Staff Directory 10644686

Mark Craig

Reporter/Columnist | Vikings/NFL
phone: 612-673-7011
Mark Craig covers the NFL and the Vikings.
Recent content from Mark Craig
Vikings' biggest plays came from two unlikely sources

Vikings' biggest plays came from two unlikely sources

Anthony Harris' goal-line takeaway on Sunday swung the momentum away from the Rams, one play after fellow sub Stephen Weatherly stuffed Todd Gurley for a loss
Vikings' five extra points: Murray shows power, Newman shows football IQ

Vikings' five extra points: Murray shows power, Newman shows football IQ

Five takeaways from Sunday's statement victory by the Vikings over the Rams.
Week 11 Power Rankings: Vikings, Rams in Top 5 tussle; Packers find a pulse

Week 11 Power Rankings: Vikings, Rams in Top 5 tussle; Packers find a pulse

The Patriots and Eagles continue to run 1-2 in the rankings.
Seven-minute drive tells tale of two very different Vikings seasons

Seven-minute drive tells tale of two very different Vikings seasons

Case Keenum did what the Vikings didn't last year against Washington: closed the deal. It wasn't the Vikings' flashiest scoring drive of the day, but it had to have been the gutsiest
Five extra points: How Thielen got loose and Sendejo shook loose a potential TD

Five extra points: How Thielen got loose and Sendejo shook loose a potential TD

A look at five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings victory over Washington.
NFL Week 10 storylines: Can Saints keep it going? And the Jets are .500; say what?

NFL Week 10 storylines: Can Saints keep it going? And the Jets are .500; say what?

What to watch for this week as the NFL season hits double digits.
Craig: Vikings' first-half MVP? Look no further than tackle Reiff

Craig: Vikings' first-half MVP? Look no further than tackle Reiff

Keep this on the down-low: Riley Reiff has not allowed a sack this season
Road to Minneapolis: Battle of Pennsylvania sets up Super Bowl

Road to Minneapolis: Battle of Pennsylvania sets up Super Bowl

Pittsburgh is the No. 1 seed in the AFC, while Philadelphia is the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
NFL Week 10 power rankings: It's test time for Vikings, count Cowboys in with Ezekiel Elliott around

NFL Week 10 power rankings: It's test time for Vikings, count Cowboys in with Ezekiel Elliott around

Sorry, Eagles fans. There's another team at the top.
Randy Moss, TV media star, is one SuperFreaky surprise

Randy Moss, TV media star, is one SuperFreaky surprise

Randy Moss, TV media star, isn't something anyone saw coming. One ESPN executive called it: "one of the most shocking career paths I've ever seen in this business."
NFL midseason superlatives: Biggest disappointment, best rookie and team of the year halfway through

NFL midseason superlatives: Biggest disappointment, best rookie and team of the year halfway through

Pondering awards as we've reached the halfway point of the 2017 season.
In victory, Thielen pleases British crowd (and more importantly his coach)

In victory, Thielen pleases British crowd (and more importantly his coach)

Adam Thielen, named BBC's 'Man of the Match,' constantly comes through in the clutch for the Vikings.
Five extra points: Griffen ties record (but doesn't think London should get a team)

Five extra points: Griffen ties record (but doesn't think London should get a team)

Defensive end Everson Griffen entertained the Brits before and after the game, but that doesn't mean he thinks the NFL should have a team based in London.
NFL Week 8 storylines: Carson Wentz for MVP? Can Bills squeeze their way in?

NFL Week 8 storylines: Carson Wentz for MVP? Can Bills squeeze their way in?

What to watch for this week in the NFL
Vikings' Griffen on a sacks mission - and won't face Thomas

Vikings' Griffen on a sacks mission - and won't face Thomas

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen is on track to pick up a sack in the first eight games of a season and Sunday won't have to face Joe Thomas, the 10-time Pro Bowler.
Among castles and cows, Vikings get accustomed in London

Among castles and cows, Vikings get accustomed in London

"I was like, 'Dang, we're practicing outside somebody's house,'" running back Jerick McKinnon said. "But it was good. The energy was good."
Are the Vikings Super Bowl bound? Against Pittsburgh, maybe?

Are the Vikings Super Bowl bound? Against Pittsburgh, maybe?

Despite injuries at quarterback and running back, the Vikings have found a way to keep plugging away -- with a dominant defense.

Road to Minneapolis: Super Bowl miracle, Vikings finish where they started

For the Vikings to reach the Super Bowl … Last week, the focus was on Jerick McKinnon’s fumbles and how he needed to STOP ASAP.…
Craig: Hard-hitting Vikings safeties very aware football has changed

Craig: Hard-hitting Vikings safeties very aware football has changed

Vikings safeties Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo share a defender's thought process in that split-second when they have to consider the NFL's rules against blows to the head.
NFL Week 8 power rankings: Vikings crack Top 5

NFL Week 8 power rankings: Vikings crack Top 5

A look at how the NFL stacks up this week, in the eyes of Mark Craig.
Caffeine-free Vikings: Team gets tips on London travel for Browns game

Caffeine-free Vikings: Team gets tips on London travel for Browns game

Sleep. Rest. And no caffeine on the eight-hour flight. Those were some of the highlights of what players shared with reporters after getting instructions from trainers on things to do and not to do.
Hundley, not Kaepernick, is Packers' back-up plan. But what if ...

Hundley, not Kaepernick, is Packers' back-up plan. But what if ...

Would the Packers rethink signing Colin Kaepernick if current quarterback Brett Hundley gets hurt? They'd almost have to consider him.
Vikings stamped out Ravens' run game, their best chance of winning

Vikings stamped out Ravens' run game, their best chance of winning

Some Vikings believe this is the team's best run defense in the Mike Zimmer era.
Five extra points: Sendejo's hit, Thielen's temper, Treadwell's miss

Five extra points: Sendejo's hit, Thielen's temper, Treadwell's miss

The scariest play of the game came when Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo delivered a crushing blow to the head of former Vikings receiver Mike Wallace.
Zimmer's tales of Woodson prod Smith to new heights

Zimmer's tales of Woodson prod Smith to new heights

Mike Zimmer has seen safety played exactly the way he wants Harrison Smith to play it, and that was by a guy who played for him in Dallas.
Craig's NFL Week 7 storylines: Patriots-Falcons rematch headlines the lineup

Craig's NFL Week 7 storylines: Patriots-Falcons rematch headlines the lineup

A look around the league entering Week 7.
Road to Minneapolis: Mark Craig's hottest Super Bowl contenders

Road to Minneapolis: Mark Craig's hottest Super Bowl contenders

Which of the NFL's 13 two-loss teams have the best chance of reaching the Super Bowl?
Craig: Bridgewater's back today but keep your expectations modest

Craig: Bridgewater's back today but keep your expectations modest

The team's rise or fall this season doesn't hinge on Teddy Bridgewater's return. Remember, the soul of the Vikings right now is their defense.
NFL Power Rankings: How far did the Packers fall ... and the Vikings rise?

NFL Power Rankings: How far did the Packers fall ... and the Vikings rise?

One injury makes a big difference in Mark Craig's latest NFL power rankings.
Craig: Vikings show depth at safety to match Smith's dominance

Craig: Vikings show depth at safety to match Smith's dominance

Harrison Smith played lights out against the Packers, and he was far from alone in that regard.
Five extra points: Keenum is fearless; Zimmer is lucky

Five extra points: Keenum is fearless; Zimmer is lucky

Five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings-Packers game from NFL writer Mark Craig.
Craig: Keenum partnership fits Vikings needs

Craig: Keenum partnership fits Vikings needs

The Vikings had specifics in mind when it shopped for backup quarterback in the offseason, and Case Keenum fits the bill.
NFL Week 6 storylines

NFL Week 6 storylines

What to watch around the league this Sunday.
Craig: Losses part of the NFL game in Week 5

Craig: Losses part of the NFL game in Week 5

It seems everyone lost something during Week 5 of the NFL season.
Extra points: Vikings give and take massive hits, Floyd makes big grab

Extra points: Vikings give and take massive hits, Floyd makes big grab

There are hard hits and then there's what happened to Jerick McKinnon on a checkdown pass on third-and-15 from the Chicago 18
Craig: Griffen's strip sack jolted game's momentum

Craig: Griffen's strip sack jolted game's momentum

Harrison Smith's interception essentially won the game. But it was Everson Griffen's big play that woke the Vikings from their first-half slumber.
Week 5: Two teams from out of the blue

Week 5: Two teams from out of the blue

Mark Craig's weekly Super Bowl possibility projects a team that already has played one Super Bowl in the Twin Cities back here in February.
Vikings' Bradford back at practice

Vikings' Bradford back at practice

Coach Mike Zimmer said the quarterback will play Monday if he is sufficiently recovered from a knee injury.
Can Bears QB Trubisky bring more rookie magic to NFL?

Can Bears QB Trubisky bring more rookie magic to NFL?

If we've learned nothing else about the 2017 season through four weeks, it's this: Don't underestimate the rookies.
Craig: Coordinators like the Vikings' Shurmur see blinders as good idea

Craig: Coordinators like the Vikings' Shurmur see blinders as good idea

Public opinion about offensive coordinators can change in a snap
Craig: One especially bad Keenum decision hurt Vikings' chances

Craig: One especially bad Keenum decision hurt Vikings' chances

"I thought I saw something and got fooled," Case Keenum said of a fourth-quarter play that went bad. "Changed the protection to the wrong protection."
Five extra points: Reiff is a strength for Vikings, Treadwell is a question mark

Five extra points: Reiff is a strength for Vikings, Treadwell is a question mark

Five takeaways from Sunday's game, which dropped the Vikings to 2-2 on the season.
Week 4: Mark Craig's Super Bowl forecast

Week 4: Mark Craig's Super Bowl forecast

Let's just say the Super Bowl possibilities are plentiful. Heading into Week 4, the only teams with a winning streak of two or more games are the Chiefs, Falcons, Patriots, Titans and Redskins.
Craig: Vikings' Cook among rookie runners delivering big stats

Craig: Vikings' Cook among rookie runners delivering big stats

Dalvin Cook is ahead of Adrian Peterson's rookie pace after three games, ranks fourth in combined yards (370) and already has four runs of 20 or more yards.
Vikings took care of priority: Keeping handle on Bucs' McCoy

Vikings took care of priority: Keeping handle on Bucs' McCoy

On Sunday, the Vikings wrecked Tampa Bay's 6-4, 300-pound wrecking ball.
Five extra points: Thielen's grab, a free play and Robison's young man's day

Five extra points: Thielen's grab, a free play and Robison's young man's day

The catch of the year so far came on the third play of Sunday's game 34-17 win over the Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Week 3 Road to Minneapolis: A silver and black attack

Week 3 Road to Minneapolis: A silver and black attack

Each week of the NFL season, football writer Mark Craig checks in with his outlook for February's Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Road to Minneapolis: Today's NFL tackles out-manned by pass-rushing specialists

Road to Minneapolis: Today's NFL tackles out-manned by pass-rushing specialists

Over-simplified protection schemes in college and an NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement that has reduced practice time are popular notions why O-linemen can't keep up with pass rushers.
ACL injuries like Bradford's cause conflict in medical ranks

ACL injuries like Bradford's cause conflict in medical ranks

NFL seasons can rise and fall on the health of what the dictionary calls a "short band of tough, flexible, fibrous connective tissue" in the middle of a star player's knee.
Craig: Amid NFL angst from Vikings and beyond, Cutler is all smiles

Craig: Amid NFL angst from Vikings and beyond, Cutler is all smiles

Jay Cutler's situation, in which he put off the start of a broadcasting career to join the Dolphins for a one-year, $10 million contract, exemplifies the quarterbacking problems in the NFL.
NFL Week 3 Power Rankings: There's an NFC North team in the top 10 and it's not the Packers

NFL Week 3 Power Rankings: There's an NFC North team in the top 10 and it's not the Packers

The biggest jump in Mark Craig's Power Rankings? The Broncos, climbing from No. 20 to No. 3. The biggest fall: Giants from No. 12 to No. 26.
Craig: Steelers find other answers after Rhodes put clamps on Brown

Craig: Steelers find other answers after Rhodes put clamps on Brown

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is savvy enough to embrace the opportunities that sprout up elsewhere when Antonio Brown preoccupies a team's shutdown corner.
Vikings five extra points: Kicker woes, a sensible fake punt attempt and other key observations

Vikings five extra points: Kicker woes, a sensible fake punt attempt and other key observations

NFL writer Mark Craig with a look at key moments from Sunday's Vikings game.
Road to Minneapolis: Mark Craig's Week 2 Super Bowl forecast

Road to Minneapolis: Mark Craig's Week 2 Super Bowl forecast

A weekly look around the NFL, with some thoughts on who might be the two teams left standing on Feb. 4.
Road to Minneapolis: Can Packers defense handle Falcons?

Road to Minneapolis: Can Packers defense handle Falcons?

Holding Seattle to three field goals while riding the defense to victory in Lambeau Field was impressive. But can the Packers handle the encore in Atlanta, where they surrendered 44 points in the NFC title game?
Craig: Defenses boast upper-hand in NFL Week 1 of truly odd twists

Craig: Defenses boast upper-hand in NFL Week 1 of truly odd twists

It's safe to say the first leg on the NFL's Road to Minneapolis supplied its share of unexpected twists and a serious lean in favor of the defenses.
Ring of Honor induction means Randy Moss will stay a Viking

Ring of Honor induction means Randy Moss will stay a Viking

The ceremony reunited a gifted receiver who just wanted to play with an organization that never really wanted him to leave.
Craig: NFL quarterback upheaval abounds, be thankful if you have a good one

Craig: NFL quarterback upheaval abounds, be thankful if you have a good one

As the Road to Minneapolis begins to unfold, it's obvious why the Super Bowl LII favorites are led by guys with names such as Brady, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Ryan, Manning and Wilson.
With Vikings, special teams bar is raised to superstar status

With Vikings, special teams bar is raised to superstar status

Under the guidance of coach Mike Priefer, the dirty work is a popular task.
Randy Moss: Ring of Honor now, is first-ballot Hall of Fame next?

Randy Moss: Ring of Honor now, is first-ballot Hall of Fame next?

The Vikings great, set to enter their Ring of Honor, believes he is worthy of HOF induction.
Craig: Can Vikings' defense slam the door on the Packers in NFC North?

Craig: Can Vikings' defense slam the door on the Packers in NFC North?

With Brett Favre followed by Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have won nine of 15 NFC North titles. But, defensively, the Vikings again have what it takes to unseat the Packers for the second time in three years.
Last stop, Minneapolis? Favored Patriots start Super Bowl journey

Last stop, Minneapolis? Favored Patriots start Super Bowl journey

The build-up to Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium starts now. Everybody ready? The Patriots begin their quest to defend the Super Bowl title tonight against Kansas City.

Bold predictions: Star Tribune experts make AFC, NFC and Super Bowl picks

Five Star Tribunbe football writers give their thoughts on who might be playing for a Super Bowl title in Minneapolis.
Suspended Viking isn't banned from training facility

Suspended Viking isn't banned from training facility

Michael Floyd's four-game suspension after an extreme DUI arrest has pushed his NFL career to the brink of extinction if there's another slip-up in his personal life.
When will Teddy play? Contract interpretations could play a role

When will Teddy play? Contract interpretations could play a role

One year after his sudden and devastating knee injury, Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater is still rehabbing, and long-term questions linger.
Craig: No reason Vikings offensive line should look this troubled

Craig: No reason Vikings offensive line should look this troubled

This season, like last season, will rise or fall with the offensive line. And this revamped line had an all-too-familiar look of constipation to it.
Craig: Vikings have to cut down on their red-zone penalties this season

Craig: Vikings have to cut down on their red-zone penalties this season

The Vikings were flagged a league-high 19 times in the red zone in 2016. Eighteen of those were accepted.
Vikings are close to full strength for Sunday practice

Vikings are close to full strength for Sunday practice

The Vikings returned to practice Sunday and were closer to full strength than they have been all summer.
Craig: Is this a here-we-go-again scenario for Vikings offensive line?

Craig: Is this a here-we-go-again scenario for Vikings offensive line?

At this point, one has to wonder if the starting five will get any game time together before the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the Saints.
With speed to burn, rookie receiver Coley showing his value

With speed to burn, rookie receiver Coley showing his value

Suddenly, a lot of people want to talk to Stacy Coley, a rookie seventh-round draft pick, backup receiver and Vikings roster bubble battler.
Last load on the road: Vikings haul stuff from Mankato one final time

Last load on the road: Vikings haul stuff from Mankato one final time

Vikings equipment manager Dennis Ryan has loaded the trucks leaving Mankato for the final time after 52 years. "I'll miss the people. I won't miss much else."
Last day of the last camp: 52 years of the Vikings in Mankato ends

Last day of the last camp: 52 years of the Vikings in Mankato ends

As the franchise's time in Mankato comes to its end, players, coaches and personnel of past and present Vikings teams say the memories they've made aren't going anywhere.
Vikings rookie Cook continues standing out during Mankato practices

Vikings rookie Cook continues standing out during Mankato practices

It's been in the less-celebrated areas of his game, though — particularly his pass protection — where Cook has perhaps stood out the most.
Injury revealed: Back problem keeping Reiff from practicing

Injury revealed: Back problem keeping Reiff from practicing

Riley Reiff had been on the Vikings' sideline in recent days but wasn't seen during either the team's morning walk-through or afternoon practice.
Muscle up: Vikings cornerbacks getting first shots on wide receivers

Muscle up: Vikings cornerbacks getting first shots on wide receivers

Under league rules, teams can't practice bump-and-run press coverage until Day 3 of training camp. And that's not an ideal thing for young cornerbacks in a Mike Zimmer-coached defense.
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