The Vikings took to the road on Sunday and earned their 2nd win of the 2011 season behind big-time performances from a few of their stars. The recap of the Vikings 24-21 victory is on the vikings.com home page, but as we fly home from Carolina on the team charter I thought I’d get the conversation going here on the blog.
So, here are a couple of thoughts from today’s game…
– The best RB in the NFL was up to his old tricks, as Adrian Peterson totaled 162 yards from scrimmage and 2 TDs on the afternoon; he was the Vikings leading receiver and rusher. Peterson’s first TD came at the end of the 1st half after the Vikings turned Carolina over. Rookie QB Christian Ponder hit Peterson in the middle of the field on a check down, and Peterson made one cut to the outside and sprinted away from the defense for a 19-yard TD. His second TD came at the end of the 3rd quarter on an impressive run from 9 yards out, where he broke several tackles and drove a few defenders with him on the way to the end zone. It was a tough go for the Vikings with the ground game early on, but Peterson was relentless and eventually broke a few significant runs to log 86 yards on 21 carries. He also had 5 receptions for 76 yards on the day.
– The Vikings wouldn’t have been in position to win Sunday’s game without DE Jared Allen. He had 5 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1 pass defensed, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. The fumble recovery came on Carolina’s first offensive play of the game, as LB E.J. Henderson pressured Carolina QB Cam Newton and forced him to fumble; Allen was there to pounce on the fumble. Two plays later, Percy Harvin pranced in on a 10-yard TD run to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead. Allen’s sack and forced fumble is the play that preceded Peterson’s TD reception at the end of the 1st half; the play was a huge swing for the Vikings because Carolina looked to be driving to try and tack on points late in the 2nd quarter. But the turnover and subsequent Peterson TD changed momentum in the game and knotted the score at 14, instead of the Panthers taking a 21-7 or 17-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
– Ponder must be acknowledged for taking another step forward in his development. He was 18 of 28 for 236 yards and 1 TD, but more importantly he had 0 turnovers and once again looked the part of an NFL QB. The Vikings converted 50% of their 3rd-down plays and they picked up 13 first downs through the air. This marks a significant improvement for the Vikings in both of those categories and it will give Vikings coaches, players and fans even more confidence in their young QB. Another stat that should increase your confidence in Ponder is that, according to my quick calculations using the play-by-play, Ponder was 8 of 10 for 101 yards on 3rd downs.
– K Ryan Longwell won’t be completely satisfied with his performance on Sunday because he missed a 1st-quarter FG try that became an important factor in this week’s game. But he came through in the 4th quarter on a 31-yard try with just 2:43 to play, which gave the Vikings their 3-point winning margin. With that game-winning kick, Longwell is now the Vikings career leader in game-winning FGs with 10, surpassing the mark previously set by Fred Cox (9).
Those are just a few of the individual highlights, and there are many more we could and will go over in the next 48 hours or so. Everson Griffen continues to play well, the offensive line looked better in the 2nd half in the running game, the defense shored up their defense in the 2nd half, Chad Greenway led the club in tackles and his tied for 4th in the NFL in tackles, and Marcus Sherels returned the opening kickoff 78 yards to put the Vikings offense in great field position.
For now, though, let’s hear what you all thought of the game. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below this entry…
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 77 Comments »
Adrian Peterson exploded for 162 yards of total offense and 2 TDs, Jared Allen extended his consecutive games with at least a .5 sack streak to 10, Ryan Longwell hit his 10th game-winning FG as a Viking and Christian Ponder earned his first win as a starting QB.
There is a lot to go over from Sunday’s game, and I’m sure you have a lot of questions and comments. So let’s hash it out in the Monday Morning Mailbag.
To submit a comment or question, send an email to me at email@example.com. You can also submit your comment or question in the comments section below this entry.
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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 119 Comments »
The Carolina Panthers were driving late in the 2nd quarter in an attempt to build a 21-7 halftime lead, but Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson had other ideas. Allen got to Carolina QB Cam Newton for a strip-sack, allowing the Vikings to take possession inside Carolina territory.
A couple plays later, Ponder dumped off a pass to Peterson and #28 sprinted away from the Panthers defense for a 19-yard score. Peterson now had 3 career receiving TDs and Allen has at least a .5 sack in 10 consecutive games. Allen also recovered a fumble early in the 1st quarter that was forced by E.J. Henderson.
Christian Ponder is 8 of 12 for 135 yards with 1 TD. Percy Harvin has 3 carries for 16 yards and a TD. For Carolina, QB Cam Newton is 11 of 17 for 152 yards and 2 TDs. The Panthers are rushing the ball well against Minnesota, with 97 yards on 17 carries.
The game is tied 14-14 going into halftime.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, E.J. Henderson, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin
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The inactive list and several other circumstances leading up to today’s game will give several young Vikings players plenty of playing time. Let’s take a look at a few of them…
QB Christian Ponder – He’ll be making his 2nd consecutive start today after a good debut showing last week against the Green Bay Packers. Ponder will go head-to-head against another rookie QB in Cam Newton, who is far and away the NFL’s most sensational first-year player. Today marks the first time in franchise history that the Vikings and their opponent will both start rookies at QB.
WR Stephen Burton – When Bernard Berrian was released earlier in the week, it was Burton who was promoted to the active roster. Not only is he on the 53-man roster, he’s active today and it looks like he could get a look at kickoff returner with Lorenzo Booker among the inactives.
CBs Asher Allen, Brandon Burton and Marcus Sherels – These 3 youngsters will see significant action today with Antoine Winfield inactive (neck) and Chris Cook on a leave of absence from the team. This will be Burton’s 3rd game on the active roster, Allen will get the start opposite Cedric Griffin and Sherels will be on the field whenever the Vikings are in their nickel defense.
Tags: Asher Allen, Brandon Burton, Christian Ponder, Marcus Sherels, Stephen Burton
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 210 Comments »
CB Antoine Winfield (neck) will be inactive for today’s game against the Panthers. He suffered the injury during the Oct. 2 game in Kansas City and has yet to play in a game since, meaning this will be the fourth game in a row he’s inactive.
Here is the full list of inactives for today’s game: CB Antoine Winfield, RB / KR Lorenzo Booker, LB Xavier Adibi, G Anthony Herrera, OL DeMarcus Love, and DE D’Aundre Reed.
We’ll have the Panthers inatives shortly.
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The Vikings have arrived at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte for their showdown with rookie sensation Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. We have moderate temperatures, little wind and lots of sun, so it should be great football weather today.
Game time is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. local time – 12:00 p.m. CT – and vikings.com will be your place for continuous coverage before, during and after today’s game. We’ll have the inactives for you at 10:30 a.m. CT, several more updates before kickoff, Mr. Hippe’s Weather report right at kickoff and then the live chat during the game. After the game, you can watch all Vikings post-game press conferences live on vikings.com.
As for the game, despite subpar records by both teams, we’ll have plenty of star power on the field. Carolina features Newton, the NFL’s leading WR in Steve Smith and a nice tandem at RB with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. The Vikings have a great RB of their own in Adrian Peterson, who leads the NFL in rushing yards and TDs, plus a rookie QB looking to make a name for himself in Christian Ponder. Throw in guys such as Percy Harvin and Jared Allen, and you can see the star power in this contest.
Hopefully they all shine today, and the Vikings shine brighter. You can catch all the action on the Vikings Radio Network, where Paul Allen will handle play-by-play duties. And don’t forget to check out our live chat, which will begin right before kickoff.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 7 Comments »