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Shocker: Vikings corral Texans, win 23-6

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HOUSTON -- The Minnesota Vikings put a Texas-sized lump of coal in Houston's Christmas stocking.

Led by three Blair Walsh field goals and a smothering defensive effort, the Vikings upset the Texans 23-6 Sunday at Reliant Stadium.

To see highlights of the game, via Vikings.com, CLICK HERE.

Walsh's first field goal was a record-setter. He hit a 56-yarder, which gave the rookie nine FG's from 50-yards or longer, setting an NFL record. That kick also tied a Viking record for the longest field goal in franchise history.

Walsh also struck from 41-yards and 36-yards on the day.

Christian Ponder threw a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph in the first quarter to put Minnesota on top at the time, 7-3.

For the day, Ponder went 16-of-30, passing for 174 yards and a touchdown. He also had 48 yards rushing.

"The maturity and character of this team really showed today," Ponder said.

Toby Gerhart scored Minnesota's second touchdown, on a first-and-goal from the Texans' 3-yard-line late in the fourth quarter.

Gerhart played a good chunk of the fourth quarter, subbing for Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 86 yards on 25 carries. For Peterson, it was the first time in nine games he didn't break the 100-yard mark on the ground.

Peterson finished the day with 1,898 yards for the season. He's 102 yards from the 2,000 mark and 208 yards from breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season NFL record.

Houston kicker Shayne Graham opened the scoring with a 51-yard field goal on the Texans' first drive. He hit another one from 33-yards out after a goal-line stand from the Viking defense, highlighted by a Fred Evans sack.

The Vikings defense held the Texans to just one third down conversion in 11 tries, and kept Houston (12-3) out of the end zone.

Minnesota (9-6), which is still alive in the NFC playoff picture, ends the regular season next Sunday at Mall of America Field against the Green Bay Packers (11-4).

"Merry Christmas to all," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told KFAN-FM 100.3 after the game, who was also looking ahead to next week. "We have more work to do."

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