Quick Reaction: Vikings Stars Pace Victory Over Panthers

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 30, 2011 – 5:38 pm

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 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…

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 77 Comments »

77 Responses to “Quick Reaction: Vikings Stars Pace Victory Over Panthers”

  1. By Cobrasvt on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Great win! Go Vikes.

  2. By WalkingViking on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    don’t you just love it go Vikes

  3. By CanadianVF on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Really getting excited about Ponder. I watched his presser after the game and I love the way he conducts himself on and off the field. Love his pocket presence, decision making, quick feet and I saw a positive progression from last weeks game to this one. He is a smart kid, who when he makes a mistake learns from it and doesn’t make the same mistake again. He is starting to get comfortable with his teamates and I think he realizes now that he belongs and can play in the NFL. Going to be fun watching him develop as the season goes on.

  4. By SoCalVike on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Nice smooth performance from Ponder,I forgot I was watching a rookie!

  5. By Geiber on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    @CanadianVF I know I was thinking the same thing! The way he conducts himself off and on the field is amazing, he seems like such a well-spoken person who wouldn’t say anything bad about anyone! The way he is playing right now is expected but like you said he is so smart and learns so quickly he doesn’t seem to make the same mistake twice which I love, I think the Minnesota fans are going to love Ponder as he gets more experience! Heck I already do!

  6. By Geiber on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    @SoCalVike Me to ha ha, his play was great! Newton is good, but I think where Ponder has him beat already is the pocket awareness and I have noticed a little “Favre” in Ponder with trying to make a play when therre is nothing. Which can be bad and good, I think it is good, but Ponder doesn’t make as many poor decisions god im excited! I can’t wait to see how he plays against GB after this bye!

  7. By Linus on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    thats my dawg! way to represent FSU baby!

  8. By CanadianVF on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Also another great game from Jared Allen. He is a monster, how can you not love a guy who leaves EVERYTHING out on the field. Is there a more disruptive force playing defence in the NFL, I DO NOT THINK SO!!!!!! If he isn’t sacking the quarterback, causing a fumble or tackling somebody 30 yards down the field, he is encouraging his teamates to give their best on every play like he does. His signature calf roping move is unique and I laugh every time he does it. Jared Allen you ROCK!!!!!!!

  9. By CajunViking on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Great hard fought win with a little good luck there at the end. Go Vikes!

  10. By Geiber on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    I think the Vikes should try and sign Josh Morgan this offseason and try him get him from the 49ers. He shouldn’t be all that much and he’s a good player! Excellent blocker!

  11. By Animal26 on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Great win today, however when will Lesley Frazier see that Asher Allen isn’t a good corner? I would have expected the mistakes asher made, by a rookie. He gets burned all the time and stinks at taking angles on tackles. I don’t understand why the Vikings just don’t start Brandon Burton or Mistral Raymond at corner.

  12. By TexasViking on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Great game! Ponder is showing great signs of becoming a great QB. However, we do need a new whole new secondary and we need to improve our O-Line. Frazier and his staff need to wake up and realize our secondary is killing us…..

  13. By Derrick Williams on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    This was a big win for us. I am pleased with our 3rd down conversion percentage but I think we should try to avoid 3rd down situations as much as possible, especially when we play good defensive teams. I think it puts a lot of pressure on Ponder because the team, fans, and others are expecting so much from him. I loved the way he played but almost every drive we saw third down. I am not pleased with our secondary. The coverage is soft and they dont even attempt to get physical with receivers or try to re-route them.

  14. By RI Vike on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Hopeful to get Winfield back in the lineup for the GB game. I think this bye week comes at a good time (get some key defensive starters back and continue to synch up with Ponder at the helm).

    You can’t develop rhythm without sustaining drives, and Ponder has brought that to this team. It was also heartening to see the offense not give up on the run in this game. You gotta give Carolina credit for winning that battle up front in the first half, but the Vikings took it back in the 3rd and 4th quarters. I think a new beast is developing and I’m excited to see it in action this second half of the season. Skol Vikes!

  15. By Roninmn.. on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Very impressed with how the team slugged it out. However some things will eventually need to be addressed. The offensive line and the secondary, with that said I am very proud to be a Vikings fan. I wish we could have resolved the quarterback issue earlier, but it is what it is. Go Vikes Go

  16. By Her Vang on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    nice win!! Ponder will be in the Hall Of Fame one day..but we need good blocking..

  17. By peter on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder is playing smart and steady and he is getting the ball into the hands of our playmakers. I focused my attention to the secondary a lot in this game and Asher Allen was out of position a lot !!!!!!

  18. By VegasVike on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    This is an awesome win, not only did we beat the odds against the Panthers cause we don’t have a great record against the kitties. Our rookie QB prevailed over Fig Newton! I didn’t see the game but congrats are in order. GREAT JOB TEAM, ON THE ROAD!!!

  19. By VegasVike on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    What is the consecutive record for a RB scoring a TD in games? Does anyone know?

  20. By Huy on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Notice how most of Ponder’s 3rd down conversions were caught by Shiancoe.

  21. By BEN SHERELS on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply


  22. By Viking-ology on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Way to go Ponder! Congrats on your first win! Many more to come.

  23. By Canadian Vikes Fan on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    I remember the night they drafted Ponder and most on here were saying what a bad pick it was. This kid has easily been better than Blaine Gabbert so far who the Vikes would have drafted. Something about this kid, his intelligence and arm, this was his 2nd start and he already looks good, imagine how good he’ll be by his 22nd or 32nd start

  24. By Mike J on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    It’s not just Asher Allen Cedric Griffin sucks to how do you expect out young DB’s to be good when their learning after what might be the worst starters back their. I think its time to clean out our starting DB’s and let the young guys get a chance because the starters aren’t doing anything special out their, other then our terrible defense with a few players excluded I really liked the way our offense played maybe our OC isn’t that bad it must’ve been Mcnabb who couldn’t run the plays.

  25. By Viking-ology on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Vikings key players stepped it up tonight. The pass defenders are a major issue.

  26. By Frederick Jones on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    @Texas Viking,

    The Vikings should have realized their weaknesses during the 2010 season, when they saw the performance of the Offensive Line and Defensive Secondary.

    The prevailing opinion by many bloggers was that the O line would be better when everyone recovered from their injuries. YEA….THAT HAPPENED.

    NOW some people actually think that WR is our greatest problem area !

    I tell ya I can’t stand it !

  27. By Viking-ology on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Cam was good-but it was great to see Ponder pull out the win-Newton has gotten so much pub, and deservedly so, but Ponder came through with the big completions when he needed them. The anylists better give him the recognition he deserves too.You da man CP! SKOL Vikes!

  28. By BleedingPurpleinAlaska! on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    You guys that keep bringing up the secondary, we have to live with what we got for the rest of this season. Upgrades in the offseason will be mandatory for the entire secondary and the OL. But, we are not going to get new people this late into the season so it is what is. Way to play Ponder. I love this kid! He is the brightest spot at QB in Minnesota since….Fran!

  29. By VegasVike on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s cherish this moment and give the team the props they deserve!!!! I for one am happy!

  30. By JPNYC on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    i am ecstatic! Ponder shows tremendous promise and AP & JA are beast!

  31. By JPNYC on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    imagine what we can do if we have a decent O-LINE and secondary!…i still say with the right picks we can be contenders next year.

    PS…Y r u not getting Webb involved!?

  32. By Mike J on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    I just want to see us at least show some kind of sign that we notice our secondary is terrible at least let our young guys get some action, it might end up being a good thing its obvious our coaches don’t know who should be starting or not remember CP7 had to wait because they didn’t think he was ready to play but him getting his chance is bringing life to our team just like BB when he was starting for no reason.

  33. By vikingbob136 on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder looked pretty good today.Jared looked very good today.
    Peterson makes something out of nothing thanks to a garbage offensive line.
    Harvin was a key today with the exception of that 15 yard penalty out of bounds.
    Ok, we didn’t beat a powerhouse team, but still a nice road win.
    The future looks nice.Let’s draft some defensive backs and we could be real good in two years.

  34. By JPNYC on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply


    who do like best as an O-LINE pick? i really like Kalil!

  35. By Mike R. on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply


    Did you see yesterdays Stanford-USC game? Everyone was talking up the top two QBs in next years draft. Not me. I was watching Kalil and Martin. Kalil looked good keeping Barkley protected in the pocket. Martin not bad either.

  36. By robb on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder was superb and will only improve with each week.The whole team is inspired by his play.Ponder will take us to the Super Bowl.

  37. By JPNYC on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    @MIKE R.

    heck yeah!!! me too! either Kalil or Martin would be great. i slightly prefer Kalil but Martin is a beast! i think they are rated 95/93 respectfully.

  38. By Mike R. on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply


    I thought it was funny that the game announcers were talking who would take Luck and Barkley early in the draft. But then it seemed like a sidenote “oh yeah Kalil is good LT” and no real mention of Martin (except when he on the ground dinged up) !

  39. By JPNYC on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike R.

    the O-LINE is never looked at. its a shame, but what can we do? either one would be an excellent grab. its tough passing up Mathieu (LSU) if he is available. however, after his recent antics i would have a bit of trepidation about getting him.

  40. By Viking-ology on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Percy and Shank came up big today. Ponder’s 3rd down completion rate is incredible.

  41. By Viking-ology on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Last post for me tonite-great game today, get healthy in bye week, come out ready for a strong finish. Peace

  42. By Mike R. on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply


    I agree about Mathieu. I was trying to follow Johnthan Banks from Miss St. He seems to be around the ball.


    nite! Ponder looked good. He is comfortable spreading the ball around. Keep up with kids’ studies. It never ends!!!

  43. By Frederick Jones on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply


    Didn’t Kalil just play for Carolina today?

  44. By Mike R. on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    @Frederick Jones

    I think he is brother of Carolina player

  45. By Frederick Jones on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    @Vegas Vike,

    It was great to see the Vikings win game for a change. There were some incredible performances: Jared Allen, AD, Percy Harvin, Marcus Sherels,
    and Greenway.

    My focus is on next year’s draft because we “blew the poodle” last year DUDE!

  46. By David P on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Great win for the vikes. I am from NC and cannot stand the panthers. Erin Henderson played a very good game today. The LB’s are getting it done. Wish we could say the same for the DB’s and the OL. Still a great win. Now just put a few wins together.

  47. By Mike R. on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply


    don’t forget Mike R. here! Probably the only Vikes fan in Pa Dutch Country!!!!!

  48. By Frederick Jones on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike R,

    Perhaps you could be our newly appointed Scout – Offensive Linemen.

    You think I’m kidding, but I’m serious!

    Perhaps Shawn could be Scout – Defensive Backfield.

  49. By Frederick Jones on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    There are actually a number of people that realize the DRAFTING FAILURES of 2004 to 2007 in particular.

    Even last year, with Favre getting mutilated game after game, THE VIKINGS WAITED UNTIL THE 6TH ROUND TO TAKE AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN.


    I mean…What’s up??

  50. By Frederick Jones on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    You play the game to WIN, not just to play….

    If you can’t, then RETIRE…GET OUT ! ! !

  51. By Mike R. on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Test? Test?

  52. By Mike R. on Oct 30, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Frederick!!!

    I agree!!! But can’t seem to post

  53. By DelawareDan on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    As I stated before the Carolina game, the vikes would win. Get ready.
    While I can’t predict a win at lambeau, I think it goes to the end. Ponder gives the vikes a chance to win at GB !

    This team is starting to gel on offense. Defense can’t be fixed until the draft.

  54. By vikeforever on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Great win for for Vikes and Ponder. I was a upset that all the media attention went to Newton. I am not going to argue that he is good player but come on! Every sports station NFC Ntwk or ESPN etc only talked up Newton nothing was said on Ponder performance. GO Vikes!!!

  55. By DWang on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    It’s a scary thought that we could’ve ended up with Blaine Gabbert as our QB if he were available, we should probably thank the Jaguars for grabbing him and the Titans for grabbing Locker so we were forced to grab Ponder. Sure no one’s proven anything yet but I like Ponders odds vs either of those two based on what he’s shown thus far.

  56. By Bigfan1 on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Great win, progression of getting better, almost beat GB, now a win it’s how you finish not how you start. Everybody’s game is ramping up. AP dispelled any criticism that he’s not strong in the receiving corp. Allen is a one man wrecking crew, one of the analysts said Allen should be MVP in the league if A Rogers wasn’t playing so well. Ponder is just what this team needed, he’s doing great.

  57. By Jeffbleedspurple on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    One thing I did notice when Ponder had just a little time to set his feet before making the pass he hit his targets very good, still shaky when under pressure, with better blocking and 1 serious deep threat, he will do very good.

  58. By CaL on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Jared Allen is the MVP

  59. By Woodboat on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Nice to see the win, good job Vikes! Ponder looked great in his second start. Peterson racks up his best receiving day ever… I’d like to see more of that. Allen continues his sack streak…Jared is on fire this year. Harvin is tough as nails, great job outta him. The O Line kept Ponder clean for the most part… keep doing your best, fellas.

    BUT…. PLEASE…. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS PURPLE…. GET US SOME HELP IN THE DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD. There is NO reason Mare should have had a chance to miss that last field goal. How do you get beat deep on 4th and 14 with the game hanging in the balance? That goes beyond lack of physical ability… that’s lack of intelligence.

  60. By Woodboat on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply


    Agree with you about all except the deep threat. I think Ponder’s successes deep are going to be yards after catch. I don’t know that he has the arm to launch the laser deep ball. I’m sure you’ve noticed that every deep ball he’s thrown has a bit o rainbow in it. That makes timing and accuracy that much more important that it is for dudes with rocket arms.

    I’m going to be pretty darned upset if the Vikes go WR early in next years draft.

  61. By David P on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    @Woodboat, I agree with your post. Watching the game yesterday it seem s the vikings DB’s do not know how to play fundamental football. For example on the Newton to Smtih TD pass, Allen was lined up in man to man and did not even try to slow down or alter the route of Smith. I do not know Allen was thinking but it was not about covering Smith. If the vikings DLine did not get to Newton the way they did this would have been an ugly game. The coaches need to take time to teach these players how to play fundamental football. If they learn that more wins can occur.

  62. By jwmowan on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Great win for the Viks. Our secondary sucks. Way too soft. Get out of that zone and go man to man. Ponder, your looking good. Great game Jared and Pederson, Sherels, linebackers, and everyone else, minus the DB’s. We need help on the O line. Keep your attitude UP and think about next week.

  63. By deer tracks on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Look here now, There was nothing special about this ‘win’…Got real lucky at the end in the 4th quarter..Ponder, Peterson, Harvin, Greenway,had their normal great moments, rest of the team couldn’t catch their a-ses with both hands..O line is still last years garbage…With the exception of couple of DE’s…D Line had more holes than a block of Swiss cheeze…Better do some practice before you face GreenBay again….

  64. By deer tracks on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry, fogot J. Allen, only Allen on the team that sure earned his stripes Sunday!!!

  65. By Robins on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Great game and win! Lets beat the Packers! Ponder is the real deal! We can beat the Packers and win the rest! Jared was great! Peterson was great! We found our missing piece in Ponder! Congratulations!

  66. By 61vikings on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    It just goes to show you in the NFL, if you have a QB with some brains, watches film and can read defenses, will win in the NFL!! You don’t always have to be the most talented QB!! Give me a guy with smarts anyday of the week!! Start building your team around Ponder and in a year or two we can start to make another run at a division title and a NFC cham[ionship!! Teams will now have to respect Ponder and the passing game, which should open up the running game even more!!

  67. By naturalviking18 on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Our secondary wouldnt be so bad if we had Winfield and Cook. I understand Winfields absence and our best secondary player is a women beater

  68. By LV on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Again Ponder gets more credit than he deserves, what about AP.

  69. By Bman on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    I have yet to hear mention of the outstanding effort from Erin Henderson. He seemed to be all over the field on Sunday and was a consistent force throughout the game. It was good to see him take a positive step forward.

  70. By Mt_Viking on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    I was not surprised to see Cam frustrated late in the game. I said on an earlier blog that Cam was a athletic freak of nature and Ponder is a great athlete with a very high IQ! I also said that athletic ability will only get you so far but intelligence will get you a long and storied NFL career! I truly believe that Cam’s career will be short and fun to watch. The Vikings proved that teams will figure Cam out and he will get lots of NFL style hits. How long can he take it? Ponder, I believe, will have a long, productive, winning, career. I have a gut feeling that he will win Superbowl (s)!! When its all said and done, it will be Ponder in the HOF not Cam!!!

  71. By JPNYC on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder is Montana like with a touch of S. Young and A-Rodgers (believe it or not). his arm strength is fine. he may not have a laser like Elway, Farve, and yes, Cam, but Montana proved many times that you dont need that. HECK! A LUCK has an AVG arm and everyone is saying that he has the potential to be the next Manning. like Steve” Mariucci, Gruden and others have said, “Ponder has a strong arm”. its above avg. thats all you need. couple that with his intangibles and IQ and you have a potential elite QB that can bring us a couple of SB wins!

  72. By JPNYC on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Having said that, we must draft Kalil or Martin with our 1st pick, get a blue chip WR/CB from the draft and from free agency. an up and coming LB would hurt either.

  73. By JPNYC on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    here is Ponder’s arm strength on display. i would agree that arm strength is vital but is not the only thing needed.

  74. By VegasVike on Oct 31, 2011 | Reply

    Every team has their stars, if I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard GB will be done if Rogers goes down… So to have JA, CP, AP and more I’d say we’re doing ok. It’s time to stack the W column!!

  75. By Stoney on Nov 1, 2011 | Reply

    @JPNYC, how high of a pick will we need for either of those guys?

  76. By JPNYC on Nov 1, 2011 | Reply


    i would say at least top 15…maybe even 10. if we keep winning we probably wont get those guys. it would be great if we did but if we dont, we can always pick others.

  77. By Rogerthevikefan on Nov 2, 2011 | Reply

    Kalil(BEST) is top 3 pick going to the Rams. Martin(OVER-RATED) is top 5 going to the Cards. Riley Rieff is the 2nd best tackle and should be around after the top 10 picks. Andrew Datko 3rd best tackle falls to 3rd round because of shoulder injury. Must find a corner that will take half the field away from Qbs M. Claibourne LSU, Stephon Gilmore USCarolina, Janoris Jenkins N.Alabama, Alfonzo Dennard Nebraska, and Jayron Hosley VTech all could become shut-down corners. Dre Kirkpatrick Alabama will be a fail at corner and would excell at Saftey.

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