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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Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 3 Top 6th Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 68 4th Qtr 9:57
Indiana 70
Sacramento 95 4th Qtr 9:55
Orlando 97
Utah 66 4th Qtr 11:46
Philadelphia 55
Miami 75 4th Qtr 10:23
Washington 90
Toronto 75 4th Qtr 8:24
Charlotte 82
Cleveland 43 3rd Qtr
Atlanta 53
Boston 46 2nd Qtr 1:49
New Orleans 43
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Houston 44
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Brooklyn 31
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Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
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New Jersey 1
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Carolina 1
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Ottawa 1
Calgary 3 2nd Prd 6:33
Detroit 2
Edmonton 0 1st Prd 11:11
Chicago 0
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
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Char Southern 60
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Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
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Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 69 FINAL
Elon 74
Gardner-Webb 72 FINAL
High Point 71
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 48 2nd Half 4:57
Ball State 46
Bowling Green 60 2nd Half 5:01
Buffalo 63
Brown 65 2nd Half 2:23
Dartmouth 61
Toledo 55 2nd Half 1:51
Eastern Mich 80
Akron 67 2nd Half 2:27
Kent State 70
Ill-Chicago 62 2nd Half 1:46
Oakland 59
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Ohio 95
Columbia 37 2nd Half 1:43
Penn 46
Cornell 53 FINAL
Princeton 66
Central Mich 53 2nd Half 4:28
Western Mich 63
Bradley 43 2nd Half 3:14
Northern Iowa 71
Morehead State 42 2nd Half 15:36
Murray State 49
Yale 22 2nd Half
Harvard 19
Furman 14 1st Half 11:24
Citadel 11
Coll of Charleston 5 1st Half 16:11
Drexel 7
UNC-Asheville 7:55 PM
Coastal Carolina
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
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Indiana State
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Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
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(21) George Washington 77
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(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
SMU 59 FINAL
Memphis 71
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 53 FINAL
Duquesne 66
North Florida 35 FINAL
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 74
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
Jacksonville 55
Lipscomb 69 FINAL
Stetson 92
Saint Peters 57 FINAL
Marist 62
Navy 60 FINAL
Bucknell 49
Lafayette 56 FINAL
American Univ 79
Georgia 41 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 75
(13) Princeton 70 FINAL
Cornell 37
Harvard 68 FINAL
Yale 63
USC Upstate 36 2nd Half 4:00
Northern Ky 52
Nebraska 61 2nd Half 1:33
(14) Iowa 69
Colgate 43 1st OT 2:10
Army 44
Dartmouth 71 2nd Half
Brown 53
Penn 50 2nd Half 0:04
Columbia 36
Kansas 49 2nd Half 0:21
Kansas State 53
(15) North Carolina 26 1st Half 3:37
(10) Louisville 25
San Jose St 53 2nd Half
UNLV 49
Houston 0 1st Half 16:41
Tulane 6
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
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Washington 10:30 PM
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