Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Chat OT: Adrian Peterson's big day should have been even bigger

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Chad Greenway, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: September 12, 2012 - 7:36 AM

If you missed my live Vikings chat on Tuesday afternoon, you can check in here and read the back and forth in full. In addition, each week I will attempt to go overtime, bringing good questions that I didn’t get around to answering on the chat here to the Access Vikings blog for discussion. Here goes.

Q: How close was Adrian Peterson to delivering a 100-yard rushing effort?

A: Again, we’ve detailed in full how remarkable Peterson’s rapid recovery has been. And if you missed Jim Souhan’s column from after the game Sunday, I suggest you read it here. Let’s not forget that Peterson was stopped for a 4-yard loss on his final carry in overtime. Up to that point, he had picked up 88 yards on 16 carries. And his biggest run of the day, the 20-yard burst on the third play of overtime, almost went the distance. Probably should have too. In the locker room Monday afternoon, receiver Percy Harvin noted that Peterson was one block away from breaking into daylight. So I went back and looked at that run again and it seems safe to assume that had Stephen Burton held his block just a second longer on Will Middleton that Peterson could have closed the game with a 62-yard touchdown run. Imagine how crazy that would have been with Peterson finishing his day with 16 carries, 130 yards and three touchdowns.

Q: Were you surprised Percy Harvin was back on all seven of Jacksonville’s kickoffs.

A: For clarification purposes, Harvin wasn’t back for all seven kickoffs. In fact, Marcus Sherels was deep on the final kickoff of regulation with 20 seconds to play. Presumably, that was to keep Harvin fresh to run routes in the final 14 seconds. And for what it’s worth, he was likely Christian Ponder’s first option on the first down play that ended up being that 26-yard completion to Devin Aromashodu. But back to the original premise of the question. Yes, I was very surprised at all the work Harvin got on special teams and it’s an indication that coach Leslie Frazier was receptive to the pleas from both Harvin and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer to get Harvin as much return work as possible. Priefer, during his very first press conference in training camp, promised that Harvin was the No. 1 kick returner and would be used accordingly.

"I think we're going to have a good plan with Percy this year," Priefer said then. "He is our number one kickoff returner. When we have the opportunity to use him, we're going to use him.”

But I had to put an asterisk on those comments based on how cautious the Vikings were with Harvin late last season. Yes, Harvin was battling a shoulder injury that he eventually had offseason surgery for. And so the Vikings didn’t want to put him at too much risk on kickoffs. But there was also an understanding of just how valuable Harvin is to the offense, which was particularly evident in the games that Peterson missed or didn’t finish in 2011 due to injury. There were six of those contests during which Harvin saw very little work as a return man. I figured that with Peterson’s status iffy heading into the season opener and with receiver Jerome Simpson suspended for three games, the Vikings would do their best to preserve Harvin for offensive duties, not wanting to risk much on the high impact collisions of kickoff return. But I was wrong. They turned Harvin loose. And it’s worth noting that his final return Sunday was a pretty impressive 30-yarder in which he drove forward for nine extra yards after absorbing the first big hit.

Q: That last Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph incompletion late in the fourth quarter, what happened?

A: This was asked about during the chat and I’ve since had a chance to go back and watch the play several times. Indeed, Rudolph showed an uncharacteristic case of alligator arms, prematurely flinching as Jacksonville’s Dawan Landry closed in. This was one of those key miscues for the Vikings that gets brushed under the rug because of the final result. But going forward, the Vikings absolutely need to capitalize on plays like that. Yes, Rudolph had a wonderful game with five catches for 67 yards. But that missed opportunity came on a third-and-13 play with 5:43 to play and the Vikings trying to add to a 17-15 lead. A catch and the Vikings get first-and-goal at the Jacksonville 9 and may have been able to add a game-sealing touchdown. Instead, they settled for a 42-yard Blair Walsh field goal and let the Jags hang around.

Q: What were the worst moments that the replacement refs had in the opener?

A: Two stand out to me. First, the penalty that was called on Michael Jenkins on the Vikings’ final series of regulation was questionable. Jenkins was called for an illegal block below the waist against Landry when it seemed clear that he hit the Jacksonville defensive back near the midsection. Mark Craig details the disastrous ripple effect of that flag here. It’s also worth wondering just what the referees were thinking on the personal foul they called on Letroy Guion with 12:45 to play and the Vikings ahead 17-12. Sure, Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert may have already been sacked, tripped up by Erin Henderson. But initially it seemed hard to tell whether Henderson had grabbed Gabbert’s foot or whether the Jaguars quarterback had fallen on his own. Plus, there was no whistle. So when Guion fell on top of Gabbert, it drew a flag. And yet, even if you concede the flag itself, the refs improperly penalized the Vikings. Guion fell on Gabbert at the Jacksonville 33. The official ruling was a personal foul “after the play” for unnecessary roughness. Which should have put the Jaguars at their own 48. Instead, the 15 yards were marched off from the original line of scrimmage, moving the ball to the Minnesota 45 and costing the Vikings seven yards. Jacksonville wound up kicking a 47-yard field goal on that drive.

Q: Can you explain the coverage breakdown on Cecil Shorts’ touchdown with 20 seconds left?

A: Another question we tried to get to on the chat. But I’ve now gone back and looked at the play about a dozen times and still can’t figure out just what the Vikings’ hopes were there. It’s something I’d like to follow up on with Frazier and defensive coordinator Alan Williams this week. Jacksonville lined up for that play with four receivers. The Vikings had their nickel unit on the field with Chris Cook matched up with Shorts outside on the right side of the field and Josh Robinson with Laurent Robinson on the outside across the way. Chad Greenway was nearest Justin Blackmon, who was in the left slot. But Greenway clearly had zone responsibilities. Same goes for Antoine Winfield, who started the play nearest Mike Thomas but wound up with no receiver in his area. So what were the safety responsibilities? Mistral Raymond started the play at the Vikings 25 on the same side of the field as Shorts but never dropped any deeper, leaving Cook on an island. Which makes little sense for a team that has a five-point lead in the final half-minute. Why take the risk? Not to mention, it appeared Gabbert might have had Thomas open too. And if he had looked off Shorts, Blackmon may have been in the clear down the left hash as well. It was an unforgivable lapse by the defense that should be addressed somehow. I'm just not comfortable with how the Vikings chose to operate in that situation.


Cleveland 26 FINAL
Atlanta 24
Tennessee 24 FINAL
Philadelphia 43
Detroit 9 FINAL
New England 34
Green Bay 24 FINAL
Minnesota 21
Jacksonville 3 FINAL
Indianapolis 23
Cincinnati 22 FINAL
Houston 13
Tampa Bay 13 FINAL
Chicago 21
Arizona 3 FINAL
Seattle 19
St. Louis 24 FINAL
San Diego 27
Miami 36 FINAL
Denver 39
Washington 13 FINAL
San Francisco 17
Dallas 31 FINAL
NY Giants 28
NY Jets 11/24/14 6:00 PM
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
LA Clippers 91 FINAL
Memphis 107
Portland 94 FINAL
Boston 88
Charlotte 93 FINAL
Miami 94
Golden State 91 FINAL
Oklahoma City 86
Denver 97 1st OT 0:19
LA Lakers 94
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Montreal 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 5
Arizona 1 FINAL
Anaheim 2
Chicago 1 FINAL
Vancouver 4
Coll of Charleston 61 FINAL
George Mason 60
Massachusetts 75 FINAL
Florida State 69
Youngstown St 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 67
Wofford 64 FINAL
Sam Houston St 53
Ark-Pine Bluff 43 FINAL
Central Mich 75
Southern Ill 67 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Drexel 61 FINAL
Cornell 59
American Univ 51 FINAL
Morehead State 46
CS-Northridge 88 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 94
Bethune-Cookman 65 FINAL
Central Conn St 60
Columbia 54 FINAL
Lehigh 44
Texas A&M 64 FINAL
New Mexico 51
Saint Louis 56
Merchant Marine 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 89
South Dakota 72 FINAL
Fairfield 80
Longwood 48 FINAL
Eastern Mich 79
Providence 75 FINAL
Notre Dame 74
Jackson State 50 FINAL
UAB 58
Coppin State 54 FINAL
Denver 80
Northwestern St 68 FINAL
Oklahoma 90
Catawba 52 FINAL
Radford 88
Newman 57 FINAL
Wichita State 105
Yale 66 FINAL
Kent State 59
St Katherine 49 FINAL
UC Riverside 102
NC Central 45 FINAL
Creighton 65
South Florida 65 FINAL
NC State 68
Penn State 63
Nichols College 70 FINAL
Holy Cross 101
Dayton 65 FINAL
Boston College 53
Wagner 71 FINAL
Hofstra 93
Towson 79 FINAL
Monmouth 75
Bradley 58
Eastern Ill 49 FINAL
Cincinnati 54
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Georgia 74
Presbyterian 48 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 76
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Rutgers 76
Samford 64
Binghamton 68 FINAL
Navy 70
USC Upstate 69 FINAL
UCF 76
UMass Lowell 64 FINAL
Fordham 57
Montana State 28 FINAL
Kentucky 86
Iona 78 FINAL
North Texas 58
Gardner-Webb 67 FINAL
Seton Hall 85
Akron 68 FINAL
South Carolina 63
Hood College 51 FINAL
Howard 78
Sacred Heart 48 FINAL
Ohio State 106
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Vanderbilt 78
Connecticut 68 FINAL
West Virginia 78
Delaware 52 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 70
Mercer 62 FINAL
Colorado State 75
SD Christian 60 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 82
Northern Ariz 74 FINAL
Ole Miss 80
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Northeastern 65
Pacific 69 FINAL
Washington 76
Miami-Florida 77 FINAL
Charlotte 58
UC Irvine 69 FINAL
St Marys-CA 72
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Long Beach State 63 FINAL
Montana 56 2nd Half 4:03
Seattle 55
Char Southern 9 FINAL
(8) Georgia 55
South Alabama 12 FINAL
So Carolina 37
Rutgers 3 FINAL
(10) Michigan State 45
(22) Minnesota 28 FINAL
Nebraska 24
Northwestern 38 FINAL
Purdue 14
(19) Marshall 23 FINAL
UAB 18
Kansas 7 FINAL
(20) Oklahoma 44
Indiana 27 FINAL
(7) Ohio State 42
Penn State 14 FINAL
Illinois 16
(16) Eastern Ky 3 FINAL
Florida 52
TX-San Antonio 7 FINAL
Western Ky 45
UCF 53
Tulsa 28 FINAL
Houston 38
Virginia Tech 3 FINAL
Wake Forest 6
Washington St 31 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 52
Louisiana Tech 27 FINAL
Old Dominion 30
Western Mich 32 FINAL
Central Mich 20
New Mexico 20 FINAL
(21) Colorado State 58
Eastern Mich 30 FINAL
Ball State 45
Appalachian St 35 FINAL
Louisiana 16
(12) Arizona 42 FINAL
Utah 10
North Texas 17
(18) Ole Miss 0 FINAL
Arkansas 30
(24) Louisville 31 FINAL
Notre Dame 28
Maryland 23 FINAL
Michigan 16
Texas Tech 34 FINAL
Iowa State 31
(14) Wisconsin 26 FINAL
Iowa 24
Syracuse 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
Boston College 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 20
Georgia State 0 FINAL
(23) Clemson 28
Tulane 6 FINAL
East Carolina 34
Stanford 38 FINAL
California 17
Western Carolina 14 FINAL
(2) Alabama 48
New Mexico St 17
So Florida 20 FINAL
Memphis 31
Colorado 10 FINAL
(3) Oregon 44
Fla Atlantic 34 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 35
Samford 7 FINAL
(15) Auburn 31
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Virginia 30
Vanderbilt 0 FINAL
(4) Miss State 51
(17) Missouri 29 FINAL
Tennessee 21
Oklahoma State 28 FINAL
(5) Baylor 49
(9) UCLA 38
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
Connecticut 0
(25) Boise State 63 FINAL
Wyoming 14
Oregon State 13 FINAL
Washington 37
Fresno State 40 FINAL
Nevada 20
Hawaii 37
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
New England 2 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Montreal 24 FINAL
Hamilton 40
Edmonton 18 FINAL
Calgary 43
Alabama 58 FINAL
Temple 51
Massachusetts 46 FINAL
Florida State 74
Creighton 60 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 96
Bryant 79 FINAL
Boston College 90
Robert Morris 84 FINAL
Sacred Heart 59 FINAL
Maine 58
Virginia Tech 72 FINAL
Providence 69
Coll of Charleston 61 FINAL
George Mason 71
Hartford 59 FINAL
Lafayette 74
William & Mary 80 FINAL
High Point 87
Western Ill 88 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 90
Pittsburgh 64 FINAL
James Madison 80
Toledo 48 FINAL
(24) Purdue 66
Western Mich 47 FINAL
Michigan 74
Cleveland State 73 FINAL
FIU 65
San Diego State 38 FINAL
(2) South Carolina 89
Mount St Marys 62 FINAL
Davidson 67
(15) Michigan State 64
Illinois State 49 FINAL
Colorado State 70
Incarnate Word 49 FINAL
Indiana 85
Cincinnati 54 FINAL
Iowa State 85
Furman 69 FINAL
Clemson 79
VA Commonwealth 86 FINAL
Ohio State 96
Marquette 51 FINAL
(7) Duke 83
Bethune-Cookman 42 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Coppin State 54 FINAL
Wake Forest 65
(24) Georgia 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 57
Ball State 56 FINAL
(12) Louisville 69
Auburn 51 FINAL
Virginia 66
Utah 43 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 66
Minnesota 68 FINAL
Memphis 62
Georgetown 42 FINAL
Kansas 55
Northwestern St 30 FINAL
Arkansas 78
TX-San Antonio 72 FINAL
Lamar 40
Southern Miss 55 FINAL
McNeese State 57
Air Force 51 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 86
IUPU-Ft Wayne 73 FINAL
USC Upstate 85
Morgan State 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 65
Western Ky 77 FINAL
Miss State 88
Southern U 42 FINAL
Illinois 62
Eastern Illinois 59 FINAL
North Texas 57
Alabama State 61 FINAL
South Alabama 64
Wisconsin 77 FINAL
Drake 89
Seattle 61 FINAL
Montana State 74
UC Santa Barbara 49 FINAL
Northern Ariz 67
Hofstra 64 FINAL
Norfolk State 47
Iona 49 FINAL
Pacific 64
Middle Tennessee 71 FINAL
Ole Miss 65
Portland 67 FINAL
Cal Poly 76
(10) Texas 75 FINAL
Fresno State 50 FINAL
USC 68
Ave Maria 54 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 102
Holy Cross 29 FINAL
(3) Notre Dame 104
Chicago State 40 FINAL
Oakland 66
(11) North Carolina 76 FINAL
Oregon 59
Harvard 87 FINAL
Quinnipiac 83
Princeton 63 FINAL
American Univ 56
Missouri 70 2nd Half 0:25
(14) California 80
Yale 51 2nd Half 0:46
Washington 79
UNLV 10:59 PM


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