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.


Allen headed back to Pro Bowl

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier Updated: December 27, 2011 - 6:31 PM

This season's Pro Bowl invitations are currently being handed out on the NFL Network. And not surprisingly, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen will be headed to Honolulu next month. This will be Allen’s fourth Pro Bowl trip, a fitting reward for a star who has 18.5 sacks this season and is now just 2.5 sacks away from tying Chris Doleman’s single-season team record of 21.

In addition to his impressive sack total, Allen has added 36 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and an interception. He has been consistent all season and has emerged as a reliable locker room leader as well. 

"It's been good, especially over the last couple of years as he has matured as a person -- not only being a very good athlete but he's become such a positive leader for us of late," coach Leslie Frazier said two weeks ago. "That helps me as a coach, in the locker room and on the field. So I've enjoyed watching him grow up and become the man that he is now along with being a great player. It's fun to watch him play. ... He wants to do the right thing to help us win. The passion he plays with and the fact that he wants to win so bad, as a coach you gotta love it."

The Pro Bowl trip is further validation of Allen's superb effort this season.

“This feels amazing,” Allen said. “This is obviously a high honor to be considered a Pro Bowler amongst my peers. And to be voted in, on an individual level, that’s what we play for – to be recognized by our peers. So it’s a phenomenal honor.”

Allen said his attitude and approach to the game changed some this season.

"I've just tried to go out there and have fun and honestly play as hard as I can," Allen said. "It's almost cliche. But I've tried to give 110 percent and just stay focused on the positives in my life instead of the losing season."

Here's a complete look at the Pro Bowl rosters.


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St. Louis 3 Top 6th Inning
Washington 1
Toronto 3 Top 6th Inning
Cleveland 0
LA Angels 1 Top 4th Inning
Detroit 3
Baltimore 1 Top 4th Inning
Boston 1
Minnesota 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Kansas City 0
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - W. Rodriguez
Atlanta - E. Santana 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
NY Yankees - I. Nova 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Seattle - R. Elias 6:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Chicago WSox - J. Quintana 7:05 PM
Texas - C. Lewis
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Arizona - M. Bolsinger 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
San Francisco - T. Hudson 7:40 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Brooklyn 59 3rd Qtr 4:34
Toronto 53
Golden State 2:30 PM
LA Clippers
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Indiana
Memphis 8:30 PM
Oklahoma City
Chicago 2:00 PM
St. Louis
Columbus 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Colorado
Houston 3:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 3:00 PM
Chicago
San Jose 5:00 PM
Colorado
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Vancouver FC
D.C. 6:30 PM
Columbus
Toronto FC 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Montreal 7:30 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Portland 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Seattle 9:30 PM
Chivas USA
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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