Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen talks a lot on the field and gobbles up quarterbacks. That is quite familiar to hall of fame defensive lineman John Randle, who played for Minnesota from 1990-2000. "Everson Griffen reminds me of myself," Randle said in a phone interview. "I like his style. I definitely love his energy. I love his motor. He's having so much fun out there, and he makes it look like he's having just a casual day out there on the football field."
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Case Keenum was battered but undeterred. The Vikings quarterback was sacked a season-high six times, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in a 31-24 loss to Carolina on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. So what was Keenum thinking after Minnesota's eight-game winning streak was snapped? "I'm looking to start another win streak," he said. The Vikings (10-3) lost for the first time since Oct. 1 at home against Detroit. They also had their five-game road winning streak snapped. But they didn't go down without a fight.
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Minnesota Vikings' magical season was stalled, but not without some late-game drama. The Vikings overcame an 11-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to tie the score before falling 31-24 to Carolina on Sunday, Dec. 10, at Bank of America Stadium. Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart scored on a 1-yard run, his third touchdown of the day, to break a 24-24 tie with 1:47 left in the game. That followed quarterback Cam Newton running 62 yards to the Minnesota 8.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings tackle Mike Remmers won't play Sunday, Dec. 10, against his old team, but he's been passing on plenty of tips to his replacement. Remmers, who has a lower back injury, was ruled out Friday for the game at Carolina, the fifth straight he will miss. He played with the Panthers from 2014-16 before signing a five-year, $30 million contract with the Vikings.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Steve Jordan is widely regarded as the best tight end in Vikings history, but Kyle Rudolph has a chance to surpass him. Just ask Jordan. "He's still in mid-career, so time will tell," Jordan said. "If he continues to progress, he's got unlimited potential. He's a Pro Bowl-type player."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Duluth native C.J. Ham grew up a Vikings fan, and was glued to the television in 2012 when Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards and was named NFL MVP. Ham, then a redshirt freshman running back at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D., wasn't just paying attention to Peterson that season. He was keeping a close eye on the fullback blocking for him. "I liked Jerome Felton a lot," Ham said. "Adrian had some unbelievable years with him blocking in front of him. Obviously, (Felton) was doing something right."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The last time the Vikings went to the Super Bowl, they were led by scrambling quarterback Fran Tarkenton. Could another scrambler get them there this season? Former Minnesota running back Chuck Foreman, who was on three Super Bowl teams in the 1970s with Tarkenton, isn't making any predictions. But Foreman said Case Keenum does conjure up some memories of Tarkenton eluding pass rushers.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Kendricks brothers are in for a month of friendly banter over the rest of the NFL season. Eric Kendricks is a linebacker for the Vikings; Mychal Kendricks is a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles. Their teams are each 10-2 and tied for the top playoff seed in the NFC, although Minnesota holds the tiebreaker, for now. "We've actually been talking a little crap all year," Eric Kendricks said Monday, Dec. 4.
ATLANTA — The Vikings got some extra motivation before Sunday's game from hall of fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton, who lives in Atlanta, addressed the Vikings at the team hotel Saturday night, Dec. 2. And he was on hand for Minnesota's 14-9 victory over the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS—In Mike Zimmer's first three seasons as coach, the Minnesota Vikings often won games despite their offense. Zimmer built a top-notch defense in a hurry, but the offense remained behind. Minnesota was 27th in the NFL in total offense in 2014, 28th in 2015 and 28th last season. Well, the other side of the ball finally has caught up. The Vikings are the NFL's only team to rank in the top five in total offense (5th) and total defense (5th). That kind of balance has been a key reason in Minnesota being 9-2 and tied for the second-best record in the NFL.