Recent content from Mark Craig
CRAIG'S NFL Power Rankings1. Patriots (6-1)2. Cowboys (5-1)3. Eagles (4-2)4. Vikings (5-1)5. Chiefs (4-2)6. Raiders (5-2)7. Seahawks (4-1-1)8. Cardinals (3-3-1)9. Broncos (5-2)10. Packers (4-2)11. Lions…
Knee-jerk responses to wins and losses in the NFL are both typical and pointless. Just ask the Vikings.
"We needed a couple of inches and we get stopped?" Vikings left guard Alex Boone said. "It doesn't matter if they knew what we were going to do. It's a couple of inches. That's where I lost my cool."
You know things aren't going the Vikings' way when punt returner Marcus Sherels, the team's most consistent performer, messes up and puts the ball on the ground.
The tight ends coach is right on the money about all things Sam Bradford.
Sam Bradford has been both steady and spectacular, leading the league in completion percentage while connecting on highlight-reel throws.
Fifty-two mornings ago, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford left locker rooms and headed to practice fields in Eden Prairie and Philadelphia, respectively. They warmed up 1,167 miles apart, yet were mere moments from their worlds beginning to collide
Through five games this season, the Vikings haven't allowed more than 16 points in a game. Every other team in the league has given up 20 points or more at least once.
In the past 43 days, the Vikings lost a franchise QB, made a risky, expensive but necessary trade for Sam Bradford, won a game with Shaun Hill, and watched $33 million in salary cap space go on IR.
The league's only undefeated team played at a speed that made the Texans look like a Division I-AA team rather than an NFL division leader.
No team is better without Adrian Peterson. But the loss of a great running back doesn't have to sink a team.
Minnesota is plus-10 in turnovers, with none committed by the offense. In particular, quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater (seven), Shaun Hill (33) and Sam Bradford (95) have thrown 135 passes without an interception.
The Vikings definitely were the only team in the league to spend the first month of the season facing three quarterbacks who have played in four Super Bowls and won three MVPs.
Jjudging by the noise level inside U.S. Bank Stadium, fans are handing over their hearts to the league's most surprising team. Again. But coach Mike Zimmer has a warning about the road ahead.
The NFL is down to three unbeaten teams, including the 4-0 Vikings.
With Jeremiah Sirles on the field for the final 52 minutes Monday, the Vikings scored 24 points, didn't give up a sack, finally surpassed 100 yards rushing and scored their first two rushing touchdowns of the season.
"Ninety-five percent of the people out there, the American gallery, are absolutely fantastic. They really are," Rory McIlroy said.
The veteran made some tough putts, but a couple of botched easy ones gave the U.S. a point.
Rafa Cabrera Bello had two hole-winning birdies in his first seven Ryder Cup holes. Rory McIlroy's match-clinching eagle came after rookie partner Thomas Pieters won four holes to McIlroy's three.
American golf fans upped the ante heckling-wise during Thursday’s final practice round for this week’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. One of the…
Pete Willett went on a rant about American golf fans in a UK golf publication, setting off an unexpected and unwelcome firestorm for Danny Willett and Team Europe.
Facing two of the NFC's teams to beat, the Vikings became THE team to beat by flustering Aaron Rodgers and flattening Cam Newton.
Minnesota needed a golf course for modern-day events. Enter Totton Peavey Heffelfinger.
Through sportsmanship and gamesmanship, from low ebb to intense attention, Ryder Cup grew into a golf goliath.
Here's Mark's weekly power rankings, with only five unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL.
From punts to returns, the Vikings displayed it all on Sunday.
Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean damaged cartilage from his right knee. Floyd had the same procedure done on his left knee last October and missed four games.
T.J. Clemmings will step in to replace the left tackle, who started 66 consecutive games. Last season, Clemmings stepped in for Phil Loadholt at right tackle.
T.J. Clemmings started all 17 games at right tackle as a rookie, but was replaced when the Vikings signed Andre Smith via free agency.
The Vikings' next opponent has scored at least 37 points in seven straight games. And the last time they didn't reach 24 points at home was 13 games ago.
Star Tribune football writer Mark Craig offers his weekly rankings, and you don't have to look too far to find the Vikings.
Sam Bradford turned to slinging the football up and down U.S. Bank Stadium after Adrian Peterson was first ineffective, then injured.
The team has not discussed any national anthem protest the way other teams have.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is annoyed, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is amused by the ongoing speculation at Winter Park about who the Vikings start under center Sunday night.
Since the moment Cordarrelle Patterson joined this NFC North rivalry seven games into his 2013 rookie season, kickoffs have been an adventure: Good, bad, ugly or historically great.
The Packers, the Vikings' opponent in their home opener Sunday night, are ranked No. 2.
Expect Sam Bradford to start Sunday night's prime-time home opener against the Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. That's been the plan all along.
Takeaways from the Vikings' 25-16 victory over the Titans from NFL writer Mark Craig.
Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner is giving new QB Sam Bradford a crash course, but he's done it before.
The NFL season kicks off Thursday night with a Denver-Carolina Super Bowl rematch. And right now, it's a stretch to say the league has a dozen elite quarterbacks.
The Arizona Cardinals begin the year atop the list.
Sure, quarterbacks are important. But the Vikings aren't going anywhere if blockers can't clear Adrian Peterson's runway.
Peterson ranks 17th on the NFL's career rushing list. Only three players ahead of him didn't play in a Super Bowl or an NFL championship game. If he's still part of that group upon retirement, he'll view his career as incomplete.
Before Teddy Bridgewater went down because of a season-ending knee injury, the Vikings felt they would draft no higher than the late 20s next spring.
Since the 2010 season ended, Shaun Hill has started just eight games, in 2014 with St. Louis. He was the Vikings' backup last season but…
A day after John Sullivan did not play in a 23-10 preseason win over the San Diego Chargers, the Vikings attempted to trade him, an NFL source confirmed. Joe Berger is the likely starter.
With time to decide on a starting offensive line unit running out, Sunday's game was the most significant test to date for the team's No. 1 offseason priority.
Players laughed and teased each other before Friday's practice at the new stadium as a camera panned the warmup lines and projected the Bunyan-sized close-ups on the videoboard.
The use of tablets on NFL sidelines has its supporters — and vocal foes. Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner is a fan.
Kalil, their starting left tackle, left the field early because of an apparent leg injury, walked to the locker room, didn't return and was replaced by T.J. Clemmings, who is competing for the starting right tackle job and the backup swing tackle position.
Detroit Lakes grad Adam Thielen spent 2013 on the Vikings practice squad as an undrafted free agent. Since, Thielen has taken on a larger role every season.
Rookie hazing is a much gentler rite of passage for today's NFL players than Vikings quarterback Shaun Hill recalls from his rookie season back in 2002.
'Not good enough' was coach Mike Zimmer's view of his defense in a preseason-opening victory over the Bengals, especially vs. the run.
There were two full-squad brawls when the Vikings and Kansas City held a joint scrimmage 12 summers ago, with wrestler Brock Lesnar setting the tone during a tryout with Minnesota.
While some assume Danielle Hunter's rise will cost Brian Robison snaps and possibly his job, Zimmer has been enhancing a wrinkle that features Hunter at left end and Robison next to him in a standing position in passing situations.
As the Vikings know all too well from last season's end-of-season miss in the playoffs, a successful field goal requires variables to align.
Tony Dungy's Hall of Fame journey began in earnest on that front stoop at the Bierman Building. Then, when he got a chance to coach, he did it on his own terms.
Brad Childress, Vikings coach at the time, said last week that the entire game-winning drive against the 49ers could be shown to represent Brett Favre's greatness
Mike Zimmer is a Bill Parcells guy. But only to a certain point. And that point stops comfortably short of wanting to add general manager to his head coaching title.
The Vikings quarterback said game-like timing is being sharpened through precise execution, regardless of pressure.
Mike Zimmer's motivational tool - "People are saying we're not even in the top half of the NFC," he said - is getting his team's attention.
Linval Joseph went from All-Pro front-runner to missing four of the final five regular-season games last season. The run defense suffered noticeably and ended up ranking 17th.
New offensive line coach Tony Sparano is being entrusted to redefine, redevelop and rejuvenate the Vikings' weakest unit as training camp opens on Friday in Mankato.
On Tuesday, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer joked that his players know when "Daddy's mad." Thursday, Daddy was bursting with pride. Months of hard work…
According to Mike Zimmer, Xavier Rhodes is different this offseason. Unlike last year, the 25-year-old corner hasn't had to relearn how to play the position - and is likely due a big payday.
One season after Joe Berger earned high marks while starting all 17 games for injured center John Sullivan, the longtime backup lineman's versatility was displayed again Tuesday.
A.J. Tarpley pursued his NFL dream with a single-minded purpose. But an unshakable sense of risk to his long-term health compelled him to abandon his football career after just one season.
The Vikings are the defensive tackle's seventh NFL stint and sixth team since leaving Purdue as an undrafted rookie in 2014. He's been with Arizona twice. He spent four days in New England. He's been to Miami and most recently with Green Bay and Chicago last season.
Vikings kicker Blair Walsh said he's past being upset about the playoff miss and instead draws confidence from last year's full body of work.
No 40-yard dashes, broad jumps or vertical leaps. The stop watches have been put aside in favor of football-related activities for the eight draft choices and a group of undrafted free agents.
Standing only 6 feet, 245 pounds and running a 4.82 40-yard dash, Kentrell Brothers lasted until the fifth round despite leading the nation in tackles per game (12.7) in the SEC at Missouri.
A look at winners, losers and, of course, the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Vikings first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell and former receiver Cris Carter, who share the same agent, spent two weeks this spring working out together daily for nearly two hours.
Everson Griffen used his draft free fall six years ago as motivation to make his freakish size, speed and athleticism assets to become a valuable member of the Vikings.
Folks in Los Angeles get to enjoy the fun this year. The Rams have the first pick of the NFL draft that kicks off Thursday night in Chicago. Star Tribune NFL writer Mark Craig weighs in with his full first round predictions. And the first pick is ...
More from Star Tribune