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.


Halftime report: Vikings 17, Eagles 9

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: December 15, 2013 - 1:23 PM

The Vikings hold a 17-9 halftime lead over the Eagles at the Metrodome. The Vikings have outgained the Eagles 257-179.

The good: Apparently quarterback Christian Ponder doesn’t give the Vikings the best chance to win. Matt Cassel had an impressive half (granted the Eagles entered the game ranked 29th in total defense). He went 14 of 20 for 202 yards and a touchdown.

Cassel once again has made wide receiver Greg Jennings his primary target. He recorded his first 100-yard game with the Vikings, and it only took a half. He had seven receptions for 114 yards. He caught a 57 yard touchdown pass from Cassel in the first quarter.

The bad: Without running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, the Vikings have 56 rushing yards. Matt Asiata has 13 carries for 28 yards. On third and goal at the three-yard line, the Vikings had an empty backfield – a strange sight to see with a healthy Peterson or Gerhart.

Asiata did score his first career touchdown (one-yard) with 1:06 left in the first half.

The ugly: Surprisingly, there isn’t much to say here for the Vikings. They’ve played well so far, but the Eagles offense has been pretty ugly after 30 minutes despite three injured corners for the Vikings. They had their most successful drive just before the half, which ended on a field goal.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s touchdown on 4th and 1 was called back due to a peel-back block penalty by quarterback Nick Foles. The Eagles settled for a field goal.

Foles is 10 of 16 for 122 yards. He also has five carries for 41 yards. Running back LeSean McCoy has four carries for 19 yards.

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