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Vikings Deny Texans Home-Field Playoff Advantage

HOUSTON  (AP)   The Houston Texans slowed down Adrian Peterson. The same couldn’t be said for how they handled the rest of the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson rushed for 86 yards, falling far short of the 2,000-yard mark, yet helping the Vikings (9-6) keep their playoff hopes alive with a 23-6 upset of the Texans on Sunday.

Christian Ponder threw a touchdown pass, Toby Gerhart added a score and Blair Walsh kicked three field goals.

The loss kept the Texans (12-3) from clinching home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. They could still secure a first-round bye if Denver loses later Sunday.

Peterson had his lowest rushing total since getting 79 yards on Oct. 14 in a loss at Washington, breaking a streak of eight 100-yard games. He has 1,898 this season and needs 208 yards to break the NFL single-season rushing record held by Eric Dickerson.

The Vikings took a 10-3 lead when Walsh kicked a 56-yard field goal. The kick gave Walsh, a rookie, the NFL record with nine field goals of 50 yards or longer this season.

The Texans failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 2006.

J.J. Watt had a sack to leave him with 20 1/2 this season.

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