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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Notes: Adrian Peterson looking to build on Sunday's rushing explosion

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings offense, Vikings players, Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison, Leslie Frazier Updated: October 23, 2012 - 2:56 PM

 Coming through

After last Friday’s practice, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier went up to running back Adrian Peterson and asked him if he was feeling good. The Vikings had seen some things they thought they could get done with the running game against Arizona and Peterson would be a key.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, I’d be ready to roll,’ ‘’ Peterson said Tuesday. “I thought I had more carries than 23. Kinda felt like it. But it was good we were able to come out and do that.”

Peterson gained a season-high 153 yards on those 23 carries, scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. Peterson provided the bulk of the Vikings' offense on a day when quarterback Christian Ponder was a bit off the mark.

“We were able to establish the offensive line – those guys played awesome,” Peterson said. “And we were able to pound ‘em, take advantage of them in the run game.”

Of course, after the game, Peterson said he still wasn’t 100 percent back from knee surgery, in that he felt he still had room to improve as an explosive runner.

Actually, to be honest, Peterson said he’s kind of tired of being asked if he was 100 percent.

“Like I said, I’ll tell you when I feel like I’m at that mark where I envision myself being,” he said. “I feel like I want to say I’m there [to stop the questions]. But that would be a lie.”

The good news is Peterson's knee is improving and so is his sore ankle; Peterson said it felt better Monday morning than it had a week before. Peterson sat out Tuesday's practice, the Vikings' only one this week.

But back to that 153-yard rushing effort. “I was pumped for that game,” he said.  “I said after we lost in Washington that I felt I didn’t have my best game. And so it was something that I was looking forward to, getting back rolling. We were able to do that running the ball.”

No complaints here

Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson was on the field for 39 snaps Sunday against Arizona. He caught one pass and drew a key pass interference penalty. Other than that, Ponder didn’t throw his way.

And he’s OK with that.

“We just had a good game plan,” Simpson said. “Adrian had a very good game, we just wanted to block well for him, win the game. If it’s Adrian’s night, us receivers will block as best we can. … As long as we’re winning, everything is good.”

Winning will cure just about everything. Simpson was vocal in recent weeks concerning the tightness in his leg, which the team said was connected to a back issue. After being inactive for the Washington game he expressed his frustration. But, again, winning can change that.

Simpson defended the play of Ponder, expressed confidence in the coaches. Oh, and he reiterated that he’s feeling 100 percent healthy.

“As long as we’re winning, we want to make plays for each other,” he said. “This is a very unselfish team. We just want to win and have fun with each other.”

A good first impression

In the wake of rookie safety Harrison Smith’s first career interception, which turned into his first career TD, linebacker Erin Henderson said he wasn’t surprised by Smith’s play this season, and told a story to illustrate why.

Seems the two first met during OTAs in the off-season. One day the two of them were in the sauna when Henderson made a demand. “ We were sitting in the hotbox one day and I told him to hit a freestyle for me. Rookie had just come in, I wanted some entertainment.’’

Harrison refused.

“Part of you gets (upset),” Henderson continued. “He isn’t going to do what you asked him to do? But then there is another side of it, where you think, ‘I like that, you can stand up for yourself.’ He was going to be the guy he knows how to be. And I think you see that coming out on the football field as well. He goes out and lets his swag be his swag and goes about business the way he does.”


--Brian Robison on his career-best three sacks on Sunday: “I hope it’s a game you look back on and say it wasn’t my best game. I want to keep getting better each week."

--Peterson when asked if he was surprised the Vikings were 5-2: “I felt we would be undefeated, to be honest with you. No joke.’’


Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
Washington 5
Boston 8 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 8
Toronto 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Baltimore 5
Oklahoma City 50 3rd Qtr
Chicago 48
Dallas 9:30 PM
Calgary 3 3rd Prd 6:30
Boston 3
St. Louis 1 3rd Prd 5:50
Philadelphia 2
Minnesota 1 3rd Prd 9:26
Washington 1
Toronto 1 3rd Prd
Tampa Bay 2
Dallas 2 3rd Prd
Florida 3
NY Islanders 2 2nd Prd 10:05
Nashville 1
Vancouver 0 1st Prd 15:18
Arizona 0
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 77 1st OT 1:01
Bucknell 84
Western Ky 81 1st OT 2:10
Charlotte 77
Navy 62 FINAL
Colgate 72
Temple 70 FINAL
East Carolina 56
Fla Atlantic 62
Boston Univ 64 FINAL
Lafayette 89
American Univ 68 FINAL
Lehigh 62
Wisconsin 76 FINAL
Minnesota 63
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Saint Peters 63
Arkansas 78 FINAL
South Carolina 74
Morehead State 76 FINAL
UT Martin 65
USC Upstate 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 62
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
North Florida 71
Southern Ill 55 FINAL
Missouri State 48
Texas State 54 2nd Half 3:52
Appalachian St 57
SC State 46 2nd Half 15:20
Bethune-Cookman 48
Delaware State 73 2nd Half 6:32
Coppin State 67
Middle Tennessee 54 FINAL
FIU 59
Texas-Arlington 58 2nd Half 2:56
Ga Southern 66
Norfolk State 53 2nd Half 11:54
Hampton 49
NC A&T 41 2nd Half 10:50
NC Central 52
Savannah State 28 2nd Half
Florida A&M 23
Southern Miss 31 2nd Half 15:50
Louisiana Tech 35
Marshall 33 2nd Half 14:59
Old Dominion 39
Rice 53 2nd Half 11:33
TX-San Antonio 48
South Alabama 39 1st Half 1:38
Arkansas State 29
Alabama State 14 1st Half 13:30
Grambling St 4
Alabama A&M 9 1st Half 9:00
Jackson State 21
Sam Houston St 7 1st Half 11:50
Lamar 7
Georgia State 26 2nd Half
ULM 29
Central Arkansas 24 1st Half 1:25
Nicholls 37
Portland State 23 2nd Half
Northern Ariz 22
Southern U 0 1st Half 20:00
Prairie View 0
Alcorn State 17 1st Half 9:50
Texas Southern 20
Houston Baptist 29 1st Half 0:05
TX A&M-CC 46
Ark-Little Rock 20 1st Half 4:34
Louisiana 24
SE Louisiana 9 1st Half 14:29
New Orleans 12
California 7 1st Half 16:03
Arizona 10
Memphis 14 1st Half 12:13
Connecticut 4
VA Commonwealth 0 1st Half 17:48
Davidson 5
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Sacramento St 0 1st Half 20:00
Southern Utah 0
Northwestern St 6 1st Half 13:50
Stephen F Austin 11
North Texas 6 1st Half 14:25
Texas-El Paso 10
Colorado 9 1st Half 11:41
Washington 4
Idaho 8 1st Half 13:04
Weber State 13
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 18 1st Half 12:17
Idaho State 17
Marist 8:20 PM
Eastern Ill 8:25 PM
Bradley 8:35 PM
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
Florida Atlantic 56 FINAL
UAB 59
NC Central 46
Savannah State 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 51
Virginia Tech 51 FINAL
Pittsburgh 45
Central Arkansas 43 FINAL
Nicholls 53
Houston Baptist 48 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 73
Gardner-Webb 70 FINAL
Radford 56
Georgia 75 FINAL
Missouri 64
Old Dominion 67 FINAL
Marshall 55
Ark-Little Rock 68 FINAL
Louisiana 66
South Alabama 60 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Georgia State 66 FINAL
ULM 61
Sam Houston St 73 FINAL
Lamar 92
SE Louisiana 75 FINAL
New Orleans 84
Northwestern St 45 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 56
Alabama A&M 58 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Alabama State 68 FINAL
Grambling 62
Southern U 78 FINAL
Prairie View 50
Alcorn State 55 FINAL
Texas Southern 73
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 54 FINAL
Mercer 75
Abilene Christian 72 FINAL
Incarnate Word 62
La Salle 60 FINAL
Rhode Island 65
Illinois 71 FINAL
Nebraska 86
TX-San Antonio 60 FINAL
Rice 49
Valparaiso 55 FINAL
Oakland 70
Missouri State 65 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Georgia Tech 27 2nd Half
(15) North Carolina 37
Presbyterian 33 2nd Half
High Point 31
Charlotte 42 2nd Half 15:39
Western Ky 52
Texas-El Paso 39 2nd Half 14:30
North Texas 38
Wichita State 57 2nd Half 12:04
Evansville 38
Loyola-Chicago 43 2nd Half 14:13
Northern Iowa 35
Bradley 37 2nd Half 13:26
Drake 55
Vanderbilt 20 1st Half 3:01
(12) Kentucky 22
Middle Tennessee 79
Colorado 6 1st Half 17:36
San Francisco 5 1st Half 15:48
Pacific 8
Idaho State 0 1st Half 17:47
Eastern Washington 4
Weber State 2 1st Half 16:39
Idaho 5
Purdue 8:25 PM
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
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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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