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Vikings vs. Texans: Week 16 preview

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Can the Vikings (8-6) win two more games and perhaps make it to the postseason?

That's the zillion-dollar question being asked around Minnesota this week as the Purple prepare for the Houston Texans (12-2).

A win over the AFC-elite team and Minnesota then faces a home game against Green Bay for a shot at an NFC Wild Card berth. That's quite a turnaround after a 3-13 record in 2011.

So what can we expect Sunday?

For starters, the opening betting line has the Vikings as 9-point underdogs. Almost every football expert at, the network airing Sunday's game, is picking the Texans to win.

At, writer Mike Wobschall has posted "6 Vikings-Texans storylines to watch." Of particular interest are two players we might not be thinking about: Texans running back Arian Foster (who may steal the show from Adrian Peterson) and defensive end J.J. Watt (who is chasing the NFL sack record).

In his weekly Pioneer Press column, ex-Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton wants Minnesota to take the training wheels off of the offense and Christian Ponder. As he puts it: "it's now or never for the passing game."

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