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.


Farwell's journey: From Vikings practice squad to Super Bowl XLVIII

Posted by: Mark Craig under Super Bowl Updated: January 29, 2014 - 1:04 PM

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Let's just say that Heath Farwell didn't set the bar for his career quite as high as Super Bowl XLVIII.

"Going undrafted by the Vikings in 2005, just to make the practice squad as a rookie coming out of Mankato was a dream come true," said Farwell, the Seahawks' special teams leader. "I remember thinking, `What an unbelievable accomplishment that was."

Five weeks into his rookie season, Farwell was being considered for a promotion from the Vikings' practice squad.

"We had some injuries and some of the older guys, [linebackers] Sam Cowart and Keith Newman, were guys who kind of went into coach [Mike] Tice's office and said, `We should activate this kid. He can help us on special teams,'" Farwell said today during Seattle's media access period at The Westin hotel in Jersey City. "They did it on a one-week, trial basis. I survived the week and I've been active ever since. It's been an unbelievable ride."

It also reached the top of the football world when the Seahawks beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game two Sundays ago. For Farwell, that win was particularly gratifying because of how the Vikings turned the ball over five times while blowing the NFC title game in overtime at New Orleans during the 2009 season.

"We came so close in '09 and came up so short," Farwell said. "Myself, [quarterback] Tarvaris Jackson, [receiver] Percy Harvin, [receiver] Sidney Rice, even though he's on injured reserve, and [offensive coordinator] Darrell Bevell were all on that team. So when we beat San Francisco, yeah, I think it was a little extra special for us considering how tough that loss in '09 was. I think we all wondered then if we'd ever get another opportunity and here we are. Living the dream."

Farwell said both the '09 Vikings and '13 Seahawks have some similarities, but a lot of differences.

"On that team in 2009, there was a lot of star power, a lot of future Hall of Famers," Farwell said. "This is a younger group here. There are Pro Bowlers here and I'm sure there are future Hall of Famers, too. But we don't have Brett Favre, Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson and some of those guys I played with in Minnesota. It's just a bunch of up and coming superstars who happen to play well together. Top to bottom, the roster is unbelieveable here. The 53rd guy is a heck of a player here."

Farwell isn't sure where he ranks among those 53 players, but he really doesn't care. He's a former Pro Bowl special teamer who is about to play in the Super Bowl.

"I never expected any of this," Farwell said. "I guess that's the beauty of it and why I enjoy it so much. I can't describe how unbelievable this feels."

Farwell also thinks at least one former Viking will have a significant say in what happens against the Broncos on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

"To get Percy on our team is going to pay off, just wait," he said. "He's going to have a heck of a game and make a big impact on the game. I know he's only played two games all year. But Percy with fresh legs in the Super Bowl is going to be scary. Very scary."

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 77 4th Qtr 8:54
Utah 88
Chicago 15 1st Qtr 4:44
Phoenix 12
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 3rd Prd
Colorado 1
Buffalo 1 2nd Prd
Vancouver 1
Chicago 1 2nd Prd
Anaheim 0
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 13 1st Half 0:28
Arizona 24
Kent State 25 2nd Half
Buffalo 45
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 61 2nd Half 2:35
Colorado 58
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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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