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.


Go Figure: Blair Walsh to the Pro Bowl? Vikings to the playoffs?

Posted by: under Vikings, Bears, Lions, NFC, Packers, Vikings defense, Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, Percy Harvin Updated: November 13, 2012 - 8:19 AM

As the Vikings take Week 11 off for their bye, here’s a look at a handful of eye-opening figures and facts.

23

Field goals made, in 24 attempts, by Blair Walsh. The rookie kicker, who was drafted in the sixth round in April, is on pace to make 37 field goals, which would break Gary Anderson’s single-season team record of 35 set in 1998. Walsh’s 95.8 percent accuracy, if it continues, would also mark just the second time a Vikings kicker made at least 95 percent of his field goal attempts for a season. (Yes, you may recall that Anderson made all of his regular-season kicks in ’98.) Walsh has already set the team record for touchbacks in a season. He notched his 41st touchback of the year in the fourth quarter Sunday, breaking Mitch Berger’s mark of 40 set in 1998.

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6

Victories by the Vikings so far this season, the most at their bye week since a 7-1 start in 2009. The Vikings were 2-6 at the bye last season and 1-2 with an early bye in 2010. Now, they’re staying alive in the hunt for an NFC wild card.

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8

NFC teams with records at .500 or above right now. The division leaders are Atlanta (8-1), Chicago (7-2), San Francisco (6-2-1) and New York (6-4). That puts the Vikings smack dab in the middle of a wild card chase with Green Bay (6-3), Seattle (6-4) and Tampa Bay (5-4). New Orleans, Dallas and Detroit – all 4-5 – could sneak back into the picture with a well-timed hot streak.

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24-11-1

Combined record of the Vikings’ remaining four opponents. They will play the Bears (7-2) and Packers (6-3) twice each and also have road trips to play the Rams (3-5-1) and Texans (8-1).

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629

Rushing yards for running back Adrian Peterson in his past four games. So is this the hottest four-game stretch Peterson has ever had in his career? Only once before Peterson has rushed for at least 100 yards in four consecutive games (Weeks 6-10 in 2008). Peterson’s highest rushing yardage total in a four-game stretch is 653, accumulated between Oct. 14 and Nov. 4 of his rookie season in 2007. That included his NFL-record 296-yard eruption against the Chargers.

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114.2

Christian Ponder’s quarterback rating in the Vikings’ 34-24 win over Detroit. Ponder was 24-for-32 for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He has had a rating above 100 three times this season – against Jacksonville, Indianapolis and now Detroit. His rating has dropped below 75 four times – at Detroit and also versus Arizona, Tampa Bay and Seattle.

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2,027

Passing yards for Ponder in his 10 starts this season. He has a completion percentage of 65.2 and has thrown 12 touchdown passes compared with eight interceptions while taking 24 sacks. Last season? In 10 starts as a rookie, Ponder threw for 1,754 yards with a .544 completion percentage, 13 TDs, 13 picks and 30 sacks.

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5

Interceptions by the Vikings defense this season after Chad Greenway picked off a Matthew Stafford pass in the first quarter Sunday. The Vikings settled for a field goal after Greenway’s interception gave them possession at the Lions 25. For the season, they have turned those five picks into only 16 points. Only the Cowboys’ and Colts’ defenses have fewer interceptions this season, each with four. Four other teams have five picks. Last season, the Vikings posted just eight interceptions all year.

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16

Games missed by Vikings starters this season. Receiver Percy Harvin missed his first game since 2010 on Sunday with a sprained left ankle. Nose tackle Letroy Guion was also sidelined against Detroit with a turf toe problem. But the Vikings have remained relatively healthy all season. Here’s the full docket of missed time by starters: safety Mistral Raymond (six games); receiver Jerome Simpson (four), cornerback Chris Cook (two but now on injured reserve); linebacker Erin Henderson (two), Harvin (one), Guion (one).

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Toronto - LP: A. Loup 4 FINAL
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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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