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Houston Texans strong safety Danieal Manning draws a face mask penalty after tackling Minnesota Vikings rookie wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) during the fourth quarter Sunday in Houston. The penalty set up Toby Gerhart’s three-yard touchdown run. Wright led the team in catches (five) and receiving yards (53). (Associated Press)

Defense, Walsh’s leg keep Vikes’ playoff hopes alive


By Kristie Rieken, AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON — The Minnesota Vikings don’t need record-setting days from Adrian Peterson to stay in the playoff race.

Peterson rushed for 86 yards, falling far short of the 2,000-yard mark, yet helping the Vikings (9-6) keep their postseason chances 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 as the Vikings won their third straight.

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