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 mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Go Figure: NFL's two worst passing attacks to square off at Mall of America Field

Posted by: under Rookies, Vikings, Bears, Vikings players, Adrian Peterson Updated: December 4, 2012 - 1:13 PM

As the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s Week 14 game with Chicago at Mall of America Field, here’s a look at a handful of eye-opening figures and facts.

947

Rushing yards by Adrian Peterson over the past six games. Peterson has averaged 7.8 yards per carry over that span. For perspective, only eight other NFL running backs have run for 947 yards all season.

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554

Rushing yards needed by Peterson over the final four games for him to become the seventh back in NFL history to reach 2,000. Peterson would need to average 138.5 yards per contest to achieve that milestone. He’s averaging 120.5 yards per game for the season and 157.8 over the past six games.

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0

Catches by Vikings receivers in the first 56 minutes of Sunday’s loss in Green Bay. Jerome Simpson contributed two catches for 25 yards in the final 4 minutes and rookie Jarius Wright had a 13-yard grab on the game’s final play. That allowed the Vikings to avoid becoming the first team since the Houston Texans in Week 14 of 2002 to go an entire game without a completion to a receiver. (Houston lost to Pittsburgh 24-6 with David Carr completing only three passes all day, all to tight end Billy Miller).

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49

Catches this season by seven Vikings players who were either signed as free agents in the offseason or drafted in April. That includes Jerome Simpson (14 grabs for 163 yards), John Carlson (five for 26), Devin Aromashodu (11-182), Jerome Felton (2-18) and Matt Asiata (1-2). Also add in rookies Jarius Wright (11-127) and Rhett Ellison (5-60).

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91

Catches this season by Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, who seems well on his way to a return trip to Honolulu for the Pro Bowl. Marshall has had six consecutive seasons with 1,000 yards. His 1,182 yards this season rank second in the NFL, behind only Calvin Johnson (1,429).

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2001

Year in which the Bears last had a player record 100 catches. That was Marty Booker, who had a franchise-record 100 catches for 1,071 yards in ’01, doing most of his damage with Jim Miller as his quarterback. Marshall should reach the 100-catch milestone for the fourth time in his career, perhaps as early as Sunday. He had 102 catches in 2007 and 104 in 2008 with Cutler as his quarterback in Denver. He also had 101 grabs in 2009 with Kyle Orton throwing his way.

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361.8

Passing yards per game, combined, by the Vikings and Bears this season. The Vikings are averaging 180.6 yards per game, dead last in the NFL. Chicago is only one slot up, averaging 181.2 yards per game.

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4

Games this season in which Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has thrown for more than 250 yards. He had 270 yards against Jacksonville (win), 258 against Tennessee (win), 352 at Washington (loss) and 251 versus Tampa Bay (loss). Ponder also has four games this season in which he’s thrown for fewer than 120 yards, including Sunday’s 12-for-25, 119-yard effort in Green Bay.

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9

Career games, out of 22 starts, in which Ponder has had multiple turnovers. The Vikings are 2-7 in those contests.

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2

Sacks allowed by the Bears in their past two games. Even with its offensive line shaken by poor play and hurt further by key injuries, Chicago has found a way to keep quarterback Jay Cutler upright the past two weeks. In games against the Vikings and Seahawks, Cutler was 40-for-57 for 421 yards with three TD passes and one interception. He was hit 9 times in those games.

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