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.


Jared Allen on strong defensive surge: 'We've kept it simple'

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings defense, Jared Allen Updated: October 4, 2012 - 12:40 PM

Defensive end Jared Allen insists the Vikings’ defensive surge the past two-and-a-half games hasn’t required a complicated formula. Since giving up a 30-yard Andrew Luck touchdown pass with 7 seconds left before halftime in Week 2, the Vikings defense has been on the field for 27 possessions yet has allowed just two touchdowns and 32 points.

“Honestly, I think we’ve just kept it simple,” Allen said Thursday. “We’ve just been playing forward football and physical football. We’re really harping on the basics and the fundamentals of what we do and just creating that identity. Nothing special, nothing spectacular. But just playing solid, fundamental football.”

The defensive balance has been impressive with significant contributions coming from the defensive line, the linebackers and the secondary.

“Guys are playing well right now,” Allen said. “And the young guys are starting to play well. That gives everybody confidence and as that grows, you can start doing more things.

“But when you can line up with your front seven and you can stop the run and get after the quarterback like we did against Detroit, that helps out a lot. You can do more things on the back end coverage-wise.”

Other highlights

  • Allen strained a groin late in Sunday’s win at Detroit and was did not participate during Wednesday’s practice. He may be held out again today as a precaution. But the Vikings’ Pro Bowler said he’s feeling better. Against San Francisco in Week 3, Allen was hindered by neck spasms, which lingered a bit into last week. “I’ve never been in the training room this much in my entire career,” he said.
  • Here’s what Allen had to say about Titans running back Chris Johnson: “He’s explosive. And with any good back you face, you have to stop them before they start. You can’t let him get into space and think you’re going to tackle him. We need to hit him in the backfield. We need to bottle him up. And if you do that, then you can shut him down. But other than that, he has the ability to hit that edge and turn the corner and be gone. So it’s something we have to be really conscious of.”
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Atlanta 0 Top 3rd Inning
Philadelphia 0
Cleveland 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Detroit 0
Toronto 0 Top 2nd Inning
Minnesota 0
Seattle - E. Ramirez 1:05 PM
Texas - T. Scheppers
Los Angeles - H. Ryu 2:45 PM
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner
Colorado - F. Morales 5:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Jordan
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
NY Yankees - C. Sabathia 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - D. Price
Toronto - D. McGowan 6:10 PM
Minnesota - M. Pelfrey
Boston - J. Lester 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Sale
Kansas City - J. Shields 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Colorado
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
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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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