My own analysis.
Houston Texans 2012 Run Defense
So far, we've only faced two top 10 rushers; Chris Johnson (7), Steven Ridley (9), luckily for us we have game data from games played in the last 3 games to help us see how our run defense has performed against such rushers. This should be more informative than our season stats as we all know this defense has “degraded” (maybe) since Cushing was lost for the season.
CJ2ypc has averaged 82 ypg, 4.3 ypc, & .35 Tds/game. Versus the Texans, he ran for 51 yards, 3.9 ypc & scored 0 Tds
Riddley averages 78.9 ypg, 4.4 ypgc, & .71 Tds/game. Versus the Texans, he ran for 72 yards, 4.0 ypc, & scored 1 Td
This isn't an exhaustive study & Adrian “All Day” Peterson is in a class all by himself. However, I feel that if Christian Ponder's play is closer to Jake Locker's, AD will have a below averge game the same way Chris Johnson did. If Ponder's play is closer to that of Tom Brady's, he'll have an average day at the office. Maybe better.
But for Minnesota to win this game, one of two things have to happen.
- Christian Ponder has to play like Tom Brady
Not going to happen
- The Vikings defense is going to have to play their best game of the season.
- They are currently the 20th rated defense in yards allowed.
- They are 14th in points allowed (22)
- I don't know how many turnovers they've forced but I recently heard Ponder speak as if it was a major part of their game plan
- They are 23rd against the pass
- They are 13th against the run
I know this game has a lot resting on it for both teams. I know in Houston, we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know it is dangerous to be too confident. But in this game, the Texans can play their average game. What we saw in Tennessee, New England, & Indy & will have a very good chance to win this game. Minnesota on the other hand has to play better than they have any other game this season to have a chance. They have to get out of their own way before they can think about being the better team come Sunday.
Now I bring up the New England game & I know some of you are saying, “We got our butts handed to us, what the heck is this guy talking about?” But New England is a very, very good precursor to this game. New Englan's 27th ranked defense is not as good as Minnesota's but they managed to prevent Houston from playing their average game.
Imo, that is the key to this game. If their defense can out play our offense, they'll probably win.