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.


Jared Allen says high-stakes Vikings-Packers showdown 'as stressful as it gets'

Posted by: under Vikings, Packers, Jared Allen Updated: December 27, 2012 - 1:17 PM

We’re now inside of 75 hours until kickoff of the biggest game of the season.

Vikings-Packers, 3:25 p.m. Sunday at Mall of America Field. After winning a combined nine games in 2010 and 2011, the Vikings’ 9-6 record is one of the bigger surprise stories of 2012. And with a 10th win, a playoff berth would be earned.

So, having such a high-stakes battle at home against the biggest rival has to be as good as it gets, right?

“I wouldn’t say as good as it gets,” defensive end Jared Allen said. “It’s as stressful as it gets. As good as it gets would be to have this thing locked up already and be chilling on the bench. But that’s not the case.”

Allen did at least acknowledge that Sunday’s showdown would be fun with the latest request for full fan participation inside the Metrodome.

“You don’t get much better from a fan’s standpoint than to have Green Bay-Minnesota at home here in the dome,” he said. “And both sides are playing for something. … I expect it to be a battle, to be fun, exciting, loud. We need our fans rocking in there. Don’t sell your tickets to Green Bay fans. Let them watch it on TV.”

Allen also stressed the need for the Vikings to acknowledge the magnitude of Sunday’s game without letting the hype and excitement build too much.

“Sometimes you have to dumb it down in this business and not over-think the situation,” he said. “Everybody knows what’s riding on it. But don’t put that extra pressure on it. Just play this game and say, hey, if we get this game, we’ll worry about the next one when it comes. We’re at that point.”

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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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