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.


Final gun report: Saints 42, Vikings 20

Posted by: under Vikings, Adrian Peterson, Vikings draft Updated: December 18, 2011 - 5:31 PM

Postgame snapshot from Mall of America Field where the Saints beat the Vikings 42-20.

Good news: Only two weeks remain in one of the worst seasons in franchise history. The Vikings are now 2-12. Better news: The Colts scored their first victory of 2011, downing Tennessee 27-13. That brings the Vikings a step closer to possibly finishing with the worst record in the NFL and getting into the picture for the No. 1 pick in the draft. That’s about the only good news that can be taken out of today’s game which may have been the most embarrassing of the season.
 
Bad news: The Vikings’ defense put up little fight against Drew Brees and the Saints’ high-powered offense. Brees completed 32 of 40 passes for 412 yards with five touchdown passes to four different receivers. The Saints quarterback has 11 games this season with at least 300 passing yards, a new NFL single-season record. Brees also went over 40,000 career passing yards.And he didn't even need to play most of the fourth quarter.
 
Extra point: Adrian Peterson saw his first action in four weeks but only managed 10 carries for 60 yards. Christian Ponder, meanwhile, completed only 13 of 29 passes for 112 yards. Overall, the Saints held a 412-94 advantage in passing yards and a 36-12 edge in first downs. The Vikings had minus-1 passing yards through three quarters.
 
Next up: The Vikings will travel to Washington to play the Redskins on Christmas Eve. The Redskins scored a surprising 23-10 road upset over the Giants this afternoon to improve to 5-9.

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