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.


Vikings' offense becoming better ball hogs

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Bears, NFC, Packers Updated: October 10, 2012 - 1:38 PM

If the naked eye isn't good enough, here are some statistics that support the fact the Vikings' offense is getting closer to its desire to be better ball hogs:

Tied for fourth in five-minute drives: The Vikings are tied for fourth in the NFL with nine drives that have lasted five or more minutes. Of those nine drives, four have resulted in a touchdown and eight have ended in points.

Chicago ranks first with 11 five-minute drives. The Bears, however, have scored only two touchdowns on those drives. Eight of them have ended in points.

For the entire 2011 season, the Vikings had 18 five-minute drives. This year's total through five games has them on pace for 29.

Tied for eighth in 10-play drives: The Vikings are tied for eighth in the league with 10 drives that have lasted 10 plays or longer. Four of those 10-play drives have resulted in touchdowns while nine have ended in scores.

The Vikings had 24 10-play drives through all of last season. This year's total so far has them on pace for 32.

New England and New Orleans are tied for first in the league with 14 drives on 10 or more plays.

No. 1 in fewest pre-snap penalties: The Vikings lead the league in fewest pre-snap procedural penalties with one. The Packers are second with two.

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Chicago WSox 6 Top 8th Inning
Detroit 4
Colorado 0 Top 7th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
St. Louis 2 Top 3rd Inning
San Diego 2
Philadelphia - C. Lee 6:05 PM
Washington - G. Gonzalez
LA Angels - T. Skaggs 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Seattle - C. Young 6:05 PM
Cleveland - Z. McAllister
Cincinnati - J. Cueto 6:10 PM
Miami - T. Koehler
Minnesota - K. Correia 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Toronto - D. Hutchison 7:10 PM
Houston - J. Buchanan
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Atlanta - J. Teheran 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
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Atlanta 7:00 PM
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New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
Indiana 9:00 PM
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
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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