Recent content from Mark Craig
Kickers are 33-for-33 in this year's playoffs and — look away, Vikings fans — 64-for-66 (.970) since Blair Walsh duck-hooked his 27-yarder last season against Seattle.
As we head into this weekend's NFL divisional playoff round, here are the hottest pressure points in the four games
Maybe the divisional round will offer some gripping competition, after a slate of sleepy letdowns.
Find out who our NFL writer projects to make it to the Super Bowl.
Be it here or elsewhere, star running back Adrian Peterson faces a big pay cut for the 2017 season. "Sometimes, you're able to work things about with business and sometimes you're not," Peterson said.
There's a treacherous road between here and the Lombardi Trophy and it starts with the unpredictablity of wild card weekend.
The 12-team NFL playoff field, which begins postseason play with four wild-card games Saturday and Sunday, is littered with finishers sporting the kinds of brains Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he wants to pick
The running back has always defied the odds, but age is a relentless foe and will shape his future – with or without the Vikings.
Cordarrelle Patterson says not getting a fifth-year option didn't serve as any sort of motivation.
Five extra points from Sunday's Vikings-Bears game.
Leading the Lions to the NFC North title could put Matthew Stafford over the top.
Danielle Hunter's team-high 12 sacks rank third in the NFL behind Atlanta outside linebacker Vic Beasley (14½) and Denver outside linebacker Von Miller (13½).
No player has led the NFL in kickoff return average more than twice since 1942. That could change Sunday if the Vikings' Cordarrelle Patterson maintains his comfortable lead
Teddy Bridgewater is the recipient of the team's Ed Block Courage Award.
You think 2016 has been a train wreck for the Vikings? 2010 has it beat - when the team, the coach and even the stadium collapsed.
Shaun Hill might be at the end of a career that was much longer than expected.
The Vikings have plummeted to 23rd -- one spot behind the Bills, who just fired their coach.
The game clock ticked down to 1 minute left in the second quarter when there was a feeling the Vikings might actually have a chance to upset the Packers. Enter Clay Matthews.
Thoughts about Aaron Rodgers, Mike McCarthy and more.
When the Vikings were 5-0, more than a quarter of their points were not scored by the offense. That pace simply couldn't be kept up.
The safety has missed the past two games because of an ankle injury, and he would be a boost for a Vikings team fighting to stay alive in the playoff race.
If Peterson plays, it might be his Green Bay farewell in purple.
Desperation turned Packers wide receiver Ty Montgomery into a running back. Turns out he's good at it.
The Patriots continue to lead the league atop the rankings.
If you're one of those fans trying to figure out why Anthony Barr isn't playing like, well, Anthony Barr of late, you're not alone.
Mark Craig offers his five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings game
The Vikings, to their detriment, tried to force-feed Adrian Peterson carries and paid the price.
Gore, 33, will play in his 94th consecutive regular-season game and make his 90th straight start, both of which lead all NFL backs. He hasn't missed a game since the start of the 2011 season.
Zimmer isn't sure when, or if, strange things will stop happening to the Vikings. But he likes to note that through it all, they still have seven wins, one fewer than at this point last year.
Coach Mike Zimmer said reports of a season-ending ankle injury were exaggerated.
Some would suggest the 7-6 Packers would be a scary playoff opponent — if they sneak in — because of Aaron Rodgers and that offense. But let's shift to the other side of the ball.
The Giants' victory over the Cowboys on Sunday night now put New York at No. 3 and Dallas at No. 4 in the rankings.
"Since the day I walked in the building here, I've talked about toughness," Zimmer said Monday, the day after the Vikings extended the meaningfulness of their season with a 25-16 win at Jacksonville.
Five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings victory over Jacksonville.
Jerick McKinnon's valuable late-game yardage came when his team needed it most.
Among the changes, Blair Walsh is out and Kai Forbath is in at kicker.
Mike Zimmer's eye doctor asked the Vikings medical staff to try and persuade Zimmer to coach from the safety of the booth but gave Zimmer the option of being on the field. He opted for the latter.
The key matchup in Sunday's game isn't an individual battle but two teams at near-opposite ends of the league's most important statistic — turnovers.
It's true: Sunday's Vikings-Jaguars game in Jacksonville will feature twice as many former Minnesota State Mavericks as former Ohio State Buckeyes.
Mike Zimmer, like Jerry Kill, paid big for ignoring health issues.
Mark Craig offers his five takeaways from Thursday night's game against the Cowboys.
A four-play, 4-yard "drive" ruined what should have been defensive end Brian Robison's shining, season-saving moments Thursday night.
From the Herschel Walker trade to U.S. Bank Stadium, Jerry Jones and the Vikings have a connection.
The Dallas offense has sparked the team to a 10-1 record, but the Vikings will look to take advantage of the Cowboys' defense, which has been vulnerable.
Matthew Stafford is adding a special season to a strong history.
The Vikings had 54 yards rushing on the drive and had first-and-goal from the 10. But that's when left tackle T.J. Clemmings made a backside illegal chop block that was unnecessary on a Wildcat run to the right.
Historically, the Vikings have owned Detroit, including on Thanksgiving in 1969.
"Thursday Night Football" has delivered some real stinkers. And even the players are noticing that it does "kind of hurt the product."
The Seahawks, at 7-2-1, have slipped ahead of the 9-1 Cowboys in the rankings.
Diggs has 26 catches for 244 yards the past two weeks. Peterson, the fifth overall draft pick in 2011, has five Pro Bowls and three first-team All-Pro selections.
The Cowboys play a Dec. 1 Thursday nighter against the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Rather than wait a few weeks, let's start the envying process right here and now.
The 5-4 Vikings have fallen to 20th after four consecutive losses.
The Vikings couldn't keep the lead Sunday because they couldn't convert their first two third-down situations of the second half. For the game, the Vikings had only 47 yards rushing on 21 carries.
The pressure of a three-game losing streak oozes from the Vikings, whose blueprint for success — winning close, low-scoring games — is threatened by an out-of-sync kicker.
Pat Shurmur is a West Coast disciple who learned the quick, rhythmic passing principles during a decade spent under Andy Reid in Philadelphia.
Asked if the team's kicker tryouts put even more pressure on him, Walsh said, "That's not how I look at it, no. I got to do my job and be dependable for my team. That's how I look at it."
The Vikings didn't boot the kicker. Nor should they scrap any division hopes.
The Patriots and Cowboys, each at 7-1, have risen to the top.
Takeaways from Sunday's loss to the Lions.
Had the Vikings consulted Matthew Stafford's résumé and respected the gunslinger's gigantic right arm, they wouldn't have started celebrating victory 23 seconds too soon.
Pat Shurmer's promotion to Vikings' offensive coordinator could mean he's one day closer to getting fired. Three coordinators have been let go this season already and Norv Turner stepped down.
"I think [the Vikings' Mike Zimmer] is as good a coach as I've been around," Turner said. "But it just got to the point where I didn't think it was going to work with me. So I removed myself."
Now the Vikings have problems on both sides of the ball as sloppy tackling and poor pursuit angles led to multiple big plays by the Bears. 'We were terrible defensively,' Harrison Smith said.
For whatever reason — perhaps heightened expectations? — quarterback Sam Bradford is regressing after opening his Vikings career with four victories and a 70.4 completion percentage.
The Eagles got results vs. Vikings by attacking quarterback Sam Bradford, but Vikings coaches say personnel is more of a yardstick than any game plan.
The Vikings' first loss of the season last week set off a jolt of distress and motivation.
Is there cause for concern? You bet. And it's as big as Jake Long, T.J. Clemmings and Jeremiah Sirles rolled into one giant Triangle of Pain for Sam Bradford.
The Vikings take a fall - but how far?
"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.
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