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.


Peterson: `[Bears] got good D-tackles, but they're not Detroit up front'

Posted by: Mark Craig under Bears Updated: September 12, 2013 - 1:37 PM

Once again, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn't hesitate when asked what he thinks went wrong with the running game after his first carry went 78 yards for a touchdown.

"We kind of got beat up a little bit up front," said Peterson, who ran for only 15 yards on 17 additional carries. "Just not really executing, which when I looked at the tape was the biggest thing. It was something we learned from. Something we want to put behind us and not allow it to happen again."

Peterson was asked to compare the Lions' defensive front, which is one of the best in the league especially at tackle, to the Bears' front. Again, the reigning league MVP spoke freely.

"They got some good D-tackles, but they're not Detroit up front," Peterson said. "Not to take anything away from those guys [in Chicago]. Julius Peppers and those guys are great players as well. We got to go out and be physical and make our presence felt."

Here are some other highlights from Peterson's session with reporters today:

On finding ways to gain yards after contact despite consistently facing eight- and nine-men boxes:

"I don't think of different ways. I just go out there and keep my legs pumping and get our guys flying around until the whistle blows. I tell the guys all the time, `You never know where the ball is going to come.' It might be designed to go to the right and I might end up behind the left tackle. Just talking to those guys and making sure they're keeping their eyes open and they're going until the whistle is blown."

On the criticism that Ponder is facing from the media: "It is what it is. It's part of the game. Your performance is going to be critiqued and people are going to give their opinions on how they feel you play. It is what it is. It comes with the territory, especially at the quarterback position."

On whether he thinks Ponder can get the job done: "I definitely think he can do the job. I've said that time and time again."

On fewer 100-yard rushing games and whether it's harder to rush for 100 yards or whether teams are just more pass-happy: "Probably a little of both. Anytime I don't get 100, I'm like, `Wow.' I'm disappointed because I think it's so easy to get 100. But, yeah, I think it's a mix of both. Teams focusing on the run and a lot of teams spreading things out and throwing the ball a lot."

On why no 2,000-yard rusher has ever come close to repeating that feat. Any theories?: "It's hard to do. Thats' one of the reasons. I don't know. I don't have a theory or a reason why it hasn't happened twice. I'm looking forward to being in a class of my own then because I definitely plan on being over 2,000."

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