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 lead Lions 13-6 at the half

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Lions, NFC, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin Updated: September 30, 2012 - 1:28 PM

DETROIT -- The Vikings lead the Lions 13-6 at the half, and have looked like the superior team since Percy Harvin took the opening kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown against a Lions special teams outfit that's looked pretty pathetic the past two weeks.

Blair Walsh added field goals of 49 and 27 yards -- running his streak of successful field goals to start his NFL career to nine -- while the Lions countered with field goals of 40 and 31 yards by 21-year veteran Jason Hanson

Receiver Jerome Simpson has only two catches for 18 yards in his Vikings debut, but that doesn't mean his presence hasn't been felt. Both field goals came during drives in which the Simpson drew pass interference calls on deep balls. Both penalties went on cornerback Bill Bentley. The first was good for 31 yards, while the second on went for 26 yards.

Meanwhile, safety Jamarca Sanford, who started in place of the injured Mistral Raymond, had a bad start to the half, but a good ending. He was flagged for a 56-yard pass interference penalty on Calvin Johnson on the Lions' first play from scrimmage. But he bounced back with two pass breakups on Johnson in or near the end zone near the end of the first half. That forced the Lions to settle for a field goal.

Sanford knocked the ball out of Johnson's hands on a hard hit near the goal line on first-and-22 from the Vikings' 22-yard line. On second-and-goal from the 13, Sanford and safety Harrison Smith sandwiched Johnson, knocking the ball loose in the end zone. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone on third-and-goal.

Christian Ponder has completed 10 of 15 passes, but has only 59 yards. Adrian Peterson has 52 yards rushing on just seven carries.

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