Mark Craig's Five Extra Points

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 10, 2012 - 12:02 AM

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen took Bears quarterback Jay Cutler down by the ankles for the sack, but Everson Griffen hit him high and was called for unnecessary roughness in the fourth quarter.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


 1. Allen causes huge penalty

Jared Allen didn't have a sack, but he did have one of the most influential plays that helped determine how the first half unfolded. The Vikings were leading 14-0 when the Bears' Jay Cutler completed a 23-yard pass to Brandon Marshall. The ball should have been placed first down at the Vikings 18-yard line, but it wasn't because left tackle J'Marcus Webb was flagged for holding Allen. Instead, the Bears faced a second-and-20 from their 49. They punted two plays later. The Bears were called three times for holding, including two on Webb, one of which was an offsetting penalty. The Vikings had two sacks and put much more pressure on Cutler than they did in Chicago two weeks ago. "Our pressure today was valuable pressure," said Allen (left). "Instead of him running around and making plays like last week, we were able to make him uncomfortable when he scrambled. We made him run on our terms this time."

2. Third-and-7 goal: Mission accomplished

Two weeks ago, the Bears converted 11 of 19 third downs primarily because 14 of those situations were shorter than third-and-6. Sunday, the Bears converted just seven of 17 third-down situations primarily because their average third-down yardage was 7 yards. Both Vikings interceptions came on third downs. But those weren't the only outstanding plays by a defensive back on third down. Midway through the third quarter, Cutler hit Marshall on what could have been a conversion on third-and-8 from the Chicago 37. But cornerback A.J. Jefferson, who had tight coverage most of the game, punched the ball out of Marshall's considerable grip.

3. What's up with the false starts, Mr. Loadholt?

The Vikings have to be a little concerned about right tackle Phil Loadholt and how he'll handle the crowd noise over the next two weeks at St. Louis and Houston. The big fella had not one, not two, but three false starts, unheard of for a home game. Loadholt was flagged on second-and-10 at the Bears 45-yard line in the second quarter. The Vikings punted. Then, on the Vikings' first possession of the third quarter, he was penalized twice in four snaps, including once on third-and-6. The Vikings punted again. "That's on me," Loadholt said. "Just a lack of focus. I'll leave it at that."

4. Jenkins shows life on third down

A week ago, the wide receivers went nearly 57 minutes without a catch in a loss at Lambeau Field. Sunday, receiver Michael Jenkins had a key third-down catch on the fourth snap of the game. "It was exciting to be involved in the game and make some plays," he said of the 11-yard catch on third-and-9 from the Chicago 28. The Vikings scored two plays later. Jenkins finished with four catches for 36 yards. Three of the catches converted third downs. Early in the fourth quarter, he had catches for 8 yards on third-and-7 from the Vikings 4 and 10 yards on third-and-6 at the Vikings 46-yard line. With those conversions, the Vikings were able to use up 4 minutes, 47 seconds before punting at the Chicago 41. "That feels more like the way our offense should be running," Jenkins said. "With the way Adrian [Peterson] is playing, we should be able to make plays down the field in the passing game. To have that balance, it's going to be big for us down the stretch."

5. Hang on to the ball, Christian

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder got away with another careless play inside his own 20-yard line. Kind of. He was 14 yards behind the line of scrimmage and being dragged down by defensive end Corey Wootton when he flung the ball to his left in an attempt to avoid the sack. The officials ruled that his forward progress had been stopped, giving Wootton a sack to the Vikings 17 yard line. The forward progress explanation didn't make sense for a quarterback dropping back in the pocket. Ponder easily could have been called for grounding. It also was unwise to risk a fumble or an interception by letting go of the ball at that point. "When something like that happens, I just have to get rid of the ball and not get negative yards," Ponder said.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
UCF 6:00 PM
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 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 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 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: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question