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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Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
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Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
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Ohio 66 FINAL
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TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
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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 NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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