Minnesota Vikings Statement Regarding Chris Cook

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 25, 2011 – 8:40 pm

Today’s allegations against Chris Cook are very disturbing and disappointing. At this time, he is suspended without pay from the team while we continue to gather information regarding the situation. We will have no further comment until the appropriate time.

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Ponder Sparks Improvement On 3rd Down

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2011 – 3:01 pm

The Vikings came out on the wrong end of a 33-27 decision in last Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, but rookie QB Christian Ponder’s performance in the loss suggests the Vikings are moving in the right direction.

One area in particular that improved was offensive production on 3rd down. Heading into the Packers game, the Vikings were converting 36.0% of their 3rd downs, a number that included Ponder’s time filling in for McNabb in the 4th quarter against Chicago. If you take away Ponder’s production against the Bears, the Vikings were just 25 of 71 (35.2%) on 3rd downs and they picked up 52 first downs through the air, which averages out to 8.7 per game.

With Ponder as the starter against Green Bay, though, the Vikings were 9 of 16 (56.2%) on 3rd downs and they picked up 12 first downs through the air. In fact, of Ponder’s 13 completions against the Packers, 12 of them were for TDs or 1st downs; he was 7 of 13 for 93 yards with no TDs and an INT on 3rd down.

“The third down numbers were impressive,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “When you are able to complete I think 56 percent conversion rate against one of the top defenses in the National Football League the way our offense did, Christian had a major part in that third down conversion rate but also just seeing some of the throws that he made on the run, his pocket presence, his ability to just be able to function in some tough situations.”

Another reason to be encouraged by Ponder’s performance against Green Bay was his ability to bounce back from a poor 3rd quarter. Ponder threw 2 INTs to Packers CB Charles Woodson in the 3rd quarter, but he bounced back in the 4th quarter to lead the Vikings to 10 points, including a 24-yard TD strike to WR Michael Jenkins with Woodson in coverage.

“To bounce back and play with the confidence he played with and not to seem as if things are falling apart around [him],” Frazier said. “He continued to play hard and play with confidence and not be shaken by some of the adversity faced in the third quarter. That gives you a lot of hope as we go forward.”

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Vikings Waive Berrian, Promote Burton

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2011 – 1:24 pm

The Vikings on Tuesday waived WR Bernard Berrian and signed WR Stephen Burton to the active roster.

Berrian was inactive for 2 of the Vikings last 3 games and his release on Tuesday is the end to what has been a tenuous run of late with the Vikings. To fill his spot on the roster the Vikings promoted Burton from the practice squad. Burton was a 7th-round draft choice of the Vikings last April out of West Texas A&M.

The Vikings also terminated the practice squad contract of DL Cedric McKinley.

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Vote for Ponder as Rookie of the Week on

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 25, 2011 – 9:34 am

QB Christian Ponder is among the finalists for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honors for his play last Sunday, where he completed 13 of 32 passes for 219 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the Vikings’ 33-27 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Ponder also added 31 yards on four carries on the ground.

Fans can vote for Ponder by clicking here.  Voting ends on Friday at 11 a.m. CT, and the winner will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on

After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors.  Fans can vote for the winner on throughout the month of January.  The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

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Peterson Approaching Vikings All-Time Rushing Mark

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2011 – 7:33 am

We’ve been mentioning for several weeks now that DE Jared Allen is closing in on his 100th career sack. There’s another Vikings superstar on the other side of the ball who is closing in on a historic record himself, and that, too, is more than deserving of our attention in the weeks ahead.

The best RB in the NFL – Adrian Peterson – is approaching the Vikings all-time rushing mark. Robert Smith is currently the Vikings all-time rushing leader with 6,818 yards, a mark he set while starring for the Vikings from 1993-2000. After his 175-yard output on Sunday against Green Bay, Peterson is now just 324 yards behind Smith’s mark.

Peterson averages 95.5 rushing yards per game over his career and 101.7 rushing yards per game in 2011, meaning he is on pace to break Smith’s mark in 4 games. If Peterson stays on that pace, he’ll become the Vikings all-time rushing leader on November 27, when the Vikings travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons.

What’s impressive about Peterson’s pursuit of the Vikings all-time rusher mark is how quickly he’s gotten to this point. It took Smith 98 games to set the record at 6,818, and it took Chuck Foreman 93 games to set the previous all-time record of 5,879. Prior to Foreman setting the record, Bill Brown was the club’s all-time leader with 5,757 yards in 180 games. If Peterson keeps his pace, he’ll break Smith’s record in his 72nd career game. Another impressive caveat is that Peterson has 60 rushing TDs to go along with his yardage totals, while Foreman and Brown finished with 52 each and Smith had 32.

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Late-Game Run Defense Problems Are Correctable

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2011 – 6:17 am

The bad news is the Vikings defense wasn’t gap sound late in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. But the good news is the Vikings defense wasn’t gap sound late in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. It’s bad news because the error of not being gap sound cost the Vikings a chance to get the ball back late in the game and pull off an upset. It’s good news because not being gap sound is a correctable error.

“I took a look at it,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “One of the things we talked about prior to the game was every guy just doing his job on every single play and taking care of your responsibility. On that last drive we had a couple guys that tried to make some plays that weren’t theirs. You really have to stay in your gap if you are trying to play good run defense. We had some guys that were playing a little over anxious and got out of their gap and the Packers ended up creasing some runs that they had tried earlier in the game and had no success with, but we didn’t handle that moment very well.”

Trailing by 6 points and facing a 4th and 10 with 2:37 to play in the game, Frazier made the right decision by punting the ball back to Green Bay. Armed with 3 timeouts, the 2-minute warning and a solid run defense that had allowed just 59 yards rushing on 20 carries (2.95 yards per carry) up to that point, logic dictated that the Vikings offense would get the ball back at right around the 2-minute mark.

But a group of over-anxious defenders who slid out of their gaps allowed the Packers to rip off 55 yards rushing on 6 carries to close out the game. The result was certainly frustrating, but it’s hard to get made at a group of defenders for wanting to make a play so badly that they lost a bit of gap responsibility.

“In that last drive it is just so important when you are in a four minute situation and all of our guys know that because we have played good run defense in the past,” Frazier explained. “You can’t play good run defense if anybody gets out of their gap. Especially the way we play.”

The way the Vikings played on Sunday was with passion and heart, and it nearly resulted in an upset victory of the defending Super Bowl champions. Now the challenge for Frazier is to keep his guys playing that hard, but to also keep them playing within the scheme.

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Submit Your Question For Coach Frazier To Answer On “Vikings GamePlan”

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on October 25, 2011 – 5:03 am

Each week on “Vikings GamePlan,” Head Coach Leslie Frazier will answer one fan-submitted question.  To submit your question to Coach Frazier, click here.

“GamePlan” airs each week on KARE 11 at 10 a.m. on Sundays, and is replayed at 10:30 a.m. on Fox Sports North.  To watch past episodes on, click here.

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