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.


Bar to be set higher for Christian Ponder, lower for Adrian Peterson in 2013

Posted by: Updated: May 9, 2013 - 12:08 PM

Need a mid-week, mid-May fix of Vikings analysis? We're here for you.

This morning, the crew from the NFL Network's "NFL AM" show provided an early wake-up call to the Access Vikings Think Tank to look ahead at several key components of the 2013 season.

And after discussing the draft-weekend break that brought defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd to the Twin Cities plus the learning curve that rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson will face, our discussion turned to Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder.

Yes, earlier this week in a piece by Albert Breer on NFL.com, Rick Spielman was quoted as saying that he gives Ponder "just as much credit for getting us into the playoffs as Adrian." And yes, that's a ludicrous off-the-cuff remark that no one will take at face value. (We can assure you that not even Spielman can truly believe the words in that quote. So please stop hyperventilating about what that means.)

But if you want to know about Peterson's pursuit of 2,500 yards in 2013 -- and that's the running back's stated goal -- make sure to watch this video to understand why the Vikings want the bar set much lower than that for Peterson this fall.

As for Ponder? The Vikings will raise the bar for him in his third season as a starter. And we discuss that too within our "NFL AM" back and forth. Have at it. Enjoy. Discuss.

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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 NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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