Weekly three-and-out

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 19, 2012 - 8:02 PM

With the Vikings in the middle of a playoff push, quarterback Christian Ponder found a unique way to use his "Victory Monday." Ponder rolled into Hudson, Wis., popped in at the courthouse and married ESPN reporter Samantha Steele. It was an oddly timed union that has sparked plenty of gossip. Ponder insisted Wednesday that his marriage would not affect his usual preparation. He also said "a lot of personal reasons went into" the strange timing of things. And now that we've got that covered, here are a trio of other things you should know:

1. In an already splendid season, Chad Greenway might have had his most active game yet in St. Louis.

According to NFL stats, Greenway leads the league in tackles with 140. That means he might be on his way to the Pro Bowl for a second consecutive season.

In Sunday's victory over the Rams, Greenway seemed to play with Red Bull in his veins, darting around to record a game-high 14 tackles, including a stop for loss in the second quarter and an 8-yard sack of Sam Bradford in the third.

Oh, he also recovered a fumble.

On the sack, Greenway blitzed, blew up Rams back Daryl Richardson, then quickly engulfed Bradford.

"He was just all over the place," coach Leslie Frazier said.

Greenway's presence has been huge for the defense this season. Frazier points to Greenway's elevated leadership as another symbol of this team's growth.

"He's much more vocal now than in the past," Frazier said. "In the past, he let other people take the lead when it came to encouraging a guy or really chastising a guy for whatever it may be. And he's not reluctant to do that anymore."

2. As Greenway has made leadership strides, defensive lineman Everson Griffen has sparked his growth with a deeper investment in learning the game.

Griffen always has been an athletic freak. It's not often a 273-pound defensive lineman also can double as an impact gunner on punt coverage. And Griffen's rare quickness and agility were on display again Sunday when he dropped into coverage, anticipated Bradford's pass to Lance Kendricks and picked it off. The slick 29-yard return to the end zone was impressive, too.

"Looked smooth," Greenway said. "We talk all the time about how he's up and coming and now starting to make a name for himself in the NFL."

It's been a promising season for Griffen, who has shown heightened dedication to his craft while also continuing to fight through the grief attached to the unexpected October death of his mother.

Said Frazier: "The way he responded, even in the midst of that tragedy, you take your hat off to him with how courageous he is. And I've told him, I know his mother would be extremely proud of him and the way he's handled himself."

Frazier said Griffen has been "a pillar of strength" and was incredibly receptive throughout the offseason in listening to directives on how to study, practice and play like a pro.

"He's one of the guys that, as we speak, has really bought into the right way of doing things," Frazier said.

3. Texans' Andre Johnson continues to post big numbers.

Johnson needs one catch to become the 25th player in league history with 800 receptions. Last week, he became the 28th player to surpass 11,000 receiving yards.

In his 10th season, the 6-3, 230-pound receiver has 93 catches for 1,360 yards and four touchdowns, rebounding splendidly after a nagging hamstring injury cost him nine games in 2011. In addition, a groin strain limited Johnson through the early parts of this year.

Johnson's sustained success has come in big part because of his football savvy and the Texans' ability to move him around to create favorable matchups.

With Arian Foster (1,493 yards from scrimmage this season) presenting a threat out of the backfield, defenses must balance the urge to load the box versus keeping their concentration on Johnson.

Said Vikings safety Mistral Raymond: "You'd like get your hands on him. He's a big guy. But the thing about him is he embraces that kind of game. He's used to seeing it. He's seen it forever. So you have to be cautious in how you attack him."

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San Francisco 3 Top 2nd Inning
Kansas City 0
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 28 2nd Qtr
Miami 18
Indiana 25 2nd Qtr 9:25
Minnesota 28
Utah 22 2nd Qtr 11:51
Oklahoma City 21
Portland 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Golden State
San Jose 3 2nd Prd 2:45
Boston 2
NY Rangers 1 3rd Prd
New Jersey 2
Toronto 5 2nd Prd 1:08
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 0 2nd Prd 15:39
Montreal 0
Arizona 1 1st Prd 4:43
Nashville 1
Carolina 1 1st Prd 7:25
Winnipeg 2
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Chicago
Vancouver 0 1st Prd 19:26
Dallas 0
Florida 8:00 PM
Colorado
Tampa Bay 8:00 PM
Calgary
Arkansas State 9 1st Qtr 4:05
Louisiana 6
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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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 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

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