Staff Directory 438148813

Ben Goessling

Sports reporter | Vikings
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Ben Goessling covers the Vikings for the Star Tribune. He has covered the team since 2012, and has previously covered the Twins, Wild, Washington Nationals and prep sports.


After graduating from Apple Valley High School, Goessling majored in accounting and journalism at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters. He coaches high school track and field and cross country, plays electric guitar and enjoys volunteering at Hope Academy in the Phillips neighborhood.
Recent content from Ben Goessling
Rick Dennison

Vikings add offensive assistant, special teams coordinator to staff

The Vikings left little doubt about what their identity will be in 2019, assembling a group of longtime West Coast offensive minds.
Kevin Stefanski met with the media Friday morning.

Vikings offensive coordinator Stefanski will 'pull everything apart'

He gets the chance to put his stamp on the Vikings offense after having his interim tag removed.
Mike Priefer

Mike Priefer leaves Vikings to be Browns special teams coordinator

Priefer's contract expired on Tuesday, and he decided to start anew in Cleveland. Issues with kickers and punters proved to be an ongoing problem
Kevin Stefanski

Stefanski has second interview for Browns head coaching job

Sources told the Star Tribune the Browns have asked Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski what his staff would look like if he was hired by Cleveland.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was asked about retirement at his season-ending press conference Thursday. His response: “I can’t believe someone threw

Vikings coach Zimmer vows to restore 'nasty' mentality

Mike Zimmer's offseason to-do list after 2018 sounds fairly similar to the one that faced him after 2016: He must make a decision on an offensive coordinator, and figure out how to help his team re-establish its footing.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen talked to reporters as players cleaned out their lockers Monday.

Support in exit poll: Vikings players stand behind Mike Zimmer

Both the Vikings coach and GM Rick Spielman have contracts that expire after next season.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs felt the pain sinking in Sunday after the Vikings — a team harboring Super Bowl dreams entering the season — missed the

Done with a dud: Playoff hopes end with lopsided loss to Bears

With a chance for 'win and in,' the Vikings trailed the Bears all game Sunday and were dominated by the NFC North champions. A season after reaching the NFC championship game, there will be no playoffs.
The Vikings’ Kirk Cousins, shown being pressured by Arizona, ranks among the NFL’s best quarterbacks in completion percentage, TD passes and passe

Vikings signed Cousins to win big games — like the next one

He faces the Bears on Sunday with a wild-card berth at stake for Vikings.
The last man not standing was Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, and that made snagging a 44-yard Hail Mary touchdown at the end of the first half in Det

Beating Lions sets up showdown game for final wild-card spot

Beating Detroit 27-9 while Philadelphia won its game on the final play means that next Sunday's games, which were moved to late afternoon starts, will determine whether the Vikings, who face the Bears, or the Eagles get the final wild-card spot in the NFC.
Adam Thielen (19) and Latavius Murray (25) carried flags into the stadium before the Vikings' game vs. the Lions on Nov. 4.

Vikings players find their voice on social justice issues

Management and players have worked together to address the complex social justice issues that affect their lives.
The Vikings roughed up Matthew Stafford with 10 sacks on Nov. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Getting to Stafford also would be a boon Sunday at Detroit.

Will the Vikings take care of business against a Lions team in upset mode?

Facing a Lions team resigned to another non-playoff season after six losses in eight games, the Vikings have every reason to take care of business on Sunday and keep themselves in strong playoff position.
Danielle Hunter celebrated a sack on Sunday against Miami.

Hunter leads Vikings' group of four with first Pro Bowl honor

Danielle Hunter was one of four Vikings named to the 2018 NFC team, joining linebacker Anthony Barr, safety Harrison Smith and wide receiver Adam Thielen.
Anthony Barr sacked Ryan Tannehill in the third quarter Sunday.

Three takeaways from Sunday's Vikings victory over Miami

A look at the Vikings hurrying up, Anthony Barr and the offensive line.
15.3: Points per game the Vikings have put up since their Week 10 bye. Kevin Stefanski gets his shot Sunday to turn that around.

Salvage mode: Vikings enter final games on thin ice and down a fired coordinator

As the Vikings try to lift themselves out of a situation mostly of their own making at the tail end of a season that began with Super Bowl aspirations, they have precious little time to right the ship.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on the sidelines in the fourth quarter against Seattle

Zimmer mum on meeting with offense: 'Are we going to talk about Miami?'

Coach Mike Zimmer said he and interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski met with the Vikings' offensive players, though Zimmer would not discuss what either of them said in the meeting.
Things went from bad to worse for the Vikings in the fourth quarter, when Kirk Cousins was stripped of the ball by the Seahawks’ Jacob Martin and Ju

Vikings' offense shows next to nothing in 21-7 loss to Seattle

The Vikings were held scoreless until a meaningless touchdown with 73 seconds to play, and the defeat allowed three teams to move within a half-game of them for the final playoff spot in the NFC.
Chris Carson (32) is the leading man in the Seahawks’ high-flying, No. 1-ranked running game, with 704 yards at 4.5 yards per carry.

The Call: Monday's Vikings vs. Seahawks game

The Vikings will have a chance to take this one if they can slow down Seattle's top-ranked run game, but it'll be tough against a Seahawks team that appears to be finding its stride.
Mike Zimmer will coach Monday night in Seattle, a venue that is far out of the comfort zone of most visitors.

Vikings' path to playoffs and beyond looks filled with road tests

If the Vikings are to make the kind of deep playoff run many had predicted for them, it's very possible they will have to do much of it on the road.
Vikings fullback C.J. Ham was tackled by New England’s Dont’a Hightower on Sunday.

Second guessing himself: DeFilippo says Vikings should have run more against Patriots

Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said Friday there were "two or three instances" where the Vikings threw the ball when they should have run it instead.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook carried only nine times Sunday, a sign of a lack of balance with the offense.

DeFilippo praised by Zimmer, says he plans to help more with offense

The Vikings' head coach mentioned the possibility of delegating more in-game defensive adjustments to defensive coordinator George Edwards.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked once Sunday, by Adam Butler and Trey Flowers, but the Vikings line did an otherwise competent job of keeping him u

Three takeaways from the Vikings' loss to Patriots

The protection was strong; the production, less so.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) couldn't reach a third quarter pass while double covered by twins free safety Devin McCourty (32) an

Familiar shortcomings on display as Vikings fall to New England

In addition to failing another key test against a tough opponent, losing to New England put the Vikings in a more precarious position for the postseason.
In his first season with the Patriots, Cordarrelle Patterson has 276 yards from scrimmage through 11 games. That includes 156 yards on 37 carries (4.2

The Call: Of all the places to begin December, Vikings head to Foxborough

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 124-20 at Gillette Stadium in his career, having already beaten the Texans and Chiefs this season, and 32-4 at home in December
Bill Belichick leaves his weekly news conference in Foxborough, Mass., on Wednesday.

Game with Patriots presents Vikings with golden opportunity

The five-time Super Bowl champions are the standard to which coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings aspire.
Andrew Sendejo

Vikings safety Sendejo out for rest of season with groin injury

Safety Andrew Sendejo's season came to an official end Tuesday when the Vikings put the veteran safety on injured reserve.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins shook hands with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after Sunday night's game.

Three things from the Vikings' victory over Green Bay

Smart, mistake-free football was key.
Kirk Cousins scrambled and then threw a TD pass to Adam Thielen at the end of the third quarter.

Bouncing back: Cousins leads way to 24-17 Vikings win

With playoff spots up for grabs, the Vikings firmed up their chances by handling Green Bay thanks to a masterful showing by Kirk Cousins, who upstaged Aaron Rodgers.
Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) leads the league with a 6.4-yard rushing average. He has scored a touchdown in four of the five games this seaso

Vikings-Packers: A must-win? It's getting close.

Both the Vikings and Packers could be looking at some dire playoff prospects with a loss Sunday night.
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen flexed after sacking Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the Week 2 matchup that ended in a tie at Lambeau Fiel

Vikings-Packers showcase features teams fighting for playoff lives

A Vikings loss to the Packers would put them third in the NFC North, 2 ½ games behind the Bears. A loss by the Packers — which would be their sixth in as many road games — would drop them to 4-6-1.
Sharrif Floyd during Vikings training camp in 2016.

Ex-Viking Sharrif Floyd withdraws grievance with NFLPA

Move will boost team's cap room from $280,000 to more than $4.2 million
Three turnovers, including an interception returned for a touchdown by safety Eddie Jackson (39), were too much for the Vikings to overcome in Chicago

Giveaways have been a common thread in Vikings losses this season

The Vikings are tied with the Eagles — the team they faced in the NFC Championship Game last year — for 26th in the league with 16 turnovers, already having surpassed their total from all of 2017.
Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson scored a touchdown after intercepting the ball in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field

Frustration mounts as Vikings give Bears leeway in NFC North

The Vikings offense struggled for most of the 25-20 loss, including a fourth-quarter pass by Kirk Cousins that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, as the Bears expanded their lead in the NFC North.
Dalvin Cook had a 70-yard run against Detroit.

Cook should be 'full-go' for Vikings against Bears

After a strong game against Detroit, and a bye week, second-year pro Dalvin Cook could get more work Sunday night at Chicago.
Illinois native Kirk Cousins will be playing his first NFC North game at Soldier Field.

Bearing down: Cousins readies himself for favorite childhood team

Growing up in suburban Chicago, legendary Bears linebacker Mike Singletary was Cousins' youth football coach, and he went to school with Walter Payton's children.
Ameer Abdullah

'Excited' Abdullah looking for a fresh start with the Vikings

The Vikings claimed former Detroit running back Ameer Abdullah off waivers Nov. 8, and he comes to the Vikings hoping to reboot his career.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

Tough stretch ahead will determine success of Vikings' season

After this week's bye, the Vikings return with back-to-back Sunday night games against NFC North opponents followed by a pair of road games against a pair of tough opponents.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook broke away on a 70-yard run in the second quarter against the Lions on Sunday.

Cook's return should allow Vikings to open up playbook

Dalvin Cook recorded the fastest speed by a ball carrier in the NFL this season on his 70-yard run, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He also played more than expected.
Danielle Hunter sacks Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the third quarter on Sunday. Hunter had 3 1/2 sacks and returned a fumble for a to

Hunter creates havoc, Vikings set team sack record in crushing Lions

The Vikings were able to come after Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford with such ferocity that not much else factored into the final outcome.
Danielle Hunter (99) and Eric Kendricks (54) —Vikings third- and second-round picks, respectively, in 2015 —have helped make that draft class mayb

Bucking a trend: Vikings' 2015 draft class ranks high

While teams around the division, and around the league, discard picks from their 2015 drafts, the Vikings' 2015 group has helped form the bedrock of their team.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been pressured on 40.9 percent of his dropbacks this season.

When Vikings' pocket crumbles, quarterback Cousins doesn't

One of the most pressured QBs in the NFL still produces when pass rushers are closing in on him.
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) closed in to recover a fumble by Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) late in the second quarter, one of t

Losing turnover battle means Vikings just plain lose

Coach Mike Zimmer refuses to single out miscues made by wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in the loss to New Orleans on Sunday.
Stefon Diggs is an eclectic-dressing homebody who doesn’t like to drink, skydives, wants to swim with sharks and doesn’t care if he doesn’t conf

Vikings' Diggs comfortable as a nonconformist

The man who made perhaps the most iconic play in franchise history has little need to contort himself to fit views of who he should be.
Drew Brees, showing no signs of being 39 years old, is completing 77 percent of his passes, 13 of them touchdown tosses, and no interceptions.

Vikings vs. Saints: Minnesota will win if ...

The Vikings have beaten the Saints twice in 13 months at U.S. Bank Stadium, but with injuries on defense, they could have a tough time slowing down Drew Brees in time to get a third victory against New Orleans.
Anthony Barr walked off the field at the end of Sunday's game at the Jets. Barr was injured.

Injured Vikings Cook, Barr, Rhodes miss practice

Xavier Rhodes' Week 8 availability could be of particular concern to the Vikings as they prepare to face Drew Brees and the Saints.
Everson Griffen (97) shouted out to teammates during a practice last season.

Griffen back at Vikings practice; Zimmer mum on when he'll play

Everson Griffen is scheduled to practice this afternoon, and coach Mike Zimmer said of the player's time away from the team: "I don't think it's as unique as we make it out to be."
Defensive end Danielle Hunter and the rest of the Vikings defense have been improving in shutting down opposing offenses on third down.

Third-down devils: Vikings defense recapturing 2017's sizzle

From the end of the Eagles game to the third quarter of Sunday's victory over the Jets, the Vikings stopped opponents on 20 consecutive third-down attempts.
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles

Bowles has lengthy shared history with Zimmer, Vikings staff

Jets coach Todd Bowles coached with Mike Zimmer in Dallas, and was the only other finalist for the Vikings job in early 2014 whose name became known
Quarterback Kirk Cousins did his homework after he became a free agent and decided on the Vikings.

Jilted Jets preparing rude welcome for 'classless Kirk Cousins'

After the Vikings signed Cousins for less than the Jets offered, some reports suggested the New York team felt used in the quarterback's free-agency negotiations.
Viking cornerback Mike Hughes was attended to Sunday after injuring his knee against the Cardinals.

Vikings fears confirmed: Hughes lost for the season

Rookie cornerback Mike Hughes will be lost for the remainder of the season because of a torn knee ligament suffered Sunday against Arizona.
That wasn’t double coverage Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was throwing into. It was two defensive linemen, and it led to a batted pass Sunday.
ha

Kirk Cousins must beware of linemen with hands up

Though he still completed 70.5 percent of his passes on Sunday, Kirk Cousins' day against the Cardinals — during which he went 24-for-34 for 233…
Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray (25) broke for a 34 yard run in the third quarter that set up a touchdown by quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Running with a purpose, Vikings blitz Cardinals behind Murray

The Vikings overcame seven tipped passes and the likelihood that their first-round draft pick will be lost for the season by relying on a previously absent running game and stout defense.
This may be the last game in Minneapolis for future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald, left, but NFL life is just beginning for Josh Rosen.

Vikings-Arizona preview: A repeat of Week 3? Not likely

If the Cardinals can win, it would be the franchise's first victory in Minnesota since 1977, when they were in St. Louis and the Vikings were at Met Stadium.
David Johnson and Dalvin Cook

Cook and Cardinals star at a rushing crossroads in their careers

Vikings Insider: A couple of years before the Vikings drafted Dalvin Cook, they brought in David Johnson for a pre-draft look following his college career at Northern Iowa.
Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly (91), inheriting a starting role while Everson Griffen addresses some mental health issues, forced the fumble

Getting a chance, Weatherly comes through for depleted defensive line

While Everson Griffen remains away from the team dealing with mental health issues, the Vikings have turned to Stephen Weatherly, who forced a pivotal fumble in the victory over the Eagles.
The Vikings’ Adam Thielen got a step on Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby to nab a 3-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins with 21 seconds left in the

A bit of payback: New Vikings take lead in holding off Eagles

Bringing in John DeFilippo at offensive coordinator and Kirk Cousins at quarterback paid off for the Vikings as they built a 17-point lead and held off the Eagles 23-21 in their NFC title-game rematch.
Minnesota Vikings defensive back Harrison Smith

Vikings standout safety Harrison Smith is a pro's pro

As Harrison Smith continues to fashion a career that could have him on a Hall of Fame trajectory, he's driven by an approach that leaves little room for half measures.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (93) celebrated after stopping Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray (25) for no gain dur

Vikings, Eagles struggling as they prepare for NFC title-game rematch

A Week 5 victory over the defending Super Bowl champions wouldn't avenge the NFC title game loss, but its benefits would be clear.
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley catches a touchdown pass in front of Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr during the first half on Thur

Widespread problems: Many Vikings can be blamed for defensive lapses

Mike Zimmer is presiding over a defensive unit that currently ranks 22nd in the league in points per game and gave up the fourth-most yards in team history on Thursday.
Cooper Kupp caught a 70-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Defensive disaster: Zimmer vows to 'look at everything' following 38-31 loss to Rams

A Vikings team that gave up only 41 plays of 20 yards or more last season has allowed 17 in the first four games of 2018, including seven by the Rams on Thursday night.
Everson Griffen, the longest-tenured player on the Vikings roster, has been hospitalized after a pair of incidents that involved the police Saturday.

Vikings put football aside to offer support for Griffen

Everson Griffen's hospitalization is a stark reminder that NFL players are not immune to the mental health struggles that affect approximately one in five U.S. adults.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins fumbled after a hit by Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) on Sunday.

Quick rebound: Vikings have short week to prepare for 3-0 Rams

The Los Angeles Rams team the Vikings will face Thursday night is the NFC's first to 3-0, with the league's top-ranked defense and its fourth-ranked offense.
Everson Griffen

Griffen involved in police incident Saturday at Minneapolis hotel

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen remains away from the team for what coach Mike Zimmer called "a personal matter" after Griffen was involved in an police incident Saturday.
Emma McClure and her 9-month-old son, Easton, visited with Adam Thielen at the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Vikings' Adam Thielen gives back as well as receives

Vikings receiver Adam Thielen and his wife launched the Thielen Foundation on Tuesday by shining a spotlight on one of the nation's most pernicious yet elusive health crises: Children's mental health issues
Dan Bailey is back in the NFL after missing the first two weeks of the season, following a seven-year run with Dallas.

Vikings sign kicker Dan Bailey, plan on bringing back defensive tackle Tom Johnson

Stacy Coley was waived to make room for Bailey; Johnson is coming back after spending only one game with the Seahawks.
Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson dropped his head after missing a 35-yard field goal attempt in overtime

Vikings kick away chances to win in 29-29 tie with Packers

Rookie Daniel Carlson missed three field goals, including two in overtime, as the Vikings rallied with 22 points in the fourth quarter on an afternoon when Kirk Cousins threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns.
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers reacts after throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb during the second half of a 20-point comeback agains

Vikings preparing for Aaron Rodgers, regardless of any news out of Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers is front of mind for the Vikings, despite his knee injury sustained last week against Chicago.
Aaron Rodgers caught Mike Zimmer's eye early, during a preseason game in 2008.

Zimmer's respect for Aaron Rodgers is deep and wide

Mike Zimmer got an early peek at Aaron Rodgers' flair, and he hasn't forgotten. "I don't want to say anybody's the best," Zimmer said. "But he's pretty darn close to being the best guy."
Tom Compton, in his first season with the Vikings and a native of Rosemount, is expected to start at left guard Sunday.

Cousins and Compton reunite after becoming fast friends in Washington

Kirk Cousins will start at quarterback and Tom Compton is expected to start at left guard when the Vikings open their season on Sunday. The two were 23-year-old rookies together with the Redskins.
Brett Jones, acquired in a trade with the New York Giants on Aug. 27, started 12 games at center last season.

Brett Jones' experience, familiarity with system, lands him starting center job vs. 49ers.

Less experienced Isidora was the other option to fill in for Elflein.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will face 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, his former offensive coordinator in Washington, when the Vikings open the season

Almost showtime: Cousins staying calm as Vikings debut nears

There was a long offseason, training camp and the preseason. But now the lights come on for Kirk Cousins as Vikings quarterback.
Daniel Carlson showed a strong leg, arrived via high draft pick and elbowed aside a veteran. The parallels to Blair Walsh don’t have to involve a le

Vikings rookie kicker Carlson must channel the good Walsh

Rookie kicker Daniel Carlson faces stresses as he moves along the same path Blair Walsh followed.
Vikings cornerback Terence Newman announced his retirement on Saturday, and immediately plans to join the Vikings' coaching staff.

Newman retires as player, will take up coaching with Vikings

Terence Newman is about to turn 40, and with the Vikings having younger defensive backs pushing for time he has decided to hang up his cleats.
Terence Newman has played for the Vikings’ Mike Zimmer on three teams; now, after his retirement, he’ll coach with him.

Terence Newman retires, join Vikings coaching staff as team sets 53-man roster

Cornerback, 39, will retire and take a role on Vikings staff.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ï cgonzalez@startribune.com ñ August 8, 2018, Eagan, MN, Twin Cities Orthopedics Perfo

Pressure abounds as Vikings' season starts and ends with Kirk Cousins

When the Vikings plunged dramatically into free agency for Kirk Cousins, they made it clear that 2018 is win-now time.
Vikings running back Mike Boone carried for a second-quarter first down against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.

Vikings' bubble players shine in victory over Tennessee

Mike Boone, Brandon Zylstra and a handful of Vikings defenders made their final cases Thursday night in preseason game No. 4 - a 13-3 victory.
Read our comment standards

StarTribune.com welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on StarTribune.com.

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune