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.


Halftime report: Bengals 28, Vikings 7

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings Updated: December 22, 2013 - 1:35 PM

The Bengals have 28-7 halftime lead over the Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium. Linebacker Audie Cole (leg) is questionable to return.

The good: Greg Jennings hasn’t been the only wide receiver to benefit from quarterback Matt Cassel. Second-year wideout Jarius Wright scored on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Cassel in the first quarter to produce the only scoring drive for the Vikings.

It’s Wright’s third touchdown catch this season. It’s his only reception in the game however. He’s had four or more receptions in two of the last three games entering this contest.

Linebacker Erin Henderson has also played well, particularly fitting the run, filling in at middle linebacker for Cole. Henderson has a game-high seven tackles.

The bad: Cassel, on the other hand, has been anything but good. He has three turnovers in the first half. He fumbled on the opening drive that resulted in a four-yard touchdown run by Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Cassel also threw an interception to linebacker Vincent Rey returned 25 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Cassel is 5 of 14 for 52 yards, with 36 yards coming on Wright’s touchdown catch.

The Vikings have just three first downs. The Bengals have scored four touchdowns.

The ugly: Back from a knee injury that held him out last week, cornerback Chris Cook didn’t even start. Rather, Frazier went with Shaun Prater, who was injured his ankle and forced the Vikings to use Cook.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has picked on Cook since Prater’s injury and connected with wide receiver A.J. Green for a 29-yard touchdown. Cook beat on Green first move off the line of scrimmage to create separation for Green.

Prater did return in the second quarter, which has limited Cook's snaps once again.

Dalton is 14 of 24 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Green has two catches for 46 yards. 

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NY Mets 4 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Minnesota 2
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Washington 1
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 4
NY Yankees 10 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 0 Cancelled
Baltimore 0
Detroit 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Chicago WSox 3 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 6
Texas 6 FINAL
Oakland 7
Cleveland 2 FINAL
Arizona 3
Arizona 7 FINAL
LA Angels 2
Miami 0 Cancelled
Houston 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 5
San Francisco 8 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 5 Bottom 7th Inning
San Diego 4
Milwaukee 8 Bottom 9th Inning
Cincinnati 5
Detroit 111 FINAL
Orlando 97
LA Clippers 119 FINAL
Philadelphia 98
Charlotte 107 FINAL
Washington 110
Boston 96 FINAL
New York 92
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Brooklyn 106
LA Lakers 83 FINAL
Toronto 94
Miami 86 FINAL
Atlanta 99
Golden State 107 FINAL
Memphis 84
Sacramento 88 FINAL
New Orleans 102
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Houston 120
Dallas 76 FINAL
San Antonio 94
Utah 91 FINAL
Denver 107
Portland 87 FINAL
Phoenix 81
Calgary 2 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 5 FINAL
Chicago 2
Dallas 0 FINAL
Edmonton 4
UCLA 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 74
NC State 65 FINAL
Louisville 75
Utah 57 FINAL
Duke 63
Kent State 73 FINAL
Northern Ariz 74
Michigan State 62 FINAL
Oklahoma 58
(15) North Carolina 65 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 67
(18) Iowa 66 FINAL
(5) Baylor 81
(9) Arizona State 65 FINAL
(7) Florida State 66
(14) Stanford 60 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 81
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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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