Vikings stay in playoff hunt with upset of Texans

HOUSTON -- Adrian Peterson rushed for 86 yards, falling far short of the 2,000-yard mark, yet helping the Minnesota Vikings keep their playoff hopes alive with a 23-6 upset of the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Christian Ponder threw a touchdown pass, Toby Gerhart added a score and Blair Walsh kicked three field goals for the Vikings (9-6).

The loss kept the Texans (12-3) from clinching home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. They must beat the Indianapolis Colts next week or they risk losing the No. 1 seed to either the New England Patriots or the Denver Broncos.

Peterson had his lowest rushing total since getting 79 yards on Oct. 14 in a loss against the Washington Redskins. He has 1,898 yards this season and needs 208 to break the NFL single-season rushing record held by Eric Dickerson.

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

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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