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.’’


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 47 3rd Qtr
LA Clippers 50
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
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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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