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.


Access Vikings: Packers, Vikings play on Saturday night

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Packers, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier Updated: December 30, 2012 - 9:13 PM

Postgame snapshot from the Mall of America Field, where the Vikings beat the Packers 37-34

Good news: Adrian Peterson promised to give it everything he had Sunday. And Adrian Peterson stayed true to his word. He had 68 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, surpassed 2,000 yards for the season with 11:42 to play in the third quarter and continued to gash the Green Bay defense at every opportunity. Peterson had 199 yards on 34 carries Sunday, finishing the season with 2,097. That’s eight short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season NFL record. But Peterson’s remarkable comeback season deserves all the acclaim it’s gotten and more. And his 37 yards on the Vikings final drive set up Blair Walsh’s winning field goal.

More good news: The Vikings will play football in January thanks to a wild, wild win in a game that was entertaining and bizarre and full of thrills to the final play. With a four-game winning streak to close the regular season, the Vikings snatched the NFC’s final wild card berth, an improbable surge for a team that finished 3-13 a year ago and was figured by most outsiders to be in a rebuilding year back in August.

Extra point: Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier faced one of his more difficult decisions late in the first quarter, a fourth-and-inches situation from the Green Bay 44. With a 10-0 lead, Frazier still took the bold approach, opted not to punt and turned to Adrian Peterson to convert the first down. Peterson delivered with a 6-yard run and the Vikings later finished the drive with a 37-yard field goal from Walsh. It was the latest example of a confident team playing without fear and trusting its playmakers to make plays.

Next up: The Vikings will play a playoff game next weekend. Against the Packers. In Green Bay. Saturday night, 7 p.m. Ch. 11.

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