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.


Percy Harvin has been brilliant since Adrian Peterson went down

Posted by: under Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: December 15, 2011 - 8:38 AM

Two days before the Vikings were to host Denver in Week 13, Percy Harvin missed practice with an illness. For a brief period anyway, there was some question as to whether he would be able to play.

The struggling Vikings were already preparing to go without star running back Adrian Peterson, who was out with a high ankle sprain. They had also put receiver Michael Jenkins on injured reserve earlier that week.

When asked about the potential of  facing the Broncos without Harvin too, head coach Leslie Frazier seemed quite rattled.

“Oh, man. Please, please, please let’s not go down that road,” Frazier said.

Yep, Percy Harvin has now established himself as one of the most valuable players in the organization. And his brilliance over the past month deserves widespread recognition.

Just how good has the third-year receiver out of Florida been? Here are some eye-opening nuggets:

  • Harvin has a chance to set new career-highs in receptions and yards this weekend. He needs three catches and 90 yards to surpass his totals from last season (71 grabs, 868 yards).
  • Harvin's 68 grabs this season rank eighth in the NFL.
  • Harvin has 38 catches since Week 10, most of an player in the league during that span.
  • Over the past four games, with Peterson out, Harvin has averaged 121 yards from scrimmage and scored five touchdowns.
  • Harvin also now has 200 career catches and has an outside chance by season's end to set a new Vikings record for most receptions in a player's first three seasons with the team. The current mark: 226 grabs by Randy Moss (from 1998-2000). Rickey Young had 224 grabs in his first three years in Minnesota (1978-80). Young had played three years before that in San Diego.

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