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.

Sloppy Vikings trail Bucs 20-10 at the half

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Adrian Peterson, Chris Kluwe, Percy Harvin Updated: October 25, 2012 - 9:01 PM

Remember all that stuff we wrote today about the road team having a big disadvantage in Thursday night games?

Well, forget about it.

The Vikings are playing like the road-weary team, helping the Buccaneers to a 20-7 halftime lead with two poor punts by Chris Kluwe and fumbles by Jerome Simpson and Adrian Peterson. Kluwe's worst half in memory, which included a 20-yard shank out of bounds, gave the Bucs the ball at the Tampa Bay 42 and the Vikings' 48-yard line. That was good for a Connor Barth 27-yard field goal and a 1-yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman to fullback Erik Long.

At that point, a really, REALLY obnoxious Vikings fan was standing in front of the press box screaming "HEY MUSGRAVE! THREE-AND-OUT!" 

But sometimes, three-and-out isn't the worst thing that can happen. After three straight three-and-outs and an 0-for-5 passing start for Christian Ponder, Ponder finally completed a 4-yard pass to Simpson. But then Simpson lost it and the Bucs got the ball at their 46. Ten plays later, Barth kicked a 40-yarder for a 13-0 lead.

That's when Percy Harvin, the team's MVP of the first half of the season (and maybe the league's as well) turned some bad football into at least one drive of good football. He caught a bubble screen and went 32 yards. Then he ran under an 18-yard touchdown pass, catching it over his right shoulder.

After a Tampa Bay three-and-out, Peterson lost his first fumble of the season. Tampa Bay got the ball at the Vikings' 37 and rode little (but fast and powerful) rookie running back Doug Martin into the red zone. On third-and-goal from the 3, Freeman hit Mike Williams in the back of the end zone over the smaller cornerback Josh Robinson.

The Vikings closed to within 10 when Blair Walsh kicked a 51-yard field goal with 1:40 left in what was an ugly half for the home team. 

By the way, road teams traveling on a short week the past two seasons are a combined 3-12. The Bucs are poised go against that trend.  



Texas 5 Top 6th Inning
Miami 2
Seattle 2 Top 4th Inning
Philadelphia 1
Toronto 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Milwaukee 0
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler 2:35 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
Atlanta - A. Wood 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - G. Cole
Houston - S. Feldman 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Arizona - T. Cahill 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Roark
LA Angels - G. Richards 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Detroit - R. Porcello 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cincinnati - J. Cueto 6:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Francisco - J. Peavy 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson
Baltimore - W. Chen 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Cleveland - T. House 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
Kansas City - D. Duffy 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Diego - E. Stults 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Pittsburgh 8/21/14 6:30 PM
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Los Angeles 8:00 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



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 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




question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question