Vikings deny Texans home-field advantage with 23-6 win

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Ponder, who got married on Monday, was 16 of 30 for 174 yards to help the Vikings pile up 345 yards. He finished with seven rushes for 48 yards — 14 more yards rushing than the Texans had.

Christian had a terrific day throughout, playing with a lot of poise, a lot of control — he did all the things we needed,” Frazier said. “But it was all set up by our run game.”

Arian Foster had 10 rushes for 15 yards before leaving with about nine minutes left in the third quarter with an irregular heartbeat. Kubiak said he is OK, but he was taken out as a precaution.

“I’ll be fine,” he said. “I’ll be OK. It’s a very minor situation.”

Ben Tate took over and didn’t fare much better with four carries for 17 yards.

The Texans were foiled by their inability to convert third downs, going 1 of 11. Quarterback Matt Schaub went 18 of 32 for 178 yards.

Houston got to the Minnesota 1 with a 12-yard reception by Kevin Walter late in the third quarter. Then came an incomplete pass followed by a run for no gain by Tate. Schaub was sacked by Fred Evans for a loss of 14 yards to make the Texans settle for a 33-yard field to cut the lead to 16-6.

Houston had to punt on its first possession of the third quarter, but got the ball right back when Watt sacked Ponder and forced a fumble. Bradie James recovered, but the Texans had to punt again.

The Vikings extended their lead to 16-3 when Walsh made a 39-yard field goal on the first drive of the second half. That series was helped when Ponder found Jarius Wright on a 15-yard reception, and theVikings got 15 more yards when Whitney Mercilus was flagged for unnecessary roughness on Ponder.

Houston was on the Minnesota 28 early in the second quarter when Jasper Brinkley forced Foster’s fumble, which was recovered by A.J. Jefferson.

A 41-yard field goal by Walsh left Minnesota up 13-3 at halftime.

Peterson ran for 20 yards to get Minnesota’s offense going. The Vikings took a 7-3 lead when Kyle Rudolph grabbed a 3-yard touchdown reception. Rudolph also had a 27-yard catch that drive.

Houston’s Andre Johnson had seven receptions for 97 yards.

NOTES: The Texans wore decals with the initials S.H.E.S. as a tribute to the school shooting victims at Sandy Hook. … Playing in his 137th game, Johnson got his 800th career reception on his first catch, making him the second-fastest player to reach the milestone. Marvin Harrison did it in his 131st game. … Johnson has 100 catches this season, making him the fifth player in NFL history to have at least 100 catches in four or more seasons.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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