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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

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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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