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Continued: Vikings' areas of concern and of strength

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  • Last update: December 28, 2013 - 8:58 PM

1. RECEIVERS

Greg Jennings has a long-term deal. Although his numbers weren’t great, he probably suffered more than anyone from the inconsistency at quarterback. Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson (right) was everything he was expected to be once he assumed a larger role in the offense. Free agent Jerome Simpson had a decent season and could be re-signed, and Jarius Wright was a dependable No. 4. Tight end Kyle Rudolph was a Pro Bowl player in 2012 but suffered a broken foot this year. He appears set at that position for years to come.

2. PETERSON

When healthy, he’s still one of the most dynamic players in the NFL. Peterson is ultracompetitive and always sets high goals for himself. Given the way this season unfolded, it’s safe to assume he will return as motivated as ever in 2014.

3. SPECIALISTS

Blair Walsh continued to be among the league’s top kickers, though the Vikings need rookie punter Jeff Locke to show more consistency. Patterson was the NFL’s top kickoff return man (33.5 yards per return) and needs only 4 yards in the finale to break the team’s single-season record for kickoff return yards. Marcus Sherels ranks second in the NFL in punt return average (13.6).

4. SALARY CAP SPACE

The Vikings likely will be active in free agency. Profootballtalk.com reported that the Vikings will have around $27 million in salary cap space in 2014, fifth most among NFL teams. The cap is not set until shortly before free agency, but it is expected to be around $122 million, basically the same as 2013. The cap is adjusted per team based on how much they were under the previous season. The Vikings have around $98 million in salary commitments for 2014.

CHIP SCOGGINS and CHRIS MILLER

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  • Vikings running back Adrian Peterson ran for 19 yards on 4th and 1 in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Matt Cassel watched as Peterson passed 10,000 rushing yards for his career. ] MCKENNA EWEN mckenna.ewen@startribune.com Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears — Mall of America Field in Minneapolis, Minn. — 12/01/2013

  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) scored on a 33 yard pitch and catch in the second quarter during NFL action between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field Sunday December 01, 2013 in Minneapolis, MN . ] JERRY HOLT ‘Ä¢ jerry.holt@startribune.com

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Toronto - LP: A. Loup 4 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: J. Outman 6
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
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Atlanta - LP: G. Schlosser 3 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Valverde 4
Seattle - LP: T. Wilhelmsen 2 FINAL
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Pittsburgh - LP: J. Gomez 2
NY Yankees - WP: P. Claiborne 5 FINAL
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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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