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 becoming better ball hogs

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Bears, NFC, Packers Updated: October 10, 2012 - 1:38 PM

If the naked eye isn't good enough, here are some statistics that support the fact the Vikings' offense is getting closer to its desire to be better ball hogs:

Tied for fourth in five-minute drives: The Vikings are tied for fourth in the NFL with nine drives that have lasted five or more minutes. Of those nine drives, four have resulted in a touchdown and eight have ended in points.

Chicago ranks first with 11 five-minute drives. The Bears, however, have scored only two touchdowns on those drives. Eight of them have ended in points.

For the entire 2011 season, the Vikings had 18 five-minute drives. This year's total through five games has them on pace for 29.

Tied for eighth in 10-play drives: The Vikings are tied for eighth in the league with 10 drives that have lasted 10 plays or longer. Four of those 10-play drives have resulted in touchdowns while nine have ended in scores.

The Vikings had 24 10-play drives through all of last season. This year's total so far has them on pace for 32.

New England and New Orleans are tied for first in the league with 14 drives on 10 or more plays.

No. 1 in fewest pre-snap penalties: The Vikings lead the league in fewest pre-snap procedural penalties with one. The Packers are second with two.

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