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: Colts 23, Vikings 20

Posted by: under Vikings, Bears, Lions, NFC, Packers, Vikings defense, Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin Updated: September 16, 2012 - 3:17 PM

Postgame snapshot from Lucas Oil Stadium where the Colts beat the Vikings 23-20.

Good news: There wasn’t much for the Vikings to build on for most of the afternoon. But once again, a spirited rally late allowed the Vikings to come back from 14 points down in the final 6 minutes to tie the game. All day long receiver Percy Harvin did what Percy Harvin does. He caught 12 passes for 104 yards and added two rushes for 20 yards. Adrian Peterson chipped in with 60 yards on 16 carries with three catches for 20 yards. The Vikings generated little offensively in the middle two quarters. They went five consecutive possessions without scoring before a fourth quarter touchdown pass from Christian Ponder to Stephen Burton with 5:07 left. Ponder hit Kyle Rudolph with a 6-yard TD pass with 31 seconds left to tie the game at 20.

Bad news: For a team that has vowed to eliminate dumb penalties, the Vikings sure committed a lot of silly blunders today. The final tally: 11 penalties, 105 yards. Perhaps the most costly penalties came in the third quarter. Safety Andrew Sendejo was called for a roughing the punter penalty that extended a Colts drive. That same possession was given life once again three snaps later when defensive end Jared Allen got hit with a late hit flag for tackling quarterback Andrew Luck as he ran out of bounds. Without Allen’s penalty, the Colts would have faced fourth-and-15 at the Vikings 45. Instead, Indianapolis continued a field goal drive that ultimately was a 14-play march that ate up nearly 8 minutes of clock. The Vikings defense also fell apart on the final series, allowing the Colts to march 45 yards in 23 seconds to set up Adam Vinatieri's game-winning 53-yard field goal with 8 seconds left.

Extra point: For all the encouragement the Vikings took away from their 26-23 overtime win over Jacksonville in Week 1, it’s worth pointing out that the Jaguars were blown out 27-7 at home against Houston today. Jags quarterback Blaine Gabbert was 7-for-9 for 53 yards against the Texans before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury. Against the Vikings, he threw for 260 yards with a 96.1 rating.

Next up: The Vikings will host San Francisco next Sunday. The 49ers will host the Lions tonight on “Football Night in America” on NBC. A San Francisco win would create a four-way tie for first place in the NFC North with the Vikings, Lions, Packers and Bears all 1-1.

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