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Mark Craig

Reporter/Columnist | Vikings/NFL
phone: 612-673-7011
Mark Craig covers the NFL and the Vikings.
Recent content from Mark Craig
Ex-Viking Remmers up for challenge in Super Bowl

Ex-Viking Remmers up for challenge in Super Bowl

Now at the Super Bowl with Carolina, Mike Remmers is on his fifth team in four years, including a brief stint with the Vikings. His task Sunday: Blocking Denver's Von Miller.
Versatile ex-Viking Webb can't help but smile during Super Bowl week

Versatile ex-Viking Webb can't help but smile during Super Bowl week

Joe Webb is Carolina's third-string QB, the emergency running back, the fifth receiver and a member of every special teams unit.
Panthers have turned into exceptional thieves on defense

Panthers have turned into exceptional thieves on defense

Ever since a low point in 2014, Panthers defensive backs have become masters of the takeaway.
Denver defensive coordinator Phillips aptly follows father's coaching lead

Denver defensive coordinator Phillips aptly follows father's coaching lead

All told, Wade Phillips has had 10 stints with nine NFL teams and has lasted 22 seasons longer than his father, Bum, did.
Former Vikings assistant Fred Pagac dancing happily with Broncos

Former Vikings assistant Fred Pagac dancing happily with Broncos

As Denver's outside linebackers coach, Fred Pagac is passing muster and then some, according to outside linebacker Von Miller.
As sack numbers dwindle, Allen on a quest for elusive Super Bowl ring

As sack numbers dwindle, Allen on a quest for elusive Super Bowl ring

Ex-Vikings DE Jared Allen seeks to cap his career with an elusive title playing on the biggest stage near his hometown.
Super Bowl coaches Kubiak, Rivera know the meaning of comeback

Super Bowl coaches Kubiak, Rivera know the meaning of comeback

Super Bowl 50 has some of the more resilient coaches the NFL has ever seen.
Super Bowl history not always kind to the next big thing

Super Bowl history not always kind to the next big thing

Cam Newton is not the first super man to defy comparisons heading into the Super Bowl.
Mark Craig's five Super Bowl story lines

Mark Craig's five Super Bowl story lines

Mark Craig's list to watch for next Sunday in Super Bowl 50.
Super Bowl 50: Facts and figures

Super Bowl 50: Facts and figures

A need-to-know for next Sunday's big game in Santa Clara.

Super Bowl 50 golden anniversary team

The best of the best from the first 49 Super Bowls
Picking the Super Bowl's best — a fun task, but not easy

Picking the Super Bowl's best — a fun task, but not easy

The Pro Football Hall of Fame's 46-member selection committee was asked by the NFL to choose an all-star Super Bowl lineup featuring the greatest of the greats from the first 49 Super Bowls.
Vikings castoff Coleman joins list of top playoff playmakers

Vikings castoff Coleman joins list of top playoff playmakers

Take a look now at Kurt Coleman, the Vikings castoff from 2014 who became an NFC title-game star.
Hail the unsung heroes in NFL playoff trenches

Hail the unsung heroes in NFL playoff trenches

Drafting the right offensive linemen in the first round always helps. But a look at Sunday's AFC and NFC title games shows it's not necessary to get this far.
A quartet of trends is defining NFL's conference finalists

A quartet of trends is defining NFL's conference finalists

Four thoughts about the four teams still chasing Super Bowl 50, including why Carolina is a pretty good bet to beat Arizona and the secret to Denver's success.
Veteran quarterbacks dominate NFL's final eight

Veteran quarterbacks dominate NFL's final eight

A lot of this week's NFL buzz revolves around some highly decorated quarterbacks
Zimmer expresses support for kicker Walsh

Zimmer expresses support for kicker Walsh

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer spoke to Blair Walsh in a team meeting to express his support for the kicker who missed the 27-yard field goal in the closing seconds of Sunday's wild-card loss to Seattle.
Peterson vows to do something about his fumbling

Peterson vows to do something about his fumbling

Adrian Peterson left Winter Park on Monday vowing to return not only as a better player, but a better fit for Norv Turner's offense. "I think Adrian has shown that he thrives on doubt," fullback Zach Line said.
Fourth-quarter fumble 'will haunt me' through offseason, Peterson says

Fourth-quarter fumble 'will haunt me' through offseason, Peterson says

Adrian Peterson gained only 45 yards on 23 carries against Seattle's elite defense and his fumble in the fourth quarter set up the field goal that gave the Seahawks their 10-9 lead.
Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Five takeaways from Sunday's playoff loss to Seattle.
Adrian Peterson: 'No excuses for us not going forward in these playoffs'

Adrian Peterson: 'No excuses for us not going forward in these playoffs'

Preparing for his return to the postseason, Adrian Peterson doesn't want to go down as another star player without a playoff pedigree.
On the NFL: Peterson hands off playoff insights to Bridgewater

On the NFL: Peterson hands off playoff insights to Bridgewater

The star running back wants to make sure his young teammate is playoff-ready.
Vikings notes: Peterson prepares, injury concerns minimal

Vikings notes: Peterson prepares, injury concerns minimal

Of the six NFC playoff teams, the Vikings have the second-youngest 53-man roster.
Packers (and Vikings) QB Favre nominated for Hall of Fame

Packers (and Vikings) QB Favre nominated for Hall of Fame

The three-time MVP is on list of modern-era finalists.
Do the Vikings have a chance against Seattle's dominant defense?

Do the Vikings have a chance against Seattle's dominant defense?

When the teams played last months, the Vikings were barely able to move the ball, Adrian Peterson gained only 18 yards and the Vikings fell behind by 35 points.

Chart: Vikings with playoff experience

A look at the Vikings' 53-man roster shows 23 players with playoff experience.
Fill-in center Berger an anchor for Vikings' struggling offensive line

Fill-in center Berger an anchor for Vikings' struggling offensive line

With veteran John Sullivan out for the entire season, the veteran back-up took over the center position and, according to the data, played it as well as anyone in the NFL.
Vikings defense makes up for lack of offense

Vikings defense makes up for lack of offense

Everson Griffen led the charge, but he had plenty of help in turning the tide the Vikings' way.
Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Five takeaways from Sunday night's Vikings-Packers tilt to decide the NFC North.
Priefer hasn't forgotten Packers' special teams mistakes vs. Seahawks

Priefer hasn't forgotten Packers' special teams mistakes vs. Seahawks

Nearly thirty-two years ago, Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer was Packers teenage ball boy Mike Priefer. “The summer of 1984, my dad [Chuck] has…
Protection dejection: Packers try to figure out offensive line woes

Protection dejection: Packers try to figure out offensive line woes

With banged-up offensive line, Packers anxious about keeping Rodgers upright
Whenever Vikings face the Packers, Lacy's yardage climbs

Whenever Vikings face the Packers, Lacy's yardage climbs

Against the rest of the NFL, Eddie Lacy is averaging a relatively tame 64.2 yards rushing per game. Against the Vikings, his average is 106.8 per game.
Vikings-Packers showdown for NFC North title is a clash in styles

Vikings-Packers showdown for NFC North title is a clash in styles

Showdown for the NFC North title pits the Vikings' old-school defense vs. Green Bay's QB-centric offense.

Mark Craig's Week 17 NFL power rankings

Carolina is at the top. Which teams follow?
Harrison Smith's back in the lineup — and into the end zone

Harrison Smith's back in the lineup — and into the end zone

Limited recently by injury, the safety's pick-six turned the tide against the Giants. It was Smith's fourth interception return for a touchdown with the Vikings.
Mark Craig's five extra points

Mark Craig's five extra points

The Giants' struggles defensively are reminiscent of what the Vikings went through in 2011 and 2013 before coach Mike Zimmer was hired to help rebuild the franchise.
Peterson disagrees with Beckham's suspension

Peterson disagrees with Beckham's suspension

Peterson, who fought his own NFL suspension from late last season into the offseason, said Giants receiver and NFL pariah du jour Odell Beckham Jr. shouldn't have been suspended
Craig: Beckham's actions throw NFL deeper into its PR quagmire

Craig: Beckham's actions throw NFL deeper into its PR quagmire

The only decision easier than Monday's one-game suspension of Odell Beckham Jr. would have been Sunday's prompt ejection of Odell Beckham Jr.
Mark Craig's Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

Mark Craig's Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

Unbeaten Carolina sits atop the NFL:
Vikings make visits to red zone pay off

Vikings make visits to red zone pay off

The second-year back scored his first NFL TD.
Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings game vs. the Bears.
Win over surging Chiefs stands out as Vikings' signature victory

Win over surging Chiefs stands out as Vikings' signature victory

If the Chiefs (8-5) win as a 7 ½-point favorite at Baltimore on Sunday, they will become the first team in NFL history to win eight straight games immediately after losing at least five straight.
Vikings safety Smith longs to play, but bum leg keeps him out

Vikings safety Smith longs to play, but bum leg keeps him out

The strangest injury of Harrison Smith's athletic career will sideline the Vikings' best safety for the third time in the past four games.
For Vikings' Zimmer, 'yo-yos' are a no-no

For Vikings' Zimmer, 'yo-yos' are a no-no

Sunday's performance as favorites at home against a 5-8 Bears team will be a strong indicator as to whether Zimmer has the consistency of a playoff-caliber team or an up-and-down team.
Even top NFL kickers hear the boos after missing boots

Even top NFL kickers hear the boos after missing boots

In today's NFL, fans expect kickers to be automatic.

Chart: Mark Craig's Week 15 power rankings

It's the Panthers at the top.
Craig: One final play doesn't define Bridgewater's development

Craig: One final play doesn't define Bridgewater's development

Teddy Bridgewater has promise but there are going to be times like Thursday night, when he's going along very well but makes a mistake and ends up on the ground in a twisted heap.
Guard makes huge catch on Arizona's winning-FG drive

Guard makes huge catch on Arizona's winning-FG drive

Mike Iupati's key grab - an alert pass deflection turned into a 10-yard reception - helped set up Arizona's game-winning field goal
Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Five takeaways from Thursday night's game from NFL writer Mark Craig.
Sluggish Vikings offense feels the heat to produce

Sluggish Vikings offense feels the heat to produce

There is heightened pressure on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Adrian Peterson and a Vikings offense that was embarrassed, questioned from within and mocked by Seattle.
Larry Fitzgerald puts focus on winning, not Hall of Fame

Larry Fitzgerald puts focus on winning, not Hall of Fame

The veteran receiver from Minneapolis isn't slowing down at 32.
Banged-up Vikings have no choice but to get ready for Thursday

Banged-up Vikings have no choice but to get ready for Thursday

"I'm not glad it's a short week," Sharrif Floyd said. "I'd rather play these boys on Sunday. But what can you do? So we're going to get ready."

Mark Craig's Week 14 power rankings

The Panthers just keep winning; the Browns, not so much.
Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

So many things went wrong for the Vikings on Sunday.
Seahawks run over and around injured-depleted Vikings defense

Seahawks run over and around injured-depleted Vikings defense

Seattle took turns pounding on and dancing away from Vikings defenders for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries.
Penalties, some controversial, add to Vikings' misery

Penalties, some controversial, add to Vikings' misery

The flying flags reached the absurd in the third quarter when three different Vikings committed three 10-yard penalties on three consecutive first-down snaps.

Chart: Panthers by the numbers

11-30-14 Last regular-season loss — 31-13 to the Vikings — dropping their season record to 3-8-1.   15-0 Regular-season record since then; Carolina also went…
Vikings defense mostly spared by injury bug

Vikings defense mostly spared by injury bug

Out of a possible 121 combined starts, Vikings defenders have missed only eight because of injuries this season.
Floyd steps in as Vikings nose tackle with Joseph sidelined

Floyd steps in as Vikings nose tackle with Joseph sidelined

Sharrif Floyd said Thursday that he is starting at nose tackle on Sunday against Seattle as Linval Joseph recovers from a foot injury that forced him to miss practice
Vikings notes: Greenway is team's Man of the Year

Vikings notes: Greenway is team's Man of the Year

Chad Greenway's family runs the "Lead The Way Foundation" which has raised more than $1.5 million for children's causes since 2009.
Strange methods help Vikings sharpen skills

Strange methods help Vikings sharpen skills

Boxing gloves, blinders and pig rasslin' have helped the Vikings overcome some of their flaws. Would mixed-martial arts and ballet help, too?

Mark Craig's Week 13 NFL power rankings

The Panthers, as the NFL's last remaining unbeaten team, stay on top. At No. 32 are the brutal Browns.
Vikings' Adrian Peterson a bulldog against NFL's top run defense

Vikings' Adrian Peterson a bulldog against NFL's top run defense

The Falcons gave up a season-high 191 yards Sunday, 158 (and two TDs) to Adrian Peterson.
Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Takeaways from Sunday's 20-10 Vikings' victory over the Falcons from NFL writer Mark Craig.
Vikings' Xavier Rhodes helps limit Atlanta's Julio Jones

Vikings' Xavier Rhodes helps limit Atlanta's Julio Jones

Xavier Rhodes played big Sunday against Julio Jones, the league's top wideout.
How good are they? Vikings plunge into an 18-day question-and-answer period

How good are they? Vikings plunge into an 18-day question-and-answer period

"It seems like every time we play these big-time games, we don't show up," cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. "So we got to fix that. We got to fix that right now."
Vikings won't sacrifice defensive scheme just to get more turnovers

Vikings won't sacrifice defensive scheme just to get more turnovers

Through four games, the Vikings had eight takeaways, at least one in each game. In six games since then, they've had three takeaways, four games with none. But the slumping Falcons have been turnover-prone.

Mark Craig's Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

How the teams stack up in the NFL this week, from the Patriots on down.
Zimmer's homework keeps Vikings learning

Zimmer's homework keeps Vikings learning

As Vikings' veteran Terence Newman can attest, coach Mike Zimmer stresses the mental side of the game.
Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

Among other things, a team built around defense, Adrian Peterson and favorable field position needed a better performance from punter Jeff Locke.
Vikings: Least-penalized team piles up penalities in loss

Vikings: Least-penalized team piles up penalities in loss

Before Sunday's game, the Vikings had league lows of 48 accepted penalties and 57 total. Sunday, they had 10 total penalties.
Now, Goodell has nothing but praise for Adrian Peterson

Now, Goodell has nothing but praise for Adrian Peterson

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he believes Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been "taking great advantage" of his opportunity to play this year following the child abuse case that kept him out for almost all of last season.
Hall of Famer Tarkenton understands Manning's rise, and fall

Hall of Famer Tarkenton understands Manning's rise, and fall

Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton empathized with the Denver QB on late-career injuries, boos and benching.

Packers could face full-strength Vikings

The first-place Vikings will be at full strength when they face the second-place Packers in Sunday's NFC North showdown at TCF Bank Stadium.
Peterson: Packers are 'team to beat'

Peterson: Packers are 'team to beat'

Asked if he sensed a shifting of power in the NFC North, Peterson said, "It kind of brings a smile to think about that, but you can't get caught up in that [hype]."
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