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.


Ponder missed a wide open Peterson on second TD toss

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier Updated: September 24, 2012 - 3:36 PM
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder realizes he probably had an easier throw to make than the 2-yard touchdown pass he lobbed to Kyle Rudolph early in the fourth quarter Sunday. Running back Adrian Peterson was uncovered and wide open from the snap. That was apparent to everyone watching on TV and inside the Metrodome but Ponder didn’t notice Peterson until looking back at the film.
 
“There was no one there; it was unbelievable,” Ponder said Monday afternoon. “I mean, they completely dropped coverage. I wish I knew when they’d drop coverage like that.”
 
Peterson apparently didn’t say anything to Ponder after the play.
 
“But you could see him waving his arms on the film,” Ponder said. “I think if we wouldn’t have completed that pass, he probably would have been a little upset.”
 
Ponder provided plenty to build on during Sunday’s 24-13 upset of San Francisco. He finished the day 21-for-35 for 198 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 33 yards and a score.
 
Lane control
 
One of the few blemishes on Sunday’s win was the Vikings’ kickoff coverage in the second half with San Francisco’s Kyle Williams opening the second half with a 94-yard return down to the Minnesota 14. Williams later added a 50-yard return. That was a rare lapse for a kickoff unit that in Weeks 1 and 2 hadn’t allowed a return past the 25.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier diagnosed the breakdown Monday.
 
“We didn’t stay in our lanes,” he said. “We had some guys who were not where they should have been. They didn’t take on blocks the way they needed to take on blocks. It cost us and it is something that we have to get fixed. I’m sure when our next opponent looks at the tape, they’re going to come, probably their first return of the game is going to be that same return. So we will have to make sure we are where we are supposed to be and that we are separating from blocks. We didn’t do a good job of that on both of those long returns.”
 
Mind over matter
 
Frazier reiterated Monday just how adamant the coaching staff and the Vikings veterans were last week in calling for the team to be more aggressive and physical. The heightened intensity certainly paid dividends.
 
Said Frazier: “We’ve got to keep emphasizing that that’s the style that we want to play. I think our guys bought into that and now I think we have to keep emphasizing that as a staff and they’ve got to believe in it and feel like they don’t have to play any different way just because someone has success doing it this way or that way. This is how we are successful. I think this will go a long way in helping our guys believe this is the way we have to play.”

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San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 7
San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
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Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
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Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
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Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 86 FINAL
LA Lakers 94
Phoenix 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 108
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
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(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
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Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
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(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
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(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
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Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
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Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
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Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
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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 Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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