Access Vikings

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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Greg Jennings reaches 500 career receptions

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated September 14th at 2:46pm 275058151

It took a lot longer than probably expected, but wide receiver Greg Jennings made his first catch with 10:55 left in the game.
The four-yard gain was also his 500th career reception. He becomes the 121st player in NFL history, and one of 14 active players, to accomplish the milestone.

Jennings appeared to have reached the landmark late in the first half, but he was called for offensive pass interference on the catch. Jennings was targeted four times previously before the catch.

Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis has shadowed Jennings for most of the game, making him an non-factor in the blowout.

Halftime report: Patriots 24, Vikings 7

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated September 14th at 1:37pm 275055771

At the half, the Patriots lead the Vikings 24-7 in the home opener at TCF Bank Stadium. Defensive end Chandler Jones blocked a 48-yard field goal and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown with nine seconds left in the first half.

The Good: The Vikings couldn’t have asked for a better start without running back Adrian Peterson. Quarterback Matt Cassel engineered seven-play, 80-yard drive that was capped with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Peterson’s replacement, Matt Asiata.

Offensive coordinator Norv Turner finished the drive with two great plays using wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson as a decoy on a fake jet sweep and a play action pass with Patterson in the backfield.

The defense responded by forcing the Patriots to a 3-and-out on their opening drive.

The Bad: Then, we saw bad Cassel for the first time this season. He didn’t look the same following the opening drive, throwing two bad interceptions to cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Devin McCourty. Both turnovers resulted in touchdowns for New England. Running back Stevan Ridley scored on a one-yard run while quarterback Tom Brady connected with wide receiver Julian Edelman for an 11-yard yard touchdown.

Cassel went 4 for 4 for 75 yards and a touchdown on the first drive. He’s gone 8 of 15 for 69 yards and two interceptions since the Vikings took an early 7-0 lead.

The Ugly: It hasn’t mattered who the Vikings put on Edelman in the first half. Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Robinson — they’re all getting beat.

Edelman accounted for five of Brady’s nine first half completions and has converted all three of New England’s third downs. He has 69 receiving yards and a touchdown. Edelman also had an effective jet sweep that gained nine yards.

Oh, and there’s that blocked field goal right before the half. The Vikings had a chance to trim the deficit down to one score, but the 10-point swing was a deflating way to enter the locker room.

Vikings' Cassel throws two interceptions in first half

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated September 14th at 1:18pm 275055051

Matt Cassel started today’s game against the Patriots with a sharp opening drive, completing all four of his passes on the drive for 75 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass to tailback Matt Asiata.

But he has cooled off considerably since then, completing just four of his past nine passes for 17 yards and throwing a pair of interceptions as the Vikings have fallen behind, 17-7, to the visitors.

The first interception came in the first quarter, when Cassel tried to connect with wide receiver Jarius Wright on a deep ball. Wright got inside positioning on cornerback Kyle Arrington, but when Cassel led Wright toward the middle of the field, safety Devin McCourty ranged to pick off the pass. He returned it 60 yards to the Minnesota 1-yard line, setting up Steven Ridley’s touchdown run.

In the second quarter, Cassel threw another pick to cornerback Darrelle Revis. The quarterback had plenty of time to scan the field, but he appeared to lock onto wide receiver Greg Jennings, who is still looking for his first catch of the day and the 500th of his career. Revis was running stride for stride with Jennings and made an easy interception when Cassel’s pass got away from him.

The Patriots would cash in that interception for a touchdown, too, and lead as halftime nears.

Cris Carter speaks on Adrian Peterson

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated September 14th at 1:40pm 275051251

NFL Hall of Famer and Vikings Ring of Honor wide receiver Cris Carter emotionally touched on running back Adrian Peterson’s off-the-field incident Sunday morning.

On ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, the animated Carter did not condone the actions of Peterson, who was charged with one count of injury to a child after striking his 4-year-old son with a switch in May.

“My mom did the best job she could do raising seven kids by herself, but there are thousands of things that I have learned since then that I’ve learned that my mom was wrong,” Carter said. “This is the 21st century; my mom was wrong. She did the best she could, but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me. And I promised my kids I won’t teach that mess to them. You can’t beat a kid to make them do what you want them to do.”

Carter continued on, praising the Vikings for deactivating Peterson in the home opener against the Patriots.

“The only thing I’m proud about is the team that I played for – they did the right thing,” Carter said. “Take him off the field. We’re in a climate right now where I don’t care what it is, take him off the dag-gone field. Because, you know what, as a man, that’s the only thing we really respect. We don’t respect no women, we don’t respect no kids. The other thing Roger [Goodell] and them do, take him off the field because they respect that.”

Here’s the entire clip:

Rhodes and Floyd active for Vikings-Patriots

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated September 14th at 11:09am 275050101

Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd are active for today’s game.

Rhodes and Floyd were both injured in the Week 1 win over the Rams. Rhodes tweaked his groin and Floyd hurt his shoulder. Both were listed as questionable on the final injury report on Friday.

They will suit up against the Patriots, but it’s unclear how much they will play, particularly Floyd.

Running back Adrian Peterson is officially inactive after his legal issues came to light on Friday. Matt Asiata, whom the coaching staff appears to trust in pretty much every situation, will get the start. Rookie Jerick McKinnon and practice-squad call-up Joe Banyard will back Asiata up.

Also inactive for the Vikings are quarterback Christian Ponder, outside linebackers Michael Mauti and Brandon Watts, guard David Yankey, wide-out Rodney Smith and defensive end Scott Crichton.

Staring center Ryan Wendell and outside linebacker Jamie Collins are out for the Patriots. Also inactive for the visitors are running back James White, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, and defensive ends Michael Buchanan and Zach Moore.

Moore, who made his NFL debut for the Patriots last week, was a college standout at Concordia.


Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 7
Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 4
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Garza 9
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 4
Minnesota - WP: T. May 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 4
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 4
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 10
Houston 6 Top 9th Inning
LA Angels 1
Los Angeles 4 Bottom 8th Inning
San Francisco 2
San Diego 4 Top 8th Inning
Arizona 5
Oakland 4 Top 8th Inning
Seattle 0
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 7:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
New England 30 FINAL
Minnesota 7
New Orleans 24 FINAL
Cleveland 26
Atlanta 10 FINAL
Cincinnati 24
Detroit 7 FINAL
Carolina 24
St. Louis 10 3rd Qtr 9:18
Tampa Bay 14
Seattle 21 4th Qtr 9:47
San Diego 27
NY Jets 21 3rd Qtr 9:25
Green Bay 16
Kansas City 10 3rd Qtr 3:33
Denver 21
Houston 27 4th Qtr 15:00
Oakland 0
Chicago 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Philadelphia 9/15/14 7:30 PM
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Boise State 38 FINAL
Connecticut 21
Indiana 42 FINAL
Bowling Green 45
Ga Southern 38 FINAL
Georgia Tech 42
Syracuse 40 FINAL
Central Mich 3
(18) Missouri 38
Massachusetts 31 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
Ohio U 14 FINAL
Marshall 44
West Virginia 40 FINAL
Maryland 37
Kent State 0 FINAL
(23) Ohio State 66
Pittsburgh 42 FINAL
FIU 25
East Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
Air Force 48 FINAL
Georgia State 38
(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
(14) So Carolina 38
Arkansas 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 28
Iowa State 20 FINAL
Iowa 17
Miami-Ohio 10 FINAL
Michigan 34
Kansas 3 FINAL
Duke 41
NC State 49 FINAL
So Florida 17
Arkansas State 20 FINAL
Miami-Florida 41
Miss State 35 FINAL
South Alabama 3
Louisiana 15 FINAL
(10) Ole Miss 56
Minnesota 7 FINAL
TCU 30
Illinois 19 FINAL
Washington 44
Army 0 FINAL
(16) Stanford 35
Western Mich 45 FINAL
Idaho 33
Eastern Mich 3 FINAL
Old Dominion 17
Southern Miss 12 FINAL
(3) Alabama 52
Northern Ill 48 FINAL
Tulsa 21 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 50
(8) LSU 31
Wake Forest 24 FINAL
Utah State 36
Western Ky 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 50
TX-San Antonio 13 FINAL
(25) Oklahoma State 43
Purdue 14 FINAL
(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
New Mexico St 24 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 42
Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
Navy 35 FINAL
Texas State 21
(12) UCLA 20 FINAL
Texas 17
Penn State 13 FINAL
Rutgers 10
Rice 10 FINAL
(6) Texas A&M 38
(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
Colorado 24
(24) Nebraska 55 FINAL
Fresno State 19
Nevada 28 FINAL
Arizona 35
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
Winnipeg 9 FINAL
Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28


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