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Ponder throws TD pass, Walsh kicks 3 field goals as Vikings get 23-6 win over Houston Texans

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    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) rushes for a gain as Houston Texans' Connor Barwin (98) pursues during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)The Associated Press

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    Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) throws a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)The Associated Press

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.

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. He has 1,898 this season and needs 208 yards 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.

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