Dalvin Cook rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns while Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson each posted 100-yard receiving games as the Minnesota Vikings recorded their first victory of the season by holding on to defeat the host Houston Texans 31-23 on Sunday at NRG Stadium.
The Vikings (1-3) needed a last-minute replay reversal to seal the victory, as a 5-yard fourth-down touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to William Fuller V with 1:15 remaining was ruled incomplete upon review. Minnesota ran out the clock to clinch the triumph.
Thielen (eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown) and Jefferson (four catches for 103 yards) teamed with Cook to give the Vikings their first game since 2000 with a 100-yard rusher and two 100-yard receivers. Kirk Cousins passed for 260 yards and a score for the Vikings.
The Texans dropped to 0-4 for the third time in franchise history, doing so previously in 2005 and 2008. Houston trailed 31-16 before mounting a furious comeback attempt, reversing course from a miserable first half where the Texans amassed 112 yards and trailed 17-6 at the intermission. Watson passed for 300 yards and two scores, one to Fuller (six catches, 108 yards) and a 24-yarder to Kenny Stills on fourth down that cut the deficit to eight points with 5:52 left to play.
The critical sequence unfolded midway in the third quarter when the Texans failed to cash in advantageous field position following an errant 55-yard field goal attempt from Vikings kicker Dan Bailey.
The Texans threatened immediately, with Watson completing a 43-yard pass to Fuller that set up first down at the Minnesota 8. But Houston was forced to settle for a 25-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 17-16, and the Viking fashioned a response, scoring a touchdown after covering 75 yards in eight plays.
Cousins and Jefferson connected for a 23-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 before Cousins hit Theilen for a 9-yard score that extended the Minnesota lead to 24-16 with 41 seconds left in the period.
The Vikings held defensively and extended their lead when Alexander Mattison scored on a 4-yard run with 10:50 to play.
--Field Level Media