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.
The fact wide receiver Sidney Rice caught seven passes for 72 yards on Sunday night didn't mean much to the Vikings given they lost 30-17 to Arizona. But Rice's yardage total gave him 1,036 on the season, making him the first Vikings receiver to reach 1,000 yards since Nate Burleson did it in 2004. Burleson had 1,006 yards on 68 catches that season for a Vikings team that was coached by Mike Tice.
The Vikings came close to having a 1,000-yard receiver last year when Bernard Berrian caught 48 passes for 964 yards. Rice has 63 receptions this season, the most by a Viking since tight end Jermaine Wiggins caught 69 passes in 2005.
Rice still has a ways to go before matching what Randy Moss did in 2003. That season, Moss caught 111 passes for 1,632 yards.
Since Brad Childress became Vikings coach in 2006, here are the top receivers
2006: Travis Taylor 57 receptions, 651 yards
2007: Bobby Wade, 54 receptions, 647 yards
2008: Bobby Wade 53 receptions, 645 yards; Bernard Berrian 48 receptions, 964 yards
2009: Sidney Rice 63 receptions, 1,036 yards through 12 games