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: Bears shaky o-line presents golden opportunity for Allen, Vikings

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Bears, NFC, Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin, Tarvaris Jackson, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: November 20, 2012 - 10:56 AM

As the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s Week 12 game with Chicago at Soldier Field, here’s a look at a handful of eye-opening figures and facts.

7

Sacks by the Vikings in their last meeting with Chicago, a 17-13 loss in the 2011 regular season finale. Defensive end Jared Allen had 3.5 sacks in that contest to set a new Vikings record for sacks in a season.

****

6

Sacks allowed by the Bears in Monday night’s lopsided 32-7 loss in San Francisco with 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith recording 5.5 on his own. Quarterback Jason Campbell, starting in place of Jay Cutler, was not only sacked six times but hit on 11 occasions. Chicago has allowed 34 sacks in 10 games, second most in the NFL.

****

21

NFL teams with fewer rushing yards as a whole than Vikings star Adrian Peterson. Peterson has 1,128 rushing yards to lead the league in that category. The Vikings rank third in rushing yards as a team, averaging 150.5 per game. They trail only San Francisco (165.5) and Washington (165.0) in that category.

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10

NFC teams with records of .500 or above at this point in the season. That should make the playoff chase incredibly interesting over the final six weeks. The current division leaders are Atlanta (9-1), San Francisco (7-2-1), Green Bay (7-3) and New York (6-4). If the season ended today, the NFC wild cards would be Chicago (7-3) and Seattle (6-4), based on tiebreaking procedures. Also in the wild card picture right now are Tampa Bay (6-4), the Vikings (6-4), New Orleans (5-5) and Dallas (5-5).

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2

Vikings quarterbacks to win in Chicago in the 21st century. The list is not long. Daunte Culpepper aided a 28-16 win at Soldier Field in 2000, throwing TD passes to Cris Carter, Randy Moss and Matthew Hatchette. Tarvaris Jackson was under center for a 34-31 victory in 2007 with Adrian Peterson (20 carries, 224 yards, three TDs) doing most of the offensive damage. The Vikings are 2-9 in their last 11 trips to Solider Field and also lost 27-23 at Champaign’s Memorial Stadium in 2002. The Bears quarterbacks who presided over those 10 wins: Jim Miller, Rex Grossman, Chad Hutchinson, Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler.

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30

Takeaways by the Chicago defense this season, most in the NFL. Cornerback Tim Jennings has a league-best eight interceptions and Charles Tillman is tops in fumbles forced (seven). The Bears have scored seven touchdowns on defense as well.

**** 

35

Takeaways by the Vikings since the start of the 2011 season. This year, the Vikings have five interceptions and seven fumbles recovered as a team.

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8

Percy Harvin’s NFL rank in catches through 10 games. When Harvin made his last reception, a 9-yarder early in the third quarter of a Nov. 4 game in Seattle, he led the league in that category. But a sprained ankle kept him out of the Vikings’ Week 10 win over Detroit and was followed by a bye week. In that time, seven receivers have leapfrogged past Harvin on the catch list. They are Indianapolis’ Reggie Wayne (76), New England’s Wes Welker (73), Dallas’ Jason Witten (73), Chicago’s Brandon Marshall (69), Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (65), Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez (64) and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green (64).

**** 

7-3

Vikings record after their bye week the last 10 seasons. They have sandwiched the bye week with victories four times in that span: in 2003, ‘04, ’06 and ‘09. Last year coming out of the bye, however, the Vikings were trounced 45-7 at Green Bay.

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25-11

Chicago’s record, including playoffs, in games started by quarterback Jay Cutler the past three seasons. Cutler may not be an MVP candidate but he has at least steadied the Bears offense. Without Cutler as the starter, the Bears are 2-6 with back-ups Todd Collins, Caleb Hanie, Josh McCown and Jason Campbell unable to jumpstart much. Cutler’s status for Sunday’s game with the Vikings is still up in the air as he tries to get past a concussion suffered Nov. 11 against Houston. 

**** 

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New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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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 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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