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 look to end road woes

Posted by: under On the road, Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Vikings offense, Brett Favre, Leslie Frazier, Vikings road games Updated: November 27, 2010 - 9:24 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Leslie Frazier did not hesitate Friday when asked where ending the Vikings' road losing streak ranks on his to-do list entering Sunday's game at Washington.

"Number one," Frazier said, "that is the objective, to go to Washington and get a win for a lot of reasons. That’s the deal. We want to go get a win on the road."

It has been more than a year since that happened. The Vikings last victory away from Mall of America Field occurred on Nov. 1, 2009 when they beat Green Bay 38-26 at Lambeau Field. The Vikings then swept a three-game homestand before losing 30-17 at Arizona on Dec. 6.

That began a streak that has now hit nine games, including the loss to New Orleans in the NFC title game. Star Tribune research -- that would be me -- shows that the Vikings' eight-game regular-season road losing streak is the second longest in the NFL to Detroit's league record 26-game drought.

Frazier, who was named interim coach on Monday, said he doesn't think any adjustments to how the Vikings travel is necessary. His feeling is the change must come on the field.

"The thing I talked to our guys about, some people think, ‘Will we change the time of departure or change the time of meetings or just a bunch of different things you can possibly do?’" Frazier said. "I have emphasized to them, we have to do a better job on the road of protecting the football and taking the ball away.

"If we can do those two things and handle field position with our special teams, we will get this thing turned as a group. That, as much as anything, has been an issue for us, not only on the road, but at home as well, but particularly on the road. If we can get that accomplished it won’t matter what time we leave, what time we arrive, whether we change the meeting times. We are just going to try and execute and play better."

The Vikings offense has struggled for much of this season -- only San Francisco (160) and Carolina (117) have scored fewer points than the Vikings' 172 -- and its 25 turnovers (22 by Brett Favre) is among the most in the NFL. While Washington is a plus-6 in turnover differential, its defense is giving up an NFL-worst 411 yards per game under new coordinator Jim Haslett.

The Redskins, who are 5-5, made the switch to a 3-4 defense this season when Mike Shanahan took over as coach. The Redskins are battling a long list of injuries and will be without safety LaRon Landry on Sunday.

"I know they have given up some yards but they have been pretty good in some areas of defense," Frazier said. "They are pretty good in red zone efficiency. They are pretty good on third down. They are doing some good things. I’m sure they’d like to not let people do some of the big plays in the run game or pass game that have happened. They are doing some positive things. They have some good players on defense. DeAngelo Hall has had some big plays for them. London Fletcher has come up with big plays. Albert Haynesworth can do it. Those numbers can be a little bit deceiving. They are doing a good job in certain areas."
 
 

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