Adam Thielen caught a touchdown pass to cap Minnesota’s opening drive and finished with a career-high 127 yards, and the Vikings defense flustered Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans on their way to a 31-13 victory on Sunday.
Marcus Sherels returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and Cordarelle Patterson scored on another sharp throw by Sam Bradford, who produced another turnover-free game and deftly guided the Vikings (5-0) into their bye week.
Brock Osweiler was overmatched by Minnesota’s relentless rush and coverage, finishing 19 for 42 for 184 yards, one interception and a late touchdown pass while taking four sacks. The Texans (3-2) were denied on 12 of 13 third downs, unable or unwilling to do much other than dump off short passes. Lamar Miller only had eight carries for 20 yards during a dud of a performance by the Texans that felt a lot like the 27-0 loss at New England two weeks ago.
With leading receiver Stefon Diggs out for the game with a groin injury, Thielen and Patterson capably stepped up for theVikings. Whitney Mercilus had 1½ sacks as Houston took advantage of a banged-up offensive line to plenty of pressure on Bradford, but with touchdowns on their first two drives the Vikings were in cruise control as they eagerly unleashed their defense again on another out-of-sync quarterback.
Will Fuller wasn’t targeted until the first play of the second half and had only one catch, a head-scratching fourth-and-16 call in the third quarter at the Vikings 39 that netted 4 yards on a screen play.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press