NFL: Blair Walsh kicks three field goals to help Minnesota Vikings to victory
Last Updated: December 23, 2012 9:22pm
Adrian Peterson: still short of 2,000 yards rushing, despite Minnesota winning on the road
The Minnesota Vikings kept their play-off hopes alive with a 23-6 triumph over the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium in Texas.
Adrian Peterson managed 86 yards on 25 carries, leaving him at 1,898 for the season. He will need a further 208 to break the NFL single-season rushing record currently held by Eric Dickerson.
Still, his efforts helped Minnesota move to 9-6 for the season, putting them in a strong position to claim a wildcard berth. They host the Green Bay Packers - who have already clinched the NFC North - in week 17.
Back-up running back Toby Gerhart managed a touchdown run from three yards out that clinched the result in the Vikings' favour.
The defeat means the Texans missed out on clinching home-field advantage through the AFC play-offs. They also failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 2006.
Their cause was not helped by running back Arian Foster leaving the game with an undisclosed illness in the third quarter. He was held to just 15 yards on 10 carries. In total Houston managed just 187 yards of offense.
They did take the lead thanks to a Shayne Graham field goal from 51 yards out, though that would prove to be the last time they were in front.
Minnesota responded with Christian Ponder throwing a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph, with Blair Walsh adding a pair of field goals in the second quarter to make it 13-3 at half time.
The two teams traded further field goals in the third before the visitors put the game out of Houston's reach when Gerhart rounded out an eight-play, 64-yard drive by rumbling into the end zone from close range.