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.


Final report: Vikings 36, Rams 22

Posted by: under Vikings, AFC, Packers, Vikings defense, Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison, Kevin Williams Updated: December 16, 2012 - 3:11 PM

Postgame snapshot from the Edward Jones Dome, where the Vikings beat the Rams 36-22.

Good news: The Vikings defense came to play Sunday afternoon. And it started on the first series. A Brian Robison sack was the biggest play on the Rams’ opening possession, forcing a punt that allowed the Vikings to start their first TD drive in Rams territory. The offense responded with a 45-yard march and the Vikings took a quick 7-0 lead. In building a 30-7 halftime advantage, the Vikings defense got sacks from Robison, Christian Ballard and Erin Henderson and takeaways from Kevin Williams and Everson Griffen. Griffen returned his second quarter interception 29 yards for a touchdown. The Vikings finished plus-two in turnover margin. Quarterback Christian Ponder (17-for-24, 131 yards plus a 5-yard TD run) steered clear of costly mistakes. And, oh yeah, that Adrian Peterson kid busted off an 82-yard touchdown run as part of a ho-hum 24-carry, 212-yard day.

Bad news: On a day where so much went right, it’s hard to find much bad news. But the Vikings’ clock management again seemed suspect at the end of the first half. They took over for their final drive with 1:00 left at their own 47 and got four consecutive Ponder completions netting 29 yards. But the final pass of the half was a strange 2-yarder to Jerome Simpson. And with timeouts left, the Vikings probably could have run a few more plays. Instead, they let the clock run down to 0:04, called timeout and let Blair Walsh kick one of his five field goals on the day.

Extra point: With two games left in the regular season, Peterson has 1,812 rushing yards. He needs to average 147 per game in contests against the Texans and Packers to break Eric Dickerson's NFL single-season record of 2,105 yards.

Next up: The Vikings will travel to Houston next weekend. The Texans improved to 12-2 Sunday with a 29-17 home win over the Colts, clinching the AFC South title.

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Pittsburgh - WP: B. Morris 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: S. LeCure 7
Atlanta 0 Postponed
Philadelphia 0
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
NY Yankees 0
Tampa Bay 0 Postponed
Baltimore 0
Cleveland 0 Postponed
Detroit 0
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 11
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Leake 7
Seattle - LP: B. Beavan 0 FINAL
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 5
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Estrada 1
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 1 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 2
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4 FINAL
Houston - LP: L. Harrell 2
Toronto - WP: A. Loup 9 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 3
NY Mets - WP: J. Mejia 9 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. Arroyo 0
Oakland 9 Top 9th Inning
LA Angels 7
Colorado 3 Bottom 8th Inning
San Diego 2
Los Angeles 2 Top 8th Inning
San Francisco 1
New York 109 FINAL
Brooklyn 98
Denver 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 117
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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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