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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Look no further than second-half third downs

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Adrian Peterson Updated: September 19, 2011 - 7:18 AM

There are numerous numbers that can be used to illustrate just how poorly the Vikings are playing in the second half.

Here's the No. 1 number in my book (other than point differential of 41-3, of course):

Third-down conversions: Vikings 1-for-9 (11.1 percent); Opponents 8-for-12 (66.7).

In 60 minutes of second-half football, the Vikings' offense has converted one first down. One. It was 0-for-4 in Sunday's 24-20 loss to Tampa. The Bucs were 5-for-6.

Meanwhile, it's also fairly obvious that teams are making adjustments throughout the game to stop Adrian Peterson from gashing them. Here's Peterson's numbers, broken down by quarters:

First quarter: 15 carries, 66 yards (4.4), one TD.

Second quarter: 9 carries, 91 yards (10.1), one TD.

Third quarter: 8 carries, 28 yards (3.5).

Fourth quarter: 9 carries, 33 yards (3.7).



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