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.


Leslie Frazier looking for 'clean' game to cure Vikings' road woes

Posted by: under On the road, Vikings, Packers, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier Updated: December 10, 2012 - 3:24 PM

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier won’t demand perfection. But he is hoping his team can play “a clean football game” next Sunday when it heads to St. Louis. And by clean, Frazier means he wants to see the elimination of costly turnovers.

In five road losses this season, the Vikings have turned the ball over 10 times and are minus-6 in turnover differential.

In their six home wins? The Vikings have 12 takeaways and eight turnovers.

Said Frazier: “Finding a way to be plus in the turnover ratio would be a big deal to us, if we can execute the way we have. Even in some of our games on the road, we’ve executed well at times. But we haven’t done a good job when it comes to winning that turnover battle. And it’s cost us.”

Most notably, two weeks ago in Green Bay, the Vikings let a key division game slip away due to two costly Christian Ponder interceptions – one in the end zone and the other at the Packers 14. Those are exactly the miscues Frazier wants eliminated.

“Our margin for error is not very big,” said the Vikings coach. “So when that happens, it becomes problematic for our football team.”

Twice this year, the Vikings have gone without a turnover. Both times, they never trailed and scored convincing wins over Detroit.

Milestone watch

With three games left, here are the milestones Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is chasing. He’s currently at 1,600 rushing yards for the season needing 161 (an average of 53 per game) to set his own single-season record.

Peterson needs 400 yards (an average of 133 per contest) to reach 2,000. And he’d need 506 yards (an average of 169) to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record.

Frazier, coincidentally, was a player during Dickerson’s peak. Dickerson set the single-season rushing mark in 1984. Here’s how Frazier compared the styles of Peterson and Dickerson:

I know Coach [John] Robinson gave it to [Dickerson] a lot [with the Rams] and we’re doing the same thing with Adrian. Both guys were extremely fast and very motivated to run the ball and run it well. I think the styles are somewhat similar, but the power that Adrian runs with combined with the speed is rare.

"When I think of Eric, I think of more of a guy who was so graceful and getting on the edge and outrunning people. But you see Adrian running through tacklers, stiff-arming guys, running around guys, juking guys. He’s so rare. Eric was a great runner, a Hall of Famer. And Adrian is on his way to being a Hall of Famer as well.”\

Roster move

The Vikings added tight end LaMark Brown to their practice squad Monday. The team had an opening on the practice squad after promoting offensive lineman Troy Kropog to the active roster Friday.

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