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.


Final gun report: Vikings 30, Titans 7

Posted by: under On the road, Vikings, NFC, Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Percy Harvin Updated: October 7, 2012 - 6:31 PM

Postgame snapshot from Mall of America Field where the Vikings beat the Titans 30-7.

Good news: The Vikings stayed perfect at Mall of America Field and improved to 4-1. For the third consecutive week, the Vikings never trailed either. In fact, they were never really threatened by a bad Tennessee team. The defense continued to prove itself as one of the NFC’s best. Titans running back Chris Johnson (15 carries, 24 yards) was bottled up all day. The Vikings also created two takeaways and only allowed 267 total yards and 18 first downs -- much of that coming in the fourth quarter when the game was already in hand. Percy Harvin, meanwhile, continued his explosive 2012 season. Harvin had eight catches for 108 yards and scored both offensive touchdowns, including a 10-yard TD grab in the third quarter in which he made two ridiculous cuts past a pair of Tennessee defenders and bounced into the end zone.

Bad news: Rookie safety Harrison Smith was ejected early in the second quarter after he shoved an official. Smith’s ejection came right after Antoine Winfield intercepted a Matt Hasselbeck pass and returned it to the Tennessee 28. A little skirmish broke out after the play and as an official tried to remove Smith from that chaos, the Vikings safety shoved him aside. Smith was having a nice game up to that point. He had a huge hit on Titans rookie Kendall Wright for a big third down stop in the first quarter and also recovered a Chris Johnson fumble. Smith will face a hefty fine from the NFL. It remains to be seen if he’ll face a suspension.

Extra point: Adrian Peterson had his two longest runs of the season, a 22-yard burst in the second quarter and a 34-yarder on the first play of the second half. Peterson finished the day with 88 yards on 17 carries.

Next up: The Vikings will be on the road in Week 6, facing the Redskins next Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field. Washington lost 24-17 this afternoon to Atlanta with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III knocked out of the game with a concussion. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 33-26 on their last visit to Washington on Christmas Eve last year. Both Adrian Peterson (torn ACL) and Christian Ponder (concussion) were knocked out of that game in the third quarter.

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Miami - LP: M. Dunn 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 3
Arizona - WP: T. Cahill 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 5
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bettis 10
Texas - WP: M. Perez 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 0
Houston - LP: J. Fields 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: F. Rodney 5
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton 2
LA Angels - LP: E. Frieri 4 FINAL
Washington - WP: D. Storen 5
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 3 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 5
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 10 FINAL
Toronto - LP: T. Redmond 8
Chicago WSox - WP: A. Rienzo 6 FINAL
Detroit - LP: E. Reed 4
St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 3
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke 4
NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 1 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Lackey 5
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 5
Charlotte 97 FINAL
Miami 101
Dallas 113 FINAL
San Antonio 92
Portland 112 FINAL
Houston 105
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Dallas 4
St. Louis 3 FINAL(OT)
Chicago 4
Houston 0 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
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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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