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' offense showing little life in first half in Atlanta

Posted by: under Vikings, Adrian Peterson, Tyrell Johnson Updated: November 27, 2011 - 1:31 PM

The box score is a horror story for the Vikings right now. At halftime, they trail the Atlanta Falcons 17-0 at the Georgia Dome. And if you're looking for a statistical summary of the Falcons' domination, take your pick.

Atlanta holds a 207-97 advantage in total yards, a 15-5 edge in first downs and has held the ball for 19:36.

Still, perhaps the most telling sign of the Vikings' struggles this afternoon: they've had five possessions and cross into Atlanta territory for the first time with 8 seconds left in the second quarter. Christian Ponder is 10-for-12 for 81 yards but 58 of those yards came in the final minute. Toby Gerhart, starting in place of the injured Adrian Peterson, has eight carries for 23 yards and has been stopped for no gain four times.

On their first four series, the Vikings averaged four plays and eight net yards. Now facing a 17-point deficit, it's hard to imagine there's anywhere enough ammunition to spark a comeback. Especially with the injuries adding up in the secondary. In the second quarter, Asher Allen left the game with a shoulder injury. Tyrell Johnson pulled up with a hamstring injury shortly after. Atlanta's Matt Ryan has taken full advantage, completing 14 of 18 passes for 151 yards with touchdown strikes to Harry Douglas and Roddy White.

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