December 3, 2012

Vikings manage only brief moments of offensive effectiveness, lose in Green Bay 23-14

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:24

Green Bay was playing hurt, showing vulnerabilities, and shaky on both offense and defence. Minnesota had Adrian Peterson the cyborg running back going over 200 yards on the ground, but no passing attack at all. During the TV broadcast, even Troy Aikman and Joe Buck were making comments about Christian Ponder having nobody to throw the ball to (nobody open, that is). The first completion to a wide receiver came with less than three minutes remaining in the game. If this continues, the Vikings will have to spend several picks in the 2013 draft on wide receivers…

Dan Zinski at The Viking Age:

What’s the recipe for losing a game when your running back goes for 210 and a touchdown? Measure out a generous amount of bad quarterback play, mix in some terrible third down defense, add a dash of stupid penalties and stir. That was about how it went for the Vikings today. They had a shot at Lambeau Field, thanks mostly to Adrian Peterson, but they blew it. They blew it because Christian Ponder threw two unspeakably awful interceptions. They blew it because the D couldn’t get off the field on third down to save its life. They blew it because they didn’t play with enough discipline.

At the top of the list of culprits today was Christian Ponder. Even his most hardcore defenders have to admit this. He played a miserable game. The interception he threw in the end zone was just about the worst decision you can imagine. Can’t pass that one off on the playcalling or the receivers or the pass protection. That was all on Ponder. It was a throw that never should’ve been made. A second interception later was almost as bad. He just did not look like an NFL quarterback today, outside of one drive in the first half where he led them down for a TD. For most of the game he looked lost. Calls for his benching have been getting louder with each passing week but now they’ve become a roar. But of course the Vikes won’t bench him because they have no one else. Joe Webb is not going to lead this team into the playoffs.


  1. The interception he threw in the end zone was just about the worst decision you can imagine.

    Oh, it wasn’t that bad.

    An inch the other way, a split second slower for the defense to stick up his hands .. it would have been ‘the pass that changed the game’ and ‘a brave, decisive, play by a real gunslinger who came into his own late in the 2nd quarter’.

    Comment by Brian Dunbar — December 3, 2012 @ 20:43

  2. Oh, it wasn’t that bad.

    I think sports writers are required to use a certain minimum of hyperbole to re-assure their readers that football (or soccer, or basketball, or baseball, …) really is important.

    It’s disappointing to watch Christian Ponder struggling at this stage of his career, but there really is only so much a quarterback can do without competent play at the wide receiver position. If nothing else, this game showed just how much they miss Percy Harvin.

    Comment by Nicholas — December 4, 2012 @ 08:46

  3. Actually, there’s a pretty comprehensive breakdown of that particular play at Bleacher Reports today.

    On the play, Ponder walked to the line with the offense in a tightly bunched formation. He had a wide receiver left and one just off tackle on the right.

    While it was set up with several options, it seemed clear that tight end Kyle Rudolph was — as is often the case — Ponder’s first read.

    Ponder ran a play fake designed to get Packers’ linebacker Erik Walden to bite and jump in, which would leave Rudolph open in the flat, hopefully with a clear field ahead of him.

    Unfortunately, Walden didn’t bite and stayed with Rudolph, eliminating that option.

    Rudolph waved his hand at Ponder — it appeared to signal he had inside position and could take a throw — but Ponder wisely decided not to risk it.

    That’s where the wisdom began and ended.

    Comment by Nicholas — December 4, 2012 @ 09:06

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