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Quick Hits: Texans-Vikings Statistical Preview

Football stats make the world go round.

Houston Texans v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

I had the pleasure of speaking with the Vikings SB Nation guys yesterday, and one thing they mentioned that really stuck out to me was, “We can’t stop the pass but we make up for it with a bad run defense.” It took a split second to realize they weren’t talking about our Houston Texans with that statement.

With that foundation to build from, Deshaun Watson, David Johnson, Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook should have a field day racking up yards and points at NRG Stadium on Sunday. Adam Thielen, Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills and Justin Jefferson should all have season best days, too. If you’re a defensive minded fan, dial down the enthusiasm to “maybe next week” because this game features the third worst passing defense (MIN) versus the worst rush defense (HOU). Some more stats:

  • The Vikings lead the all-time series 4-0.
  • Last meeting was on 10.9.16. Final score was Texans 13, Vikings 31.
  • Houston’s offense is averaging 19.0 points per game.
  • Minnesota’s offense is averaging 25.0 points per game.
  • Houston’s defense is surrendering 31.7 points per game.
  • Minnesota’s defense is giving up 34.0 points per game.
  • Houston’s offense is gaining an average 308.0 yards per game.
  • Minnesota’s offense is gaining an average 340.3 yards per game.
  • Houston’s defense has surrendered 387.7 yards per game.
  • Minnesota’s defense has surrendered 440.0 yards per game.
  • Deshaun Watson has thrown 95 passes, completed 64 for 792 yards, 4 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and has a QB rating of 93.8.
  • Kirk Cousins has thrown 78 passes, completed 46 for 623 yards, 5 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and has a QB rating of 73.8.
  • David Johnson has carried the ball 35 times for 134 yards, 2 touchdowns, and has a 3.8 yards per carry average.
  • Dalvin Cook has carried the ball 48 times for 294 yards, 4 touchdowns, and has a 6.1 yards per carry average.
  • Will Fuller V has caught 12 passes for 166 yards—13.8 YPC—and 1 touchdown.
  • Justin Jefferson has caught 12 passes for 245 yards—20.4 YPC—and 1 touchdown.
  • Charles Omenihu and J.J. Watt are tied for the Texans’ sack lead with 2 each.
  • Yannick Ngakoue is the Vikings’ sack leader with 2.
  • Harrison Smith and Eric Wilson each have 1 interception.
  • No one on the Texans has intercepted a pass this season.
  • Houston is - 4 in turnover differential.
  • Minnesota is -5 in turnover differential.
  • Deshaun Watson completed 19 of 27 passes (70.4 pct.) for 264 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception for a season-high 110.7 rating last week in the loss to the Steelers. He has 1,804 pass yards (300.7 per game), 17 TDs (15 pass, 2 rush), and a 109.8 rating in his past 6 home games.
  • Kirk Cousins passed for 251 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and 96.4 rating in a loss to the Titans. He has a 90+ rating in 6 of his past 7 games against AFC teams.
  • David Johnson had 1 rushing TD last week. He has a rushing TD in 2 of his past 3 games. He has 352 yards from scrimmage (117.3 per game) and 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in 3 career games against Minnesota. Since 2015, Johnson ranks second (tied) among all RBs in TD catches (15) and 5th in receiving yards (2,290).
  • Dalvin Cook had 199 yards from scrimmage (career-high 181 rushing and 18 receiving) and a rushing TD last week. He is one of two RBs (Christian McCaffrey is the other) with 5+ games of 170+ yards from scrimmage since 2019. Cook has a rushing TD in 3 of his past 4 road games & 7 of his past 8 overall. He is one of five RBs with 15+ rush TDs (17) since 2019.
  • Randall Cobb had 4 catches for a team-high 95 yards and his first TD of the season last week. He aims for his third game in a row with 55+ receiving yards. Cobb had 6 catches for 106 yards and a TD in his last game versus Minnesota (11/10/19 with Dallas). He has 100+ receiving yards in 2 of his past 3 games against NFC North opponents.
  • Adam Thielen had 1 receiving TD in Week 3. He had 7 catches for 127 yards and a TD catch in his last meeting with Houston. He has 50+ receiving yards in 2 of his 3 career road games against AFC South teams.
  • J.J. Watt had a sack and a forced fumble in his only career game against the Vikings (12/23/12). He has 4 sacks and a forced fumble in his past 3 games against NFC North teams.
  • Yannick Ngakoue had a sack and a forced fumble last week. He has 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in his past two games at NRG Stadium. He aims for his third game in a row against the Texans with 1.5 sacks, his fifth in row on the road against AFC South teams with a sack, and his sixth in a row overall against AFC South teams with a forced fumble.
  • Eric Murray had a forced fumble and 1 pass defended in Week 3. Sadly, that’s the best stat line for a Texans defensive back this week.
  • Harrison Smith had 9 tackles, a tackle for loss, and an interception last week. He had a sack and a forced fumble in his only prior career game in Houston (12/23/12). Since 2014, Smith is the only DB in the NFL with 15+ INTs (19) and 10+ sacks (12).
  • Chris Meyers—unfortunately not Chris Myers, the greatest center in Texans history—will call the game alongside Greg Jennings.