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: Falcons will look to go airborne against unimposing Vikings pass defense

Posted by: under Vikings, Bears, Vikings defense, Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor Updated: November 22, 2011 - 10:20 AM

As the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s Week 12 game with Atlanta at the Georgia Dome, here’s a look at a handful of eye-opening figures and facts.

6
Interceptions this season by the Vikings. Only four NFL teams have fewer picks. Cincinnati, New Orleans and Indianapolis all have five interceptions. Pittsburgh, surprisingly, has only four. The Vikings’ last interception came on their final defensive play of a 34-10 win over Arizona on Oct. 9. (At that stage of the season, we wrote that the Vikings' secondary may have taken a step forward.) Oops! Opponents have attempted 151 passes since with 109 completions and 13 TD tosses. In that span, the Vikings have thrown six interceptions.
 
10
Atlanta’s NFL rank in passing offense. The Falcons average 248.4 passing yards per game and are coming off a 23-17 home win over Tennessee in which quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 316 yards and a score. Ryan has a quarterback rating of 85.5 for the season, completing 60.8 percent of his passes. He has 2,625 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In Sunday’s win, Ryan revived his chemistry with receiver Roddy White. The duo connected seven times for 147 yards. Now, they’ll get the opportunity to face a Vikings defense that has given up an NFL-worst 19 touchdown passes in its 10 games.
 
118
Toby Gerhart’s rushing yardage this season. That ranks 76th in the NFL with Gerhart sandwiched between little-used Detroit running back Keiland Williams (119) and Pittsburgh’s less-often used Jonathan Dwyer (115). Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, meanwhile, has rushed for 131 yards on 16 attempts. Gerhart will likely be forced to carry a bigger load Sunday in Atlanta with Adrian Peterson nursing a high ankle sprain. The Falcons, it’s worth noting, haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.
 
1-2
The Vikings’ record the past five seasons in games Peterson hasn’t played. They won twice during Peterson’s rookie year when the star running back was out with a minor knee injury. Chester Taylor picked up the slack in wins over the Raiders and Giants, rushing for 241 yards and four touchdowns. Last season, with Peterson held out in Week 15 to rest thigh and ankle injuries, the Vikings fell 40-14 to the Bears at TCF Bank Stadium with Gerhart (16 carries, 77 yards) as the feature back.
 
23-6
Atlanta’s record at the Georgia Dome since the beginning of the 2008 season. The only NFL teams with more home wins in that span are the Patriots (25) and the Ravens (24). The Vikings are 3-1 all-time in the Georgia Dome, notching wins in 1996, 1999 and 2003. Their last trip there, however, wasn’t so fruitful. They lost 30-10 in Week 4 of 2005 with quarterback Daunte Culpepper sacked nine times while also throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. The Falcons rushed for 285 yards in that win.

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Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 2 1st Qtr 9:28
Cleveland 0
Phoenix 8 1st Qtr 9:30
Charlotte 6
Dallas 6:30 PM
Detroit
Utah 6:30 PM
Miami
Orlando 6:30 PM
Boston
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Toronto
Memphis 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Portland
Houston 9:30 PM
Denver
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 0 1st Prd 20:00
New Jersey 0
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 6 1st Half 17:38
Ball State 0
SIU Edwardsville 4 1st Half 16:14
Campbell 5
St Francis-PA 14 1st Half 15:10
Duquesne 3
North Florida 3 1st Half 16:44
Florida State 5
Catawba 10 1st Half 15:18
George Mason 13
Ferrum 2 1st Half 16:48
High Point 4
Hampton 3 1st Half 15:41
Illinois 9
Gardner-Webb 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
Longwood 1 1st Half 17:30
Miami-Ohio 3
Arkansas State 12 1st Half 14:05
Miss State 13
Tennessee 11 1st Half 13:55
NC State 8
NC A&T 4 1st Half 14:59
Ohio State 15
Manhattan 2 1st Half 15:28
Pittsburgh 4
Robert Morris 2 1st Half 17:30
Toledo 4
Char Southern 5 1st Half 17:12
Wofford 5
Kennesaw St 8 1st Half 16:18
Youngstown St 7
Barber-Scotia 4 1st Half 15:40
NC Central 17
Detroit 6:30 PM
UCF
Liberty 6:30 PM
UNC-Wilmington
TX A&M-CC 7:00 PM
Denver
Ark-Pine Bluff 7:00 PM
Houston
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Milligan 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
USC Upstate 7:00 PM
Memphis
Alcorn State 7:00 PM
Murray State
Central Mich 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Georgia State 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
Saint Louis
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
SMU
Texas State 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
SC State 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Chicago State 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Northern Colorado 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Winthrop 8:00 PM
Auburn
New Mexico St 8:00 PM
Baylor
San Diego St 8:00 PM
Cincinnati
Eastern Mich 8:00 PM
Michigan State
Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM
Stanford
Incarnate Word 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Northeastern 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Central Arkansas 9:00 PM
New Mexico
Howard 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Portland 9:30 PM
UNLV
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Oregon
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Washington
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 34 2nd Half 10:37
Chattanooga 44
Florida A&M 21 1st Half 2:26
Southern U 32
Oklahoma 25 1st Half 4:59
(13) Duke 31
Savannah State 15 1st Half 4:42
Auburn 27
Arkansas State 6:00 PM
Kent State
Northern Colorado 0 1st Half 20:00
South Florida 0
Youngstown St 0 1st Half 15:52
Robert Morris 12
Siena 14 1st Half 12:33
Sacred Heart 9
Vermont 8 1st Half 14:15
St Francis-NY 9
(1) South Carolina 11 1st Half 14:41
Hampton 8
Fla Gulf Coast 2 1st Half 19:43
Bethune-Cookman 0
Texas Southern 2 1st Half 18:07
Houston Baptist 3
Northwestern 9 1st Half 15:00
UNLV 11
NC A&T 0 1st Half 20:00
Appalachian St 0
NC Central 0 1st Half 20:00
Coastal Carolina 0
Drexel 8 1st Half 13:35
Quinnipiac 12
Cincinnati 0 1st Half 20:00
Northern Ky 0
Alabama State 0 1st Half 17:12
Georgia Tech 2
Morehead St 10 1st Half 13:46
USC Upstate 9
American Univ 5 1st Half 15:54
Manhattan 9
UNC Greensboro 11 1st Half 13:34
St Bonaventure 11
Arkansas-Monticello 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Prairie View 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
McNeese State 7:00 PM
(3) Texas
Yale 7:00 PM
Wagner
Oakland 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Eastern Kentucky 7:00 PM
Alabama A&M
SIU-Edwardsville 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
McMurry 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Portland 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
North Texas 9:00 PM
San Francisco
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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