Ponder, 1st-Team Offense Sharp vs. Bills

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 17, 2012 – 7:54 pm

Once the regular season begins, Vikings coaches will want to see the Vikings 1st-team offense this sharp for four quarters. On Friday night against the Buffalo Bills at Mall of America Field, though, a quarter and a half was enough.

After putting up 6 points in two drives a week ago against the San Francisco 49ers, starting QB Christian Ponder and Co. found the end zone once and settled for a FG another time against the Bills. Ponder was sharp in the outing, completing 10 of 13 passes for 136 yards with 1 TD and 0 INTs. The TD toss went to FB Jerome Felton on a 1st and goal from the 1-yardline. The scoring play to Felton capped an 8-play, 59-yard drive, the first of the game, and included a 21-yard gain to Percy Harvin and a 33-yard burst to WR Jerome Simpson in which Simpson hurdled a would-be tackler to extend the play.

The highlight-caliber play by Simpson energized the crowd and set up RB Toby Gerhart for a 16-yard rush two plays later that ultimately set up the Ponder-to-Felton score. Gerhart finished the night with 30 yards on 6 carries, bringing his two-game preseason total to an impressive 11 caries for 61 yards.

On the next drive, Ponder rallied the offense for 12 plays to get down to the Buffalo 4-yardline, but the drive stalled there after a pair of incompletions in the end zone (passes intended for TE Kyle Rudolph and Simpson). K Blair Walsh, who had another impressive night, came on to salvage the drive and give the Vikings a 10-0 lead late in the 1st quarter. Through halftime, Walsh was 2 of 3 on FGs, hitting from 45 and 47 yards and missing from 49; he also had a touchback and was 1 of 1 on PAT tries.

In all, it was a very good outing for the Vikings starters and an improvement on what was also a solid outing a week ago against the 49ers. The 1st-team offense has 4 preseason drives and has scored on each of them (1 TD, 3 FGs).

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54 Responses to “Ponder, 1st-Team Offense Sharp vs. Bills”

  1. By Rick on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    I thought the entire first string team looked really sharp.

  2. By rory from n.w.ark on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply


  3. By lordfrza on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Audie Cole is the shiz-night!

  4. By T.HARRIS on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    It’s somthing about the name Audie Cole and it showed tonight he has it the it factor.This guy makes plays.Last year i so Chad Greenway miss a sure interception in his hand.With that being said send Jasper Brinkley packing and i’m not to high on Erin Henderson either.

  5. By Vikeman56 on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    The d was great. They didn’t score at all until we took out Allen, Greenway, Williams, and Winfield.

    This is a sleeper team. We could have anywhere from 3 to 10 wins in my opinion. Let’s surprise a few people this year!!! SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. By T.allen.govikes on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    smith , robinson looked good frampton , carr looked like the ends near. audie awsome!!! 1st team looked good!!!

  7. By Vikeman56 on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    I think a realistic goal would be 6 wins

  8. By Parody on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Simpson looked great. Ponder had a 135 rating. Percy hasn’t lost a step. Gerhart was as powerful as ever, and the defense decided to play today!

    The only issue I had with the first team was that Ponder didn’t act when the pocket collapsed on him a couple times. But he got past those first few plays and performed pretty well.

    Take that team into the season, and we’re looking at a winning record. Hopefully Audie Cole will start to get some consideration on defense after his 2 pick 6s tonight.

  9. By Smith on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    We’re beating Detroit twice this year like we should have last year.

  10. By toca on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    joe webb is amazing

  11. By Parody on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Only thing Webb did good today was run the ball. I like the change of pace opportunity he provides the offense if Ponder goes down, but his passing is far too suspect. Even if it was with 2nd and 3rd stringers, he still was having too much trouble throwing the ball into catchable zones.

  12. By Parody on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Anyways, I think the league is starting to figure out these run first QBs. Tebow had a horrible game today too, throwing for a QB rating of 18! That made Sanchez look like a super star with a rating of 70. That’s low enough to get most starters cut if they’re still doing it after their 3rd year running the offense.

  13. By SmileyStar on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Joe Webb did pretty good too. I would like to see him in with good receivers though. He should definitely be the backup, would like to see the ball caught more though. He should have had that TD or at least a pass interference.

  14. By SmileyStar on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Ponder is good, he’s just not likely to make it through an entire season. He’s fragile like fine china. Joe is Houdini, if Houdini was a QB.

  15. By Spencer on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Starters looked real good out there, liked seeing us move the ball and liked watching the D stop the Bills. However, Matt Kalil isnt cuttin it for me. Hes not playing like a 4th overall pick..

  16. By Spencer on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Really impressed by Harrison Smith and especially Mistral Raymond. He plays with so much swag and Harrison plays with a ton of aggression. This could be a he||uva safety tandem for years to come.

  17. By Richard1A on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    That was great, buffalo”s everywhere, everyone had buffalo steaks, and Purple Punch in Whoop Ass Cans! we also got buffalo pelts to make knew Vikings clothes! Has Cole been in the right place at the right time? time will tell, is he the SOD?

  18. By Harro on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Man, Joe Webb was horrible tonight. Where are those fans calling for Webb to replace Ponder now? He’ll probably only ever be a back-up quarterback. Hopefully he proves me wrong and becomes a great passer because that would be great for the Vikes.

    Also… got to love the how the two number one picks played tonight.

  19. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Webb panics– he bolts right away. I

  20. By sandiamond on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Parades,Neilson,Eliminian,Dean bubble cut linebackers

  21. By Spencer on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Webb did look much better this game, but then again he did play the Bills so…

  22. By KoN on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer, you jump to conclusions way too quickly, you were talking badly of Raymond last week and said that Smith should be on the practice squad because he didn’t start the first preseason game. Now you are saying that they “could be a he||uva safety tandem for years to come.” Also, what are you seeing with Kalil that makes you think he isn’t playing up to snuff?

  23. By Radzinwisconsin on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    This team looked mighty fast on both sides of the ball tonight!

  24. By Jon on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Harro! I’m a Joe Webb and I’m still here. And I still haven’t changed my mind. Go Blazers.

  25. By robb on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Carr…arrgh!I see 3-3 within the division.I said a couple nights ago the Vikings will surprise this season.Watch by week 4 how intense they will be.

  26. By michael on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Joe Webb is not a QB, Its not even a debate!! You might as well put AP at QB, Webb has no accuracy!!

  27. By PaulMax1957 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t take stock too much in preseason games, it’s just to get the starters some game time and to try out the new players but so far in these 2 preseason games, the offense has scored ONLY 1 TD. I am sure you will see more TDs scored but it’s a little disappointing when only 1 TD has been scored by the offense in 8 quarters.

  28. By celticvikingwarrior on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Where are all the Mistral Raymond haters out there ? What’cha got to say now ?

  29. By TOMMYK#9 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I take caution when saying this as I don’t want to forget that this is just preseason but the 1st team offense did look good. Hope they can keep it up going into the regular season. Hoping Ponder improves over last year and stays healthy. The last thing this team needs is Joe Webb taking snaps. Have to agree with Parody. He panics and defenses are starting to figure out “running” qb’s. Gerhardt is becoming a favorite of mine. Tough, hard-nosed kid. Splitting time with Peterson while he gets back in the flow of things is just fine with me.

  30. By iaVike on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    What are you taking about TOMMYK? Ponder looked good because he was playing with the first team. Webb had the second and third teams. You are as bad as a couple of other jokers on this site

  31. By snook on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    if peterson has a good year you still have 2 spread the field, wide recievers is going 2 be the key 2 the vikings sucess and stopping the run.

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

    Lots and lots of racists on here that would deny Joe Webb a chance to even have some snaps on game day!

    Amazing, the Klu Klux Klan is alive in Minnesota.

  33. By iaVike on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Jones. I am a member of the KKK, the Iowa branch, care to join us?

  34. By Richard1A on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Bubble cut? Solomon Elimimien can play, they have got to play him to see what he’s got, Frazier early in camp said he really looked good.

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


    You sound as if you are for Joe Webb. Are you joking about the KKK?

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

    Joe Webb could be a little sharper with his throws, but like they said in the booth, he hasn’t played a lot of quarterback in the NFL. This is only his 2nd full season as a quarterback.

    Both UAB and the Vikings have attempted to make Joe into a wide receiver. There really has never been anyone in NFL history that can go back and forth between those two positions. Yes, I have heard of Cordell “S l a s h” Stewart and Marlin Briscoe, but neither did it very long.

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

    Like many others have flatly stated (I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because they want to be on the side that’s winning?) C. Ponder is the Vikings #1 QB. Hopefully he will be able to avoid injury and take the Vikings to a great season.

    It would be great to be 8-8. 11 would be heaven.

  38. By KoN on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Fred, no one was talking poorly about Webb because he is black, they were talking poorly about him because he hasn’t played very well the past two preseason games. You can’t just pull the race card when people are getting down on the guy you like. You like Joe Webb as a quarterback and see potential in him, some others do not; that doesn’t make them racist.

  39. By ozzinator on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Mistral Raymond sucks, but he had a lucky game vs. the Bills.

  40. By TOMMYK#9 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @iaVike. – What I am talking about is Joe Webb’s inaccuracy as a passer and his inability to make good decisions. Sorry Frederick, I’m not a racist, just call them like I see them and am not a joker either ia. Been a viking fan for 43 years and have followed this blog for the last couple of years. There are definitely some jokers on here. Anyway, I understand Ponder is with the first team but Webb had chances with them last year. A perfect example of Webb”s play happened in this last game. He pulled the ball down (too early imo) but broke off a beautiful 51 yd run. Very next play he was pressured, panicked and threw a lame duck screen pass up for grabs that was lucky not to be a pick 6. I like Joe Webb, want him on this team and want him to succeed as an nfl player. I don’t think that will ever happen at the qb position and it would be a shame to waste such athletic talent by being a career backup at qb.

  41. By TOMMYK#9 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Oh, also I said the first team offense looked good. Never said anything about Ponder looking good. May want to read the posts a little more thoroughly before questioning the writer. Just sayin..

  42. By KoN on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Raymond didn’t have a lucky game, he just played well. Hopefully he can continue that. Besides, as it stands now, I would much rather have Raymond than Sanford as my starter opposite Harrison.

  43. By iaVIKE on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Fred. No I am not joking. I have been a member of the KKK for a number of years.

  44. By elviking on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    iaVike if you are a member of the KKK why are you an NFL fan?So let me guess you hate blacks yet you watch a game the is what 60 70% African American.If you really are a member than your a hypocrite .If your not than your a moron! Well your a moron either way!Probably a closet cross dressing moron the loves to wear womens underwear underneath your robe!

  45. By elviking on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    yet I do agree Freds alittle sensitive.The race card thing is ridiculous !Web is explosive when he is scrambling .But thats the problem a good Qb will only use that ability when he has to.His accuracy and his ability to read defenses are in question.Ponder is a better QB and much further ahead.The coaches do this for a living.They know who the better QB is. We are all arm chair coaches,General managers,scouts and critics.That being said Ponder is the better QB. Web is a more gifted athlete and looks to have unlimited potential.Im fine with Web if ponder goes down.But if teams game plan for him it seems to be a problem. If he can make all his check downs before he pulls the ball down he,ll be what some fans think he is.GO VIKES

  46. By no1viking on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    I dont get some of these comments. Anyone who is a real Viking fan had to be excited watching Ponder. He looked confident, and was in command. I cant remember the last time watching a game on TV that the crowd noise erupted that loud when Simpson made that catch and run. Then Toby blast up the middle for 16 yards. Then the defense when out and shut down the Bills. It’s been so long since the Vikings came out with this much energy. We will no more next week against SD, Hope it continues.

  47. By no1viking on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Speaking about Webb, It’s obvious that he is a special player, He is not ready to carry the load as the starting QB. But the Vikings need to figure out a way to get the ball into this man’s hands, line him up in the back feild, slot, or receiver, a decoy, something!!! C’mon Coaches dont waist this weapon sitting on the bench…

  48. By sfviking on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Saying it again. Vikings will surprise many this year. Ponder is the qb we’ve been waiting for. Joe Webb should be a receiver or a tailback….not a qb.

  49. By caliviking88 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    man i hope they dont run that STUPID wildcat play with joe webb ….it always kills the drive

  50. By vikesfan5.0 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    puple sleepers!!!! 10 wins!!

  51. By iaVIKE on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Fred. I think you misunderstood.. KKK is short for KindyKiddieKindergarten.
    When I was a snot-nosed-brat.

  52. By Stoney on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    @KoN, the only bad play I saw from Kalil was on the flee flicker, he stopped blocking and his man blew the play up. Other than that he’s been solid. @ Fred, hope you were only kidding with the race stuff, I usually find your posts intellegent, but NOT THAT ONE! white,black, yellow, red, doesn’t matter, we’re all purple!

  53. By vikings209 on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    Definetely seemed like the 1st team was gelling and insync on pretty much all cylinders….about the only room for scrutiny would be not bringing it in2 the endzone on a couple of those drives. but i really was impressed by our ability to drive the ball down field and the way we spread the ball around. I love seeing Toby catch the ball out of the backfield so well which it seems we dont use AP in that way enough. Looks like Toby is working hard to be that 3 down kind of back which is definetely a bonus for us. I have to say it makes me smile to see so many of our draft picks from this years class stepping up and making plays. My hat is off to our GM and staff for a job well done!

  54. By moosejr66 on Aug 21, 2012 | Reply

    me being a viking fan living in chicago my whole life, im hoping for a quick turnaround!! and hope da bears fail!!! sorry go whitesox!!!!

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