Vandermeer's View: Mauled in Minnesota


The recipe for the Texans to beat Minnesota included playing clean on offense and special teams and making the Vikings offense work on a long field to get their scores.

Well, the Vikings went right down the field on their first two possessions to get all the points they would need for the day. The defense eventually stopped the bleeding but the offense failed to score a touchdown until the game was out of reach and special teams sprung a big leak, allowing a punt return for a touchdown in the first half.

More importantly, on an afternoon when the Vikings were conquering the Texans, the AFC South tightened up with the Colts and Titans both winning. And don't look now but Indy visits next week in what becomes the latest 'biggest game of the year.'

Sure it's all about winning the division to make the postseason and take things from there. But you were hoping the Texans got the road blues out of their system after the New England game. They didn't. The Minnesota defense overwhelmed the Texans. And although you'd have to like the Texans' chances of moving the ball at home next week, Denver looms a week later as another premiere defense they'll have to deal with on the road.

But let's not look ahead, shall we?

Brock Osweiler and the Houston offense never got going Sunday. They didn't pick up their first first down of the game until deep into the second quarter as they had monumental difficulty dealing with tight pass coverage and Vikings pressure.  There's no shame in losing to a good team in their building but Bill O'Brien knows his team is going to have to play a lot better to compete with the better teams in the NFL. This game felt a lot like the New England game without the turnovers.

This one never slid completely off the table like Atlanta and Miami last year. The defense tightened the screws enabling the offense to attempt a run that never materialized. An early third quarter touchdown to cut the lead to 11 would have done wonders in the momentum department.

If we've learned anything in the O'Brien era it's that the Texans don't let the big losses get to them. They bounce back. They reinvent themselves. Somehow he keeps the troops together. As tough as this one is to swallow, the team needs to forge ahead and deal with their nemesis next week.

The Texans faced the Vikings in a week 5 matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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