches the Vikings’ defense off guard before Zimmer and crew make adjustments and force Osweiler to throw two more picks of his own from trying to get the ball to DeAndre Hopkins in panic moments.
Another ugly game full of turnovers, mistakes and sloppy play swings on a poor officiating call preserve Houston's late game lead and leaves the Vikings faithful feeling screwed once more.
UprootedTexan: Vikings 27, Texans 10.
This game just feels like we're going to come out of it feeling like we (the fans) just got excreted through something.
It's a fundamentally bad matchup for the Texans: The Vikings’ front seven against whatever fishing twine we have put together to protect Brock Osweiler. It’s our banged up front against a semi-respectable line. It just doesn't bode well for our guys.
The Texans will score a touchdown, but I think it comes in garbage time after the Vikings have the game well in hand and I'm too hammered to be annoyed about that damn gjallarhorn.
BattleRedCoat: Texans 6, Vikings 10.
I am not looking forward to watching this game, as I think offense will be at a premium. There will be plenty of turnovers, lots of stalling drives, and some horrible calls for good measure.
The Vikings’ defense scares me. They have great talent everywhere. If Brock couldn't deal with the pressure last week, we're in trouble, as it'll be three times as bad this week.
The Vikings’ offense without AP back there isn't as scary as it could be. Kyle Rudolph and Stefon Diggs are the main threats. With the way Bouye has shut down tight ends this year, I expect the same again and Rudolph held in check.
If Houston’s offense can get some points up early like last week, we might stand a chance. But I'm not hopeful.
We of little faith this week, and for good reason. For me, this is more about how good the Vikings’ defense is, not how poor the Texans’ offense has been. What say you, BRB? Hit us up with your predictions in the comments section below.
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