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Pair Of Rookies, Ponder Push Vikings To Victory Over Bills

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 17, 2012 – 10:53 pm

Vikings GM Rick Spielman and Head Coach Leslie Frazier are in the midst of reforming the Vikings roster into a young group of individuals who will play together for a long time. Such a strategy cuts both ways – a young team is prone to mistakes born from inexperience, and a young team is capable of jumping up suddenly and displaying what can happen when things begin to click.

If Friday night’s preseason game at Mall of America Field is an indication of what’s to come from this young Vikings team, the 2012 season and many campaigns after that should be full of excitement. Paced early by second-year QB Christian Ponder and third-year RB Toby Gerhart, late by rookie LB Audie Cole and all throughout the game by rookie K Blair Walsh, the Vikings logged a lopsided 36-14 victory over the AFC East’s Buffalo Bills.

The action started with Ponder and Co. taking first possession. And they didn’t mess around. Ponder found WR Percy Harvin for a 21-yard gain on the second play from scrimmage and then two plays later he found speedster Jerome Simpson for a 33-yard burst on a play that saw Simpson showcase his athleticism by hurdling a would-be tackler to extend the play. Gerhart ripped off a 16-yard a few moments later and before you knew it, Ponder floated a pass to FB Jerome Felton for a TD and early lead.

Walsh salvaged the next drive with a 22-yard FG to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead in the 2nd quarter. That concluded the action for Ponder and Gerhart. Ponder finished going 10 of 13 for 136 yards with 1 TD and 0 INTs, hitting 8 different receivers on the night. Gerhart’s line was 6 carries for 30 yards, bringing his preseason total to 11 carries for 61 yards.

As for Walsh, he missed his next attempt. It was a 49-yarder and sailed wide right. But that was his lone blemish on the evening. Walsh came on to hit FGs from 45 and 47 yards in the 2nd quarter and then he was good from 40 yards in the 3rd quarter and 30 yards in the 4th quarter. Walsh was also solid on his kickoffs during the game, with Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer asking Walsh to execute a variety of different approaches on those kickoffs. In total, Walsh was 5 of 6 on FG tries and 3 of 3 on PATs.

Walsh’s 4th-quarter FG from 30 yards pushed the Vikings lead to 22-14 midway through the final period. But any thoughts Buffalo had of mounting a late-game rally to steal a victory were quickly eliminated by another Vikings rookie. In back-to-back plays late in the 4th quarter, LB Audie Cole sealed the Vikings victory and took a huge step in sealing a roster spot for himself.

Cole intercepted a pass and returned it for a TD – twice – in the game’s final moments, giving the Vikings their winning 36-14 cushion. The first INT came on a 2nd and 10 play from the Buffalo 11-yardline. Former Vikings QB Tyler Thigpen dropped back and quickly threw a pass intended for WR Naaman Roosevelt, but Cole jumped the route to grab the INT and sprinted toward the goal line. On the ensuing Bills drive, Brad Smith replaced Thigpen at QB and Cole intercepted his first pass, another quick throw intended for Roosevelt. This time Cole sprinted to the end zone uncontested and was greeted by a throng of teammates in the back of the end zone.

The daily double INT-for-TD from Cole capped an exciting night at Mall of America Field that saw the Vikings play in front of their fans for the first time since last season and also log their first win of the preseason. The Vikings are now 1-1 this preseason, and next week they’ll remain at home to host the AFC West’s San Diego Chargers.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 134 Comments »


134 Responses to “Pair Of Rookies, Ponder Push Vikings To Victory Over Bills”

  1. By Spencer on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Im sorry but when I see “Pair of Rookies” in the headline my immediate reaction wasnt about Walsh or Audie Cole.

    It was about Matt Kalil and Jairus Wright. Last week Kalil struggled against Aldon Smith, but it was forgivable because it was his first game and he was going up against an elite edge rusher. But today he also looked bad against Mark Anderson and the other members of the Bills D-line. He was drafted 4th and he sure as he|| isn’t playing like it.

    Now with Jairus I dont even know what to say. I mean before the season adjectives like playmaker and crisp route runner were thrown at the guy. But in these first 2 pre-season games I havent seen any of that. If he we was drafted in the 7th round theres no way he would make team. He doesnt even have a catch yet!

    But anyways it was refreshing to see the other rookies step up: Walsh, Robinson, and Harrison Smith all looked good out there. We have a promising future.

  2. By rogerthevikefan on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Glad Ponder had a solid game. He is gonna shock many critics. Cole needs more playing time with the 2nd team to cement his status as the top backup other than that he has made the team.

  3. By rogerthevikefan on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    A nice group of young secondary players indeed.

  4. By Kyler on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Went to the game. A wave that lasted the entire 3rd quarter, paper flying everywhere. god it was a blast.

  5. By Richard1A on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Time to sharpen the swords and battle axe’s for San Diego! stock up on the Purple Punch flavored Whoops Ass cans! we sail to San Diego! Cole looked as good as you can expect, is he the Steel of the Draft? Did S. Elimimien play? Kalil a bust? have’nt heard anything good about him since he has been here, it has all been talk from his college days. Except were just so happy to have him here!

  6. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    AUDI COLE BABY!!!! YEAH!!!AUDIE FREAKIN COLE!! I don’t care if it’s preseason….Unbelievable. You have to be good to do it twice, preseason or not, third stringers or not…you have to be able to put yourself in position to make a big play when the opportunity presents itself. He did it freakin twice. AUDI FREAKIN COLE!

  7. By Spoiler Alert on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s not forget Smith and Raymond. They were awesome tonight. Smith looked stellar on the knockdown. This is just preseason, but let’s hope this starts building some real swagger. We could be a suprise this year.

  8. By Vikes4Life on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Call it jumping the gun, but I agree. There does seem to be a sense of identity building. Looking along the sidelines everybody seems so relaxed and comfortable. These guys are all shaggy hair, bearded, and having fun. It’s like the flat out dont give a $hit about what anyone thinks of them, they are there to play football. Let’s hope it comes to fruition during the regular season.

  9. By Ekolu on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    The rookies we need to be concerned with right now are Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith, Josh Robinson, Jairus Wright and Blair Walsh. And, they all played extremely well. The O line gave up 2 sacks, but Kalil wasn’t 100% responsible for them because they actually came from the DT spots, one by Dareus from the opposite side and the other by Kyle Williams as he disengaged Charlie Johnson and stunted around Mario Williams who was engaged with Kalil. Harrison Smith played solid knocking down a pass. Robinson played extremely well making 2 tackles, one preventing a 1st down and also breaking up a pass which would’ve resulted in a 1st down as well. Jairus Wright was unspectacular, but didn’t make any noticeable errors. And, Walsh was superb, looks like Priefer struck gold with the kicker out of Georgia.

  10. By rogerthevikefan on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    The only knock on Robinson was he didn’t intercept that p@ss breakup. Raymond played with fire in his belly. Smith was what I expected. The only truly bad play was Carr missing the tackle on the first TD._____________ Kalil was good. He kept Super Mario from breaking Ponder. The 2 sacks were good D not bad OLine play and after them the 1st team OLine shut them down.

  11. By Roger Troy Wilson on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Webb is just NOT accurate enough to be an NFL QB, so let’s face up to this FACT and make him a WR, where he can utilize his dekes to both get open And score TDs…with his moves, he could be another Jerry Rice!

  12. By michael on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Ponder is starting to mature!!! All you negative nancy’s that were bashing him his rookie season are going to be eating your words when this class act proves you wrong this year. I said it the last two years, and now that we are moving the ball with Ponder, its clear that Joe Webb is not an NFL QB. I don’t think he’s a wideout either. Trade him, try to get a good pick for him.

  13. By SkolVikes98 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Overall decent game. I know its only the preseason, but it was a fairly complete performance. Yeah I was sad Robinson’s break-up wasn’t an INT, the O-line took a few plays to settle in. But it was the type of performance us fans haven’t seen much of since 09, where all phases looked pretty good. Well, special teams blocking and tackling needs to sort itself out a bit, but half those guys wont make the squad anyway. O-line is looking good, QB is making much better reads (not running for his life every play helps), secondary looks better. Secondary may not be what it needs to be yet, but man am I glad its starting to look better. I’ve been telling all my friends the Vikings may be a sleeper team this year, and if I see more improvement next week against the Chargers, I may have won myself a few drinks. Skol Vikings!

    P.S. Did Marcus Sherels play at all? I caught most of the game on the radio, and I don’t remember hearing his name.

    Also, GO COLE. Even if its against third stringers, we may have a sleeper pick of the draft after all.

  14. By Rick on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I think Cole could be replacing Brinkley at the middle linebacker spot he can tackle hard against the run but he seems to be able to play coverage as well. I like Brinkley but he just doesn’t flash to me, a solid backup but nothing more. As for Carr time for him to step up or step out. Raymond really impressed me I haven’t been his biggest fan but if he can continue to play at the level he played last night I would eat my words happily. Smith is a beast out there at safety and the O line looked solid after a couple of mistakes. Ponder is the real deal but something else needs to be done with Webb either trade him or put him in a position to use his talents. And to all that have ever said trade Toby your crazy. Skol vikes lets show the @$$ clowns on NFL network that you can play ball!!!!!!!!!!

  15. By rocksalt on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    This is how to play in the preseason………..none of that “we will not show anything” B.S.

  16. By T.HARRIS on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Someone keep saying backup about Audie Cole this guy is not backup material this guy makes plays.He’s conscious,comfortable,and confident at his position and that’s what defense is all about position yourself to make a play.It’s something about the name Audie Cole 6’5 239 LB.I would give Jasper Brinkley and Erin Henderson there walking papers.

  17. By 32frank12 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Ponder looked great out there again last night! We are going to surprise a lot of people this year
    SKOL!!!!

  18. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    So many positives last night…Where to begin ??…

    Has to be Audie Cole…Smooth,cool,good tackler, and was making some great reads…And reacting quickly to what he saw…You can see natural big play ability in that young man…

    And has leadership skills for a young rookie also…And pretty obvious well liked by the team…The way they swarmed him after the second interception…

    Mistral Raymond…Very nice rebound from last week…

    H Smith…Oh yeah…We have a safety there…I was giddy last night watching the pressures the defense was getting UP THE MIDDLE…And Guion was not even playing…

    Robinson is raw…But the talent is there…His upside could be off the charts…

    Gerhart…Man that guy has power hitting the hole !!…

    Ponder…Always said Ponder was going to be good…And Ponder should have a solid season this fall…But still believe Ponders ceiling of his potential will not be seen for a few years yet…This young man is still learning…And will keep getting better…

    And how about Blair Walsh !!!…

    Hats off also to Spielman & company in the scouting department…The talent they found in the draft this year is obvious…Lets just hope it can come together as a complete mean machine !!!…

    GO VIKINGS !!!…

    I know it was just a preseason game…But still VERY pleased after watching the game last night…

  19. By iaVike on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Trade Chris Cook. He should go back to jail where he will be safe from injury.

  20. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    http://www.twincities.com/vikings/ci_21341641/tom-powers-vikings-had-good-night-was-it

  21. By Mike B. on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I have to agree many positives in the game. The first team was able to move the ball down the field enough for 1 TD and possibly 2 FG (got 1). Drives that end up with points on the board is important. Ponder shows why he’s the #1 QB for the team. I don’t think anyone can question his command of the team at this point. Sage appeared to be sharper than Joe Webb, but then Joe did the things you expect him to do. He was able to escape and make big yardage with his feet. Like the annoucers say, when he comes in as the back up other teams have a hard time adjusting to his play. I think that the 2nd and 3rd QB spot is up in the air. I know I am going to get come comments on that. I don’t think that Jasper Brinkley has convinced the coaches he’s the guy to replace EJ yet. That was why he was in till the end of the second quarter. I still don’t see that he has yet. I think that Audie Cole has put himself for consideration to stay on the roster. Even though it was 2 and 3 string against each other, he put himself in a great position for the 2 INTs. The secondary looked improved, but saw the missed tackles again in that second quarter. Blair Walsh misses one but gets the rest with 2 at long range is very good. He will miss some more but the guy has the leg. WR core is the biggest ? mark for me. Besides Simpson and Harvin I didn’t see the others stand out or pose a big threat to the defense. We definately need to address this before the season starts. I am not sure even how our first team is going to do against constant 8 man front defenses. Got to have a guy that will take it to the house with a single throw down field. That will keep their secondary back.

  22. By Vikeman56 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Mike B. Kyle Rudolph will do that.

  23. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Between Rudolf,Carlson,Ellifson, and Riesner…Not even mentioning Shuler in the group…

    I don’t think there is a better set of TE’s ends on any team in football…Except for the Patriots…

  24. By Frederick Jones on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you Ekoulu for your analysis of Kalil. Kalil has already been helping our Offensive Line. He just needs a little more help from the other 4 guys.

  25. By Frederick Jones on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Mike B.,

    Use some spaces in your posts. Some of us will never read run-on paragraphs like that.

    You often have interesting things to say, but jones is old and won’t subject his eyes to that kind of writing.

  26. By South Carolina Troy on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Didnot see the game but i must say im encouraged for the first time in a long time.I know its only preseason.Ponder is making significant strides.For the vikings to become a playoff team they must improve in 3 areas. 1) Committ less penaltys. 2)Turnover ratio must improve. 3)Secondary play.

  27. By sandiamond on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Shuler looks like a twin Gronk. Get the guy some reps and see what he can do! We have enough TE’s to last into 2020

    WR strength the focus here on out…………

  28. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Cant get enough of the Jumpin Jerome clip.

    @RichardA1…………We do not sail to San Diego next week…The game is at home for the Vikes.

  29. By Bluebird7 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Mike B. Webb will remain as Nr. 2 QB. Sage was also sailing the ball into the stands.
    Webb is still better then Sage. The other teams still are puzzled by his play actions whenever he has to come in. Just like the game announcers stated last night.

  30. By peever on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    fat matt was the wod….waste of draft…..cole may be sod…steal of draft….good thing the vikings got some good young talent as they sure blew it wasting a 4th overall pick on a big fat o lineman……

  31. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Strange that the preseason wk 2 highlights for the Vikes @NFL.com do not even include Audie’s second int for TD……just his first. tisk tisk. laziness. I have been posting on FB since the draft about how underestimated this team will be this year. Dave Dameshek called us the worst team in the NFL.
    This just smacks of early 2009 season to me.

  32. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    My wish list for secondary positions…

    CB’s…Winfield,Cook,Robinson,Burton,Sherels and Felder..

    Safeties…Smith,Raymond,Sendejo,Blanton,and Sanford…

    Let this young group play and feed off each others energy…I expect plenty of growing pains the first half of the season in the secondary…

    But it is the second half of the season this group should start to gel…Just in time to shut down the big name NFL QB’s in the black and blue division…

  33. By Paul Cranis, on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Blair Walsh…Best signing by Vikings! Will make a difference in the long run. Anything over 45 yds is a winner. Good luck Blair.

  34. By Frederick Jones on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @peever,

    Kalil is not fat. 6’7″ 290′ is not fat!!!

    The problems with the OLine were due primarily to the other 4 guys. It will take more than ONE (1) one player to fix a FIVE (5) PLAYER UNIT.

    If you were to compare Audie Cole to Matt Kalil, I bet the coaches would pick Kalil.

  35. By Richard1A on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    We have got to turn Webb into a receiver, the one thing he has shown is he can run once he has the ball. It was some thrilling play by Cole, could be the highlight of preseason! Ponder scares me! he showed he can play for a few minutes, can he play for a whole game, handle the ups and downs? I got my summer pelt Vikings clothes out, stocked up on Purple Punch flavored cans of Viking Whoop Ass for the San Diego game! Ready to dock there dragon headed Vikings ships in San Diego Harbor!

  36. By josh k on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    with peterson hurt and the vikings looking to manage percy harvins roles on this team why not give webb the carries that percy got last season

    . everyone says webb needs to be a QB or WR but his best quality is running not catching or throwing just running. Get this guy 5 or 6 carries a game.

  37. By josh k on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    why is the Jenkins catch video not working?

  38. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Ric hardA1………….again the vikes are at home next week. San Diego comes to us….

  39. By CA_Viking_Fan on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Anyone know why Soloman Elimimian didn’t suit up? Didn’t hear anything about any injuries and was looking forward to see him get more reps in a game situation.

  40. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Some Buffalo supporters in blogs elsewhere are blaming part of the loss due to the replacement officials…..Guess I missed that. Maybe talking about Audies first TD? I dunno. It was fun to watch our seconds hold the Bills starters. We didnt even punt till the third quarter.. NICE

  41. By Larry on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Did McCleod Bethel-Thompson play last night?

  42. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Larry…Nope

  43. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Not sure how anyone can blame this game on the officiating– 36-14 is far too a gap to blame on a few miscalls. And I am originally from Buffalo, but Vikings are my first team.

  44. By mnsoldier on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Webb proved that he is both a great athlete and yet not a QB, he is just not capable of throwing the ball with any consistency and the vikings need to see that and end the madness of trying to make hin into one. so cut him to clean the slate and not have any lingering anomosity and division in the team.

  45. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus…..I believe you wrote something about that last night. (being from Buffalo)I have some family in Kew Gardens. Also I know how difficult it can be to watch your team take a loss, even if it is preseason. That being said, they were only partially blaming the officials.

  46. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @mnsoldier…..unfortunately I cannot see anyone cutting Webb anytime soon. I am getting so tired of hearing about how great he is from some people. As I have said before it is like bragging about how much power your minivan makes.

  47. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Well, frenum49, I am right now about a seven minute drive from the Metrodome on the border of Uptown area in the Minneapolis area– so Vikings are my team. Most of the time I will root for the Bills to win, but not when they play the Vikings– although if the Vikes lose, I don’t feel as bad as when they lose to other teams.

  48. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus….I like the Uptown area. Am living outside of Rochester currently.

  49. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Minnesota, that is. Not NY

  50. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Ha ha ha–Rochester MN is really growing from what I have heard. I have not been there in a while. I cycled down there once on highway 52.

  51. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I hope the replacement refs stay at least half the season…Because I think union officials are taking bribes…

    Packers defense hold WR’s and defensive lineman all the time…But are one of the least penalized teams in the league…WHY ????…

    I can see Goodell getting those extra 20 refs in the pool of referees to pick from for games…Having some refs sit for poor play calling on the field…

    I also see Goodell having spies in that group of 20 new referees…That will report any foul play or illegal contact with NFL teams…

    Always said that the Saints would pay for their tainted super bowl trophy they won…And that sooner or later…The dirty refs in that game would also…

    The Saints are getting their due…

    The refs will get theirs also…Maybe this lockout of the referees will have something to do with that in the long run…

    Play the replacement refs…At least an honest game will be called to their best ability…Because teams wouldn’t dare take a chance offering money to the replacement refs…These guys are only temporary…

    And after what Goodell did to the Saints…Would teams take a chance that Goodell might have something up his sleeve with the replacement referees ???…

    Just my own little conspiracy theory… ; )

  52. By frenum49 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus………..Its coming along. Becoming very upscale. However, I need to live out of town. I enjoy my privacy. Not many places left where you can walk out into your woods naked and take a leak on tree in the morning. LOL

  53. By MVIKNGS on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    The Vikings are heading in the right direction NUFF SAID.

  54. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Interesting criteria for finding a neighborhood.

  55. By Immure on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings going to England?

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000051663/article/vikings-top-candidate-to-play-in-london-report-says?module=HP11_headline_stack

  56. By iaVIKE on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Titus The only thing you know how to ride is yout Easy Chair. That thing you put your big fat a s s into

  57. By Smith on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @OTKalil

    I agree withyou about the Tight Ends, they all look solid. We probably didn’t need to sign John Carlson in FA. Though I am curious to see him play. In the Saints playoff loss to the Seahawks, a year and half ago, Carlson had 2 TD’s. Definately want to see what he brings to the table.

  58. By josh k on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    give webb harvins carries. Webb can run the ball. hes not a QB hes not a WR he is a giant part time RB

  59. By Richard1A on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    My mistake, Vikes play here, not S.D. We have got to utilize Webbs running with the ball ability, he has made runs like A. P. does, his qb play i
    s kind of average, then his running with the ball makes us think he can play qb.

  60. By Smith on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Between Audie, Walsh and Ellison I’d say Spielman found some Diamonds in the Rough in this years draft. That’s great after losing Childs.

    As for our first 3 picks, Kalil, Smith and Robison…..
    ……I qoute Dennis Green, “They’re who we thought they were!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  61. By Smith on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Josh

    I was just thinking the same thing. Can Webb block? I bet he’d be great to check down too on 3rd down. Probably convert 80% of the time.

  62. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Webb needs to be put in a different position than quarterback– period.

  63. By víkingr on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    What’s wrong with you guys, Kalil is the deal! He wasn’t responsible for any of the two sacks even Sully admited he was responsible for one of them… Go and look the game again and you’ll see why you don’t hear nothing about Kalil cause there’s nothing too say… He’s good-period!

  64. By rory from n.w.ark on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    BOY WHAT A DIFF, GREAT TO SEE ,BEST THING IS THE WAY THEY ARE TOGETHER AS A TEAM ,EXCITEMENT IN THEIR EYES,CELEBRATING COLES PICKS IN THE ENDZONE ,GREAT TO SEE THEM COMING TOGETHER AS A TEAM,THAT IS WHAT WILL MAKE THE DIFF THIS YEAR ,,,T E A M,, PLUS SO MANY NEW YOUG FACES THIS IS GOING TO BE SO FUN AAS A FAN TO GET TO WATCH THIS TEAM KICK ASSSS THIS YEAR I BELIEVE WE ARE GOING TO BE IN EVERY GAME SOME HOW SOME WAY WE ARE GOING TO GET THERE…..

  65. By troutdaddy on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    First off- I said it once early on this season, Audie Cole is going to be a play-maker! Nice job as a rookie. Asiata did a great job too. Ok- now for a little Pondering…. PONDER looks amazing. 135.4 QB rating! Going to be a different team this year folks… I know I have been a little harsh on Webb thus far, but I still feel the same. The kid has a great eye for the run and did a great job breaking some great plays, but really missed on the passing again. Should have hit Aromashodu for big gains but his throws were lacking. I am still more than happy to give him time to grow as he is still got a lot of talent. Walsh did a great job as well. 5 field goals… Sweet. I was impressed with Harrison and Robinson and even Sanford showed a little hustle. Cook played a little tentative and again showed his brittleness when he got hurt… Needs to step up. Overall a good showing from many of our rookies and regulars. I am excited to see Gearhart and Harvin continue to impress. Put Peterson in the mix and holy cow… I see great things happening.

  66. By Spencer on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Kalil is looking rough in pass protection…

  67. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Ponder said in a post game interview on our local TV news after the game– he had so much time to make his reads.

  68. By Spencer on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    But still, Kalil wasnt playing like an All-Pro.

  69. By sunnyazvike on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @ Josh i agree with Webb to RB. Dont know how much leverage he can get with that long body if he has to block. Can use him in multiple back set though. Pure runner with a loose cannon for an arm. Dude is legit though. 4th and 1 Joe Webb can jump over the line. You guys see his you tube video where he jumps like 6ft in the air with his feet underneath him?

  70. By Spencer on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Dam Revis just got cooked by Victor Cruz, albeit he couldnt stay in bounds to make the catch, but nonetheless he got torched.

  71. By josh k on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    that reverse/counter percy does was one of our better plays last year even when the other team new it was coming. Webb could do the same exact thing and 1/10 times he could throw it(barring a wide open receiver). we need to maximize any talent that we do have.

    You heard it here Wobby us vikings fans dont agree on his QB/WR skills but one thing for sure is that kid can RUN.

  72. By josh k on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Joe Webb and Geirhart in the backfield on 3rd down. Percy in the slot with Rudolph right there. lets be creative Musgrave.

  73. By vikingology1 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Who in their right mind would want Webb as the #2 QB? We need someone who can P@ss the ball when needed, this is why Sage needs to be #2.

  74. By vikingology1 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    If Cole plays as good as he did last night, he should be considered as a starter-forget this wait your turn garbage.

  75. By Tim on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I am really exited about this coming season.

  76. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer, Kalil is still a rookie– calm down.

  77. By Parody on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    OTK – I’ve been thinking the same thing about the refs. There’s no way that they weren’t getting an extra paycheck here and there. Some teams were just being treated way too favorably.

    With that said, I think that some of the replacement refs are getting an extra paycheck from the lockout refs. Some of the mistakes they make are way too obvious for it to be explained away without the lockout refs influencing it, just in order to make the league think that they need the guys who have been doing it for 20 years of their life.

    The one example that jumps to my mind is when they called a touchback on a punt that was downed at the 5-yard line. An autistic 5-year old wouldn’t have messed that up! The lockout refs must have forgotten to tell the replacement not to make his errors look TOO obvious.

    Realistically, any true football fan could do the job as well as the lockout refs after a couple weeks of training. They’re not nearly as irreplaceable as they want us to think.

  78. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I refuse to believe there is any corruption in the NFL.

  79. By Mike Redman on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    What’s with the Kalil hate. The guys a rookie and has gone up against 2 of the top d-lines in the NFL and has actually done pretty well. I would have expected him to do worse at this point. He’s going to be great.

    I know people want to see A.P. back but I really hope they hold him back until a couple of weeks into the season. Toby is looking great and so is Ponder. If Minnesota could start 2-1 maybe even 3-0 and then bring back A.P. that would be a much better situation.

  80. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I agree 100% Redman. In fact, let AP wait to come back fully until after the BYE– we can win those games without him– and then after that let him take the load when our schedule is the hardest.

  81. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings will be unstoppable in the dome– I said a while back 6-2, but we may go 8-0 at home.

  82. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    A Purple Dynasty has been born.

  83. By Parody on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    AP doesn’t want to wait! He wanted to be getting pummeled by his teammates all throughout camp!!

    If you force him to wait that much longer than is needed, then he is going to be begging for a new team. You can’t treat your superstars like that and espect to get away with it.

  84. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings will be in four Superbowls by 2020.

  85. By Parody on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    8 and 0 at home Titus? I think you’re setting your goals too low. Let’s go 16 and -8 at home!

  86. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Ha ha ha– Parody, as I wrote that, I knew it was ridiculous to write because there is no way they can hold AP off the field that long.

  87. By Woodboat on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Maybe I’m wrong….

    But Webb wouldn’t be noteworthy as a WR. He looks great breaking out of the backfield after the field spreads out and he can’t find the open receiver. He makes one man miss, finds the hole in the widespread line, and scrambles through it. Now, all the practicing and Xs and Os go out the window for the defense, they have to play sandbox football, and he’s better at it then they are.

    Line him up in formation and make him run a precise route with a CB covering him, catch the ball in traffic, and then avoid the LBs and DBs that are ready for a WR making the play. Completely different situation than breaking containment.

    I’d like to see the Vikings a)trade him to some sucker team like Seattle (hey, Tavaris Jackson went there… b)trade him for a bucket of chicken and rusty Ford…. or c) cut him and save the salary cap space.

  88. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    It will be so nice to kick the Packers, Bears, and Lions butts at the dome. I believe the Packers will be thrashed by three touchdowns.

  89. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    No, Woodboat, I don’t think you are wrong. I have thought the same for a while now– Webb’s scrambling does not equate to good route running as a WR.

  90. By Woodboat on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    If we had a reliable 3rd string RB, I wouldn’t hate a possible trade of AP. I know, I know, blasphemy, right? I love the guy, too, but if we could get a few top end players plus picks for the best RB in the game, it would be hard to pass up.

    Toby looks like he could handle the bulk of the load.

    Of course, if the O Line develops some nasty, having AP and Toby playing old school football might be the way to get it done, as well…

  91. By Parody on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Woodboat – There is no cap space to be saved by cutting Webb. He is still on his rookie contract as a 6th round draft pick, so he’s close to earning the league minnimum. Anyone who would replace him is almost certain to take a bigger chunk of the cap space than his contract demands.

  92. By Roger Troy Wilson on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Cole should be the starter at MLB!

  93. By Parody on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Also, if we were ever going to trade AP, it would have been done before he was given a new contract. The signing bonus he was given is so large, it would create a very ugly penalty on our cap space for the next 6 years.

    I’d say there is less than a 1% chance now that AP gets consideration for a trade any time before the final year of his contract.

  94. By Woodboat on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    While I don’t have Titus’ enthusiasm and optimism for our chances this year, I gotta say I like what I see from this squad. I caught the replay on DirecTV this AM and the boys looked good.

    I didn’t see that the O Line played that badly, especially with a rookie, a guy in a new position, a 2nd year guy that might as well be a rookie, and a clubfoot on the right end. Give it a few weeks/months to tighten up, and we might have something there.

    I’d have liked to see Ponder perform better in the red zone… that second drive looked pretty rough once they got into goal-to-go. Other than that, he looked solid.

    WRs… we are JUST FINE. Simpson and Harvin, with Jenkins and Aromashadu backing them… Rudolph and the rest of the TEs? Pffft, we are GOOD.

    I’m changing my vote on Mistral… MAN’S GAME, RAYMOND!!! He looked great during the Bills game. Harrison looked like once he gets his feet wet, he’s going to play like his hair is on fire.

    If Audie Cole gets cut, I may have to take up basket weaving on sundays. I know he’s playing against the scrubs, but dang. Dude is good.

    Our kicker looks like he might be, might be mind you, really FREAKING GOOD.

  95. By Woodboat on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Ok, you have a coupla good points there, Parody. AP stays… I guess we’ll just have to suffer along with having the best running tandem in the league… come on, O Line!!!!

    While we may not save any space by cutting Webb, we could at least give his spot to somebody that has a chance to develop into a QB. It doesn’t look like things are clicking for Mr. Webb, and I think pretty much its a what you see is what you get kind of deal. He’s not getting any better than he is right now. It isn’t good enough.

    McLeod BT looks like MAYBE he could be something…

  96. By Parody on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I still say take one more year to see if you can develop Webb. He might still be worth something in a trade. Meanwhile, The Hyphen can be hidden on the practice squad while we prepare him as the next developmental project.

  97. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    That Hyphen may be the next Tom Brady or Brett Favre– yeah, we need to keep him hidden.

  98. By Frederick Jones on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Woodboat,

    Give it up already!!

  99. By Frederick Jones on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Gee Tebow and Sanchez both had 50 yard halves with the NY Jets. Get rid of the losers already.

    Romo, Peyton Manning, Fitzgerald, etc. they are all washed up!

    Get some junior h.s. qbs who can actually throw the ball!!!

    Some of you guys need to get real and get off Webb’s case. So a few of his throws have been a little off target. Joe is human, although at times it doesn’t seem like it because he can leap over buildings like Superman, out run the Flash, and can throw the ball like Terry Bradshaw.

  100. By Frederick Jones on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Joe Webb reminds me of Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw won the javelin throw in high school, and was a big strong kid who could run.

    It took Brad a few years to learn how to become a great QB, but once he did, the Pittsburgh Steelers won 4 Super Bowls.

    GIVE JOE WEBB A CHANCE. HE HAS EARNED IT!!!

  101. By Frederick Jones on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    A peek at Bradshaw’s records show the following:

    1970 30.4 rating 6 tds 24 ints (ROOKIE YEAR)
    1971 59.7 13tds 22 ints
    1972 64.1 12 and 12
    1973 54.5 10 and 15
    1974 55.2 7 and 8
    1975 88.0 18tds 9 ints
    The rest of his career he always threw more tds than ints which was pretty unusual for that period of the NFL.

    Qb ratings were lower during those days, yet an intelligent football mind can easily tell that Pittsburgh gave Bradshaw a chance.

    Give Joe Webb a chance!!! (If these stats don’t convince you then jones has to believe that you are racist.)

  102. By Parody on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Fred – you are the most racist regular on the blog. Nobody brings up race as a reason for anything close the level that you do.

    People are much more honest to their true feelings when blogging because the digital identity gives them a mask to hide behind. Therefor, if they were racist, they would have no issue mentioning race as the reason for their opinions.

    Fred mentions race all the time. Nobody else mentions it unless they are talking to Fred. Who’s the real racist in here?

  103. By Frederick Jones on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    @Parody,

    Perhaps he who protests the loudest has an ax to grind?
    Does Parody feel guilty?

  104. By Frederick Jones on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    @Parody,

    People are NOT always honest on the Vikings.com blog for the exact same reasons you mentioned.

  105. By Frederick Jones on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    @Parody,

    Actually jones never has accused you of being a racist.

  106. By Spencer on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Lol Fred.

    Im gonna keep it brief: Webb isnt a quarterback.

  107. By Woodboat on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Well, Fred…

    I can’t think of any other reason why you would WANT to give Webb chance after chance to prove he s u c k s other than his race. So he’s a little off with a few of his throws???? He’s off with nearly ALL his throws!!! If you listen to ANY analyst they will tell you that you CAN’T fix inaccuracy. It just doesn’t happen, my man.

    SO….
    He is big, strong, fast, athletic…. so is Jared Allen, and I don’t want him under center either. I also don’t want AP, Toby, Percy, Rudolph….none of them under center. All of them can throw a ball… and are probably just as accurate as Webb.

    To say that Webb is the next Bradshaw is silly. Bradshaw could hit his receivers.
    Webb is the next Tavaris Jackson with a bit more girth.

  108. By Woodboat on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Oh, and using the racist card is the biggest cop out there is. “You don’t agree with me so you are a racist.” If that’s your take, then I can’t say I have much respect for you.

  109. By Woodboat on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    By Frederick Jones on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply
    @Parody,
    Perhaps he who protests the loudest has an ax to grind?
    Does Parody feel guilty?

    By Frederick Jones on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply
    @Parody,
    Actually jones never has accused you of being a racist.

    Never accused, just implied.

  110. By SkolVikes98 on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Yawn. Time for a new post so I don’t have to scroll through so many posts.

  111. By sandiamond on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

  112. By sandiamond on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Could WEbb work in the offense as a flanker/RB ? You can see Percy doing this @ FLA very_ well later in the video

  113. By Nicholas on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you Spielman for building through the draft!

    I have been critical of you in some decisions, but overall, you are doing a fantastic job. Your picks are solid, this years and previous years. We will have a championship in Minnesota under your leadership!

  114. By Matthias on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Some footage of the last preseason game.

    Bad quality and no audio, but at least you see something…

  115. By Matthias on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Robinson played really well, Frazier applauded.

  116. By Brad Childress' Mustache on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Some thoughts.

    I watched the replay and it was Jamarca Sandford’s poor coverage that allowed Jones to score that touchdown. If you watch, he walks up to the line and read the situation, the Bills do a quick slant, and Sandford is just too slow to react on Jones’ slant and make a play. He’s only able to chase Jones all the way in for the score.
    A “starting” safety would have at least gotten a little closer to make a play, even if it’s a diving attempt at a tackle. Sandford just sits too much in his heels to be effective against the pass. It wasn’t a question of taking the right angle, it was more of a question of just getting close enough to his responsibility which was Jones on that play! I know he represents value on special teams, but the Vikings could / should? be in line for drafting another safety next year.

    Kalil looked light on his feet. He doesn’t lumber like so many OTs. I think the strength will come. He’s gonna be great!

    I liked Cole. I think he’s the backup MLB. I think a year of seasoning will do him good. before he can start to compete for the starting MLB. I think the Vikings were lucky to find him in the seventh round as he was rated as high as third round selection. He has great size at 6’5 and he’s athletic which makes it difficult for QB’s to throw over him when he drops back into coverage. I want to see how well he can do in the run game and making tackles close to the line of scrimmage before I get too excited.

    Ponder has a great temperament and IQ to be a great leader for the Vikings. He probably needs one or two more weapons from the draft next year. Another WR and, yes, another running back. In fact, I think the Vikings should play with three running backs and five wide receivers. They don’t have a true third down back or depth at the running back position. (Not to mention a guy who could help out in the return game.) And with AD in a very precarious situation, the Vikings need to give themselves a little cushion. Plus, you don’t want to overuse Harvin, either in the return game or backfield. Make the investment Rick, buy yourself a little security and cushion by drafting a RB next year.

    Why aren’t we hearing anything about Elimian? Shouldn’t he be Erin Henderson’s backup on the weak-side this year? I thought he was supposed to be a terrific prospect from the Canadian league? A very hard hitter. I don’t want us going into the season with retreads McKenzie or Marvin what’s his name as the back-ups. Dean, Elimian, and Cole – those are the guys!

    Vikings draft next year: WR, CB (we still need depth and TALENT to make up for the Asher Allen loss), DT (depending on how well Guin fairs), G (to eventually replace Johnson), RB, FB (to replace Felton who is just a free agent stop gap), WR, S.

    If Loadholdt is not resigned, they could draft an OT early. Also, if Henderson bolts, they could draft a LB early.

  117. By Nicholas on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Robinson was a beast in that game!

  118. By Woodboat on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Good post, Brad CM.

    One other thought on Cole (whom I like very much, but…)

    The reason that Jasper Brinkley is our starting MLB is that EJ Henderson is too slow. I don’t know how slow Cole is, but if he’s EJ slow…

  119. By Woodboat on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    sandiamond…

    I guess it’s possible Webb could play flanker/RB, but he’d have training. WHen he breaks contain and gobbles up yardage, it’s on defensive pass plays. If he’s lined up in the I formation, he’d have to be able to read the line and hit the hole, shed tacklers, etc….

    I’m not saying he couldn’t do it, but we have 2 guys (at least) on the team already that are pretty darned good at it. I firmly believe that his talent level just doesn’t warrant the effort of molding him into an NFL player.

    I think of him like Tim Tebow, only not as good. The only real reason that Tebow gets his shot is because of his huge popularity… Webb, well he has Fred. :)

  120. By T.HARRIS on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Like i said Audie Cole is not backup material he needs to play now i saw enough of sorry linebackers last year.Send Jasper Brinkley and Erin Henderson packing.And keep the AC UNIT and i don’t mean air condition i mean Audie Cole.

  121. By OTKalil2012 on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Here is the thing about Webb “the athlete”…

    If a player has been on a team for 3 yrs and coaches are still debating what position on the team Webb should be playing ???..

    Should that player still be on the team ???…

    Some fans think he can play QB…Others WR…a few RB…

    All I see is a coaching staff scratching their heads trying to find a position for a player who has all kinds of physical ability…But only average (at best) talent levels at all positions he tries…

    Time to move on Vikins…

    But I see the Vikings keeping Webb…And then trying to slide Bethel-Thompson to the practice squad…

    All fine and good if it works…

    But it won’t !!!…

    Do you think a team like the Packers who have G Harrell as the number 2 guy backing up Rodgers…Will not be chomping at the bit to grab Bethel-Thompson who looks like a young Brett Favre !!…

    Harrell is stinking up the place in GB since losing Flyn…

    I don’t want to be on here a month from now saying
    “I told you so”…

    But this is a scenario that could very well happen…

  122. By Experienced78 on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Hey everyone! I have been following this site and reading the comments for awhile and thought I would finally chime in.
    I like what I have seen from Cole, but I’m not sold yet. I have to see him get some reps with the first team before I can be a believer. I trust Coach Singletary 100% when it come to evaluating talent, especially at the LB position.

  123. By oDIm on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    @Frederick Jones
    You need to restring your guitar. You may not have decades to wait for a QB to come around. The game has changed. Lots of $$$$, Little patience. Ponder is smart – look at his academic acheivement. Has anyone ever stated anything about Webbs? He was likely outside running and jumping, because that is what he is so good at. Favre should take Bradshaw’s place on Fox. Time for the Shaw to get put out to pasture.

  124. By Frederick Jones on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    @oDlm,

    Although I don’t agree with what you said I did enjoy the “You need to restring your guitar.” I may need to use that!

  125. By Frederick Jones on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Woodboat you need to restring your guitar!

    How much does it cost to keep Joe Webb on the roster? At 25 years old is he more likely to have an upside than your beloved Bethel-Thompson who is I think they said 29?

  126. By robb on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    No more comparisons to last season!This is a new team.By week 4 of the regular season the Rudolph /Carlson tandem along with Harvin/Simpson and AP/Gerhart will provide a significant,substantial and formidable distraction for other team defences.Vikings will surprise. This is what I’ve been posting on Viking’s web sites since the day after the SF game.Now it’s starting to see fruition. The Buffalo game was the beginning of heart,spirit,commradarie,and determination.Audie Cole’s performance was a pivotal point in this solidification and maturation.This was exemplified by the team running to Cole with unbridaled exuberance.These are the germination’s of greatness and of a team of go-getters who will be all over the field.SKOL VIKINGS!

  127. By Brad Childress' Mustache on Aug 20, 2012 | Reply

    Stop this silly argument about Joe Webb. He’s a very good backup QB. The guy has already won us some games. And that’s all you want from your backup, a guy who can win three out of five games if the first stringer gets injured. I’m confident Joe Webb can do that. He, also, gives you another dimension with his ability to run. Teams have to take that into consideration if / when he gets into a game.

  128. By puckertrucker on Aug 21, 2012 | Reply

    @OTKalil2012: Your Blog made me sit up and read with bated breath about your Dirty Refs conspiracy. I and my brother have been saying for years that the packers and a few other teams were paying off the Refs to look the other way during their games by not calling those blatent penalties that a Ref would have to be blind not to see, much less call against the pack. anyway I just hope that the Vikings will get games called fairly, I mean at least the Refs call penalties on both teams if need be and not just against the Vikes. I have even called the league office and complained to the head man incharge of the Referees and told him to review the games that were called badly against the Vikes for the last two years and I would recommend that more fans call the league office to complain about bad officiating during not only Vike Games but all games it’s the only way we will get rid of bad officials. The One and Only PuckerTrucker!!!!!!!!!Skol Fans

  129. By Bob Hope on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    The Vikings have 17 defensive backs, 17 offensive lineman, 16 receiving tight ends including receivers, and 15 defensive lineman on its current roster.

  130. By HawaiianBoy_VikingsFan on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Why are so many people hating on Kalil? Do people just have a complex where they are gonna hate on our 1st rd. picks? You guys need to wake up and realize our O-line is light years better with Kalil. Fools.

  131. By scott on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    I thought Kali did a good job protecting Ponder, for only his second game, he did good, he is only going to get better.

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