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.


Vikings snap counts: Henderson dressed but didn't play

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings, Bears, Packers, Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison, Chad Greenway, Jared Allen, John Sullivan, Kevin Williams, Phil Loadholt Updated: December 2, 2013 - 8:51 AM

The morning after the Vikings 23-20 overtime win over the Bears, we take a look at the snap distribution on offense and defense

Offense: 86 snaps

Quarterback

QB Matt Cassel – 61 snaps (played 71% on offense)

QB Christian Ponder – 25 (29%)

Ponder left the game due to concussion symptoms right before halftime, but the offense was more effective under Cassel, who’s responsible for all three wins this season.

Cassel went 20 of 33 for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He finished with an 80.7 quarterback rating. Ponder was 3 of 8 for 40 yards.

Running Back/Fullback

RB Adrian Peterson – 78 (91%)

FB Jerome Felton – 38 (44%)

RB Toby Gerhart – 7 (8%)

It took the Vikings five possessions to take advantage of the Bears worst-ranked run defense in the NFL. But once they started, they relied heavily on the shoulders of Peterson, who had 35 carries for 211 yards (both season highs).

Peterson was healthy enough where the team didn’t use Gerhart as much compared to last week against the Packers where Peterson played 65 of the team’s 81 snaps (Gerhart spotted him on 14 plays).

Wide Receiver/Tight End

TE John Carlson – 78 (91%)

WR Greg Jennings – 50 (58%)

WR Cordarrelle Patterson – 48 (56%)

TE Rhett Ellison – 45 (52%)

WR Jerome Simpson – 40 (47%)

WR Jarius Wright – 31 (36%)

TE Chase Ford – 10 (12%)

WR Joe Webb – 5 (6%)

Something about Cassel brings out the best in Jennings. He caught his third touchdown this season, all thrown by Cassel, and led the team with seven receptions for 78 yards. Jennings had just one catch for two yards with Ponder. Carlson also had a solid game with four receptions for 61 yards.

Patterson started over Simpson for the third straight week and received a season-high 48 snaps. He’s had over 40 reps in three straight games, but the rookie finished with one catch for four yards. Patterson did, however, score on a 33-yard run in the second quarter

Offensive Line

G Charlie Johnson – 86 (100%)

C John Sullivan – 86 (100%)

T Phil Loadholt – 86 (100%)

G Brandon Fusco – 86 (100%)

T Matt Kalil – 86 (100%)

As it’s been for most of the season, the starting unit played the entire game against the Bears. Cassel and Ponder were sacked a combined five times in the game (Bears defensive end Julius Peppers had 2.5 sacks), but the Vikings ran for 283 yards.

Defense: 66 snaps

Defensive Line

DE Jared Allen – 58 (88%)

DE Brian Robison – 56 (85%)

DT Kevin Williams – 45 (68%)

DE Everson Griffen – 33 (50%)

NT Letroy Guion – 29 (44%)

NT Fred Evans – 22 (33%)

DT Sharrif Floyd – 21 (32%)

The front line had three of the team’s four sacks (Allen, Robison and Floyd) and hurried Bears quarterback Josh McCown six times.

Guion had five fewer snaps than he did in his return last week against the Packers (34). Evans, who had 17 reps last week, played more as a result.

Linebacker

LB Audie Cole – 66 (100%)

LB Chad Greenway – 64 (97%)

LB Marvin Mitchell – 20 (30%)

LB Larry Dean – 2 (3%)

Although he was suited up on the sideline, linebacker Erin Henderson did not play for a second consecutive game. He missed last week's game due a personal issue, which was revealed Henderson was arrested for an alleged DWI on Nov. 19. 

Cole replaced Henderson last week in his first career start and has played the entire game in consecutive weeks. He had nine tackles and a pass deflection.

Greenway left the game during the overtime session due to a wrist injury he’s played through for over a month, but he only missed two plays. He tied for a team-high 10 tackles, three for loss, and a sack.

Secondary

FS Andrew Sendejo – 66 (100%)

CB Xavier Rhodes – 66 (100%)

SS Jamarca Sanford – 66 (100%)

SS Robert Blanton – 45 (68%)

CB Chris Cook – 43 (65%)

CB Marcus Sherels – 24 (36%)

Rhodes put together another good game with six tackles, one for loss, and a nice pass deflection in the end zone against Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Cook was ejected for making contact with an official after allowing a 46-yard touchdown to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in the third quarter. It left a thin unit to rely on Sherels, who typically plays a spot corner, to play opposite of Rhodes and Blanton as the nickel corner.

Jeffery broke the Bears’ franchise record with 249 receiving yards. He also had 12 receptions and two touchdowns, both against Cook. 

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Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
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