Recent content from Mark Craig
The NFL isn't doing anything wrong by conducting its business at a safe distance in our current low-speed world. Nor is it behaving admirably as some sort of heroic distraction.
The former Ravens lineman struggled with weight issues last season, but has a plan when — and if — the NFL season begins.
Vikings greats, including Alan Page, told their inspiring stories to a group of high school students recently.
Dom Capers, hired by the Vikings as a senior defensive consultant, is "another idea guy" for Mike Zimmer.
Patrick Mahomes turned what had been the worst game of his life into the greatest moment of his short career in the 31-20 victory over San Francisco.
Patrick Mahomes' precocious skills hinted at great things. At 24, he's a Super Bowl QB.
Damien Wilson had options, but he liked Kansas City's direction. Now he's a Super Bowl champion.
The newly elected Hall of Famer's blocking led to Adrian Peterson's NFL single-game rushing record of 296 yards against the Chargers in 2007, Peterson's rookie season.
Kansas City is back thanks to a veteran coach and a superstar quarterback it managed to snag in the draft; San Francisco stuck with its GM-coach tandem after a 4-12 season.
Steve Hutchinson was a guard so historically fierce and fundamentally sound that the Vikings created a "poison pill" scheme to pilfer him from the Seahawks in his prime.
The 49er continues to be one of the NFL's most thought-provoking, thoughtful players.
Coach Andy Reid has named one of his plays "Hank." It's for the late Hank Stram, the sideline maestro of Kansas City's 23-7 Super Bowl IV upset of the Bud Grant-coached Vikings.
Creativity is a big reason Andy Reid is sixth in coaching wins in NFL history at 207-128-1. And that track record is partly why the 61-year-old is the sentimental choice in Sunday's Super Bowl LIV vs. San Francisco.
The Chiefs linebacker, who will play in the Super Bowl on Sunday, grew up in St. Paul watching Doleman in his Vikings' days.
Having already passed on Patrick Mahomes in the draft, Kyle Shanahan's plans to swoop up Kirk Cousins were derailed when the Patriots called and offered Jimmy Garoppolo for a second-round pick. The rest is history.
There was a time, long ago, when Terrell Suggs and Joe Mauer were just two St. Paul kids dominating whatever ballgame was in season.
The NFL's usual rush to hire head coaches in January meant that all jobs disappeared while Shanahan's defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh, stays put for at least another year.
Mark Craig's On the NFL: Plymouth native Ben Peterson has unique position in health and performance and is innovative in training.
Missteps during the regular season meant the No. 6 seed for the Vikings in the NFC playoffs, which led to a path that was too rough for them to handle.
What went well for the Vikings against the Saints was reversed against San Francisco. Here's a look at what went wrong.
Adam Thielen's route running on the backbreaking play in Saturday's loss to the 49ers couldn't have been any worse. And he knew it.
San Francisco is trying to claim that it is not the favorite, but in reality, it's the Vikings with the daunting task of trying to overcome being a road underdog of at least seven points for the second week in a row.
Head coach Mike Zimmer said he isn't worried about receiver Stefon Diggs being gone from practice for two days. "He'll be fine."
Quarterback Kirk Cousins talked about some of the challenges quarterbacks face when they come up against the noise-fueled atmosphere they often face on the road.
Despite missing some players and shifting others around on defense, the Vikings made it work Sunday. Just as Mike Zimmer said they would.
Vikings cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander (knee) and Mike Hughes (neck) will miss Sunday's playoff game in New Orleans.
With the defending champion Patriots wobbling, a record-tying six teams boasting 12 or more victories and the winningest postseason field (.708) since 2005, it's shaping up to be a wild NFL playoffs.
A woeful 8-28 with the Raiders, he has rebounded as the defensive coordinator in New Orleans.
Lost in the aftermath of the "Minneapolis Miracle" playoff victory over New Orleans was that Drew Brees had rallied the Saints from a 17-0 halftime deficit.
Mark Craig's five takeaways from Sunday's regular-season finale at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback who's capable of being more. He's an excellent passer who can make all the throws with power and precision. But do you trust him?
The NFL's Mr. Clean and a candidate for AP Defensive Player of the Year, he piles up sacks while "playing the game the right way."
Once a week, Mark Craig will dissect stats from around the league. This week, he takes a look at completion percentage, QB win pace and a running back record.
There are four teams in the running for the second AFC wild card.
The loss to Green Bay was less than an hour old when Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was asked if he thought Kirk Cousins looked "shaky."
It shouldn't be a surprise that Stefon Diggs overthrew the ball. Or that Kirk Cousins didn't have the speed to run it down on a trick play that misfired.
The defense has a right to be ticked off after Monday's game. It caused the Packers all kinds of problems until late in the third quarter.
Aaron Rodgers, QB of a division leader, somehow is hearing more naysayers than his Purple peer, Kirk Cousins, this season.
Green Bay enters Monday night's game against the Vikings with only nine turnovers in 14 games.
Coach Mike Zimmer might not care about statistics. But he does care whenever someone uses them as a blunt instrument against him.
NFL writer Mark Craig offers his five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings game in Los Angeles.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio suggests a conference round-robin to decide playoff teams.
The NFL says so long to Oakland for the second time.
Mike Zimmer sounds as if he's rooting for this to be a one-and-done season for the new rule.
Mark Craig's On the NFL: Johnson's 26 catches rank third among 15 receivers drafted on Day 3 (rounds 4-7) and eighth overall among drafted rookies.
Five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings victory over the Lions.
NFL head coaches come and go, but Mike Zimmer soldiers on. Among NFC coaches, Zimmer is now fourth in seniority. "That," he said, "is crazy."
Nothing sets Vikings Nation abuzz with Purple trepidation quite like a clutch kick curling wide left in a critical late-season loss to Seattle. Right?
Seattle's offensive strategy included the use of an extra lineman on most of its running plays to wear down a defense that prides itself on stopping the run.
Russell Wilson, who last week became the first quarterback to open his career with eight consecutive winning seasons, has thrown 157 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in the red zone in 136 games.
On the NFL: Some of the Vikings players are biased toward their teammates, but the Baltimore quarterback's season is hard to ignore.
What are the chances that another NFL team will come after Vikings' offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski for its head coaching job? "Kevin's got a bright future," Vikings assistant head coach Gary Kubiak said.
Dalvin Cook was held to 57 yards on 16 touches in Sunday's 27-23 win over Denver.
A week after intercepting a Dak Prescott in the end zone to preserve a 28-24 victory, Jayron Kearse once again was in the right place for his team.
The running back, troubled by off-the-field issues in college, has rewarded the Vikings for their faith in him.
Once a week, Mark Craig will dissect stats from around the league. This week, he tackles rookie head coaches and two stellar NFC running backs.
In what could be the most exciting matchup of the season, Houston's Deshaun Watson will trade magic acts with Baltimore's Lamar Jackson.
Mike Zimmer was asked whether there was much drop off between Dalvin Cook, the best back in football, and Alexander Mattison, who ran the ball for a game-high 6.5-yard average vs. the Cowboys. Answer? "No."
Instead of settling for an easy field goal and a 23-21 lead entering the fourth quarter, coach Mike Zimmer made the hard decision and was rewarded with a Dalvin Cook touchdown
Kirk Cousins was pressured on eight of his 22 first-half dropbacks (36.3%), but he managed to complete passes on five of them for 53 yards and a couple of first downs.
In Wednesday's tale of two Purple hamstrings, Adam Thielen spent practice resting while fellow receiver Josh Doctson continued testing -- and said he'll be ready for Sunday night in Dallas.
The NFC has nine teams with a winning record, and any one of them -- including the Vikings -- could advance to the Super Bowl.
Five takeaways from Sunday's Vikings loss in Kansas City from NFL writer Mark Craig.
The punting Colquitt brothers face each other Sunday when the Vikings travel to face the Chiefs. "When people ask [their Mom] who she's rooting for, she'll just smile and say, 'I'm rooting for fourth down!'"
Mike Zimmer, 63, is the old-school but innovative defensive guy whose aggressive style impresses 61-year-old Andy Reid, who has built a reputation for the way his teams play on offense.
Dalvin Cook continues to shine in all facets of the game. After Thursday he has a league-leading 823 rushing yards and 1,116 yards from scrimmage.
Adrian Peterson, who said Tuesday he is "for sure" playing Thursday on his nicked-up ankle when Washington visits the Vikings, is "looking like the same old Adrian that we all know," Redskins coach Bill Callahan said.
Team alumni feel more welcome, more appreciated and more involved since Zygi and Mark Wilf bought the team in 2005. "I hadn't been back in 20 years," one former player said.
Five takeaways from Sunday's game from Vikings writer Mark Craig.
Detroit, the Vikings' next opponent, is the latest victim of scrutinized officiating that has the league in turmoil.
The Vikings are averaging 6.3 yards per play through six games in 2019, good for third in the NFL and a reminder of the Randy Moss era of big plays.
Here's what stood out Sunday afternoon to Star Tribune NFL and Vikings writer Mark Craig.
Through highs and lows as Vikings kicker, Dan Bailey is still all about the routine. "There's nothing really too complicated about it," he said.
Mark Craig's On the NFL: Workhorse running backs Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey are on pace to easily exceed 2,000 yards from scrimmage this season.
The Vikings got back to form with Sunday's win. Here's what stood out to reporter Mark Craig.