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Vikings Defeat Detroit 20-13, Claim Spot Atop NFC North

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 30, 2012 – 6:31 pm

A sensational special teams performance that included two return TDs carried the Vikings to a 20-13 victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday, the team’s first division win since 2010 and their first division win on the road since 2009. A sound defensive effort and a relentless ground attack complemented the return TDs, allowing the Vikings to fly home Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 record and a seat atop the NFC North standings.

Not all aspects of the victory were pretty, but there are no style points in the rough and tough NFC North. The Vikings defense kept a high-octane Lions offense out of the end zone until the end of the game, and the offense relied on superstar workhorse Adrian Peterson to move the ball on the ground. Peterson traditionally fares well against Detroit, and he did so on Sunday with his best outing of 2012 – 102 yards rushing on 21 carries. While the offense generated just 111 yards passing and didn’t find the end zone, it should also be noted that they did not turn the ball over and they put WR Jerome Simpson – in his first regular season game with the Vikings – in a position to make an impact.

But make no mistake, the story of Sunday’s win was the performance by the Vikings special teams. Percy Harvin fielded the opening kick 5 yards deep in the end zone, started left and then veered right, using a perfectly executed blocking scheme to gain the corner and outsprint the Lions coverage group. The result was a 105-yard return TD and a quick 7-0 Vikings lead.

The Lions responded on their opening series, sending All-Pro WR Calvin Johnson deep and drawing a 56-yard pass interference penalty on their first offensive snap. But the Vikings defense, in a sign of what was to come, withstood that initial shot and forced Detroit to kick a 40-yard FG just 3 plays later. The teams exchanged punts on each of their next possessions, and then Blair Walsh salvaged a Vikings scoring drive by converting a 49-yard attempt, increasing the Vikings lead to 10-3 with 1:21 to play in the 1st quarter.

The Vikings defense forced a Lions 3-and-out on the next series, and Walsh hit another FG – this one from 27 yards – to increase the Vikings lead to 13-3. The Lions tacked on a FG late in the half to make the score 13-6 in favor of the Vikings heading into the locker room at halftime.

Just as they did in the 1st half, the Vikings scored a TD in the 2nd half without their offense seeing the field. Detroit opened the 3rd quarter with a 16-yard connect from QB Matthew Stafford to TE Tony Scheffler. The Vikings defense stonewalled the Lions on the following three plays, though, and Nic Harris punted away to Marcus Sherels. On his 26th birthday, Sherels fielded the Harris punt and danced his way through the Lions coverage group to score a 77-yard TD, riling up the Vikings sideline and giving the visitors a commanding 20-6 lead that would not be relinquished.

After the Sherels return TD, the teams exchanged two more punts each, setting the stage for the Vikings defense to put their stamp on the game. On 3rd and 8 from their own 45, the Lions looked to have something going when Stafford found RB Mikel Leshoure coming out of the backfield. Leshoure advanced well past midfield, but then Vikings S Jamarca Sanford hit him and jarred the ball loose. Sanford also recovered the fumble, giving the ball back to the Vikings and killing the small bit of momentum Detroit was trying to build. The Vikings missed a FG try on the ensuing drive, giving the ball back to Detroit on their own 36 with 13:15 to play in the game.

Stafford drove Detroit 57 yards in 10 plays, setting up a 4th and 5 from the Minnesota 7. With the game virtually on the line, Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams dialed up an aggressive blitz that the Lions couldn’t cover up. DE Everson Griffen came untouched across the line of scrimmage and smashed an unsuspecting Stafford, ending the drive and giving the Vikings offense the ball.

A Vikings punt gave the Lions the ball back with 6:08 to play, trailing by 14. Stafford drove his team down for a TD, pulling to within 20-13, but the Vikings would give no more ground. The game ended with another sack by Griffen as Stafford was setting up for a desperation heave toward the end zone. The Lions were forced to begin their last drive on their own 2 after a perfect punt by Chris Kluwe was downed by Robert Blanton before going into the end zone.

Outside of Peterson’s 100-yard rushing performance, the 28th of his career and the 6th he’s logged against the Lions, the Vikings offense didn’t include any standout, signature moments or performances from skill position players. But it was apparent that the Vikings offensive line played well, as they pushed back a stout Lions defensive front to the tune of 127 yards rushing on 28 attempts. QB Christian Ponder finished with modest numbers – 16 of 26 for 111 yards with no TDs – but he took care of the ball and still has not thrown an INT this season. Simpson was the team’s leading receiver with 4 grabs for 50 yards, but his impact was even greater because he drew a pair of long pass interference penalties through the game as well.

Defensively, LB Chad Greenway led the team in tackles with 11. LB Jasper Brinkley and CB Antoine Winfield each had 10 stops. Griffen tallied a pair of sacks, as did DT Letroy Guion. Jared Allen also got to Stafford once, registering his 2nd sack of the season. Credit goes to the Vikings starting safeties, too, as Sanford and Harrison Smith did a good job of roaming the middle of the field to defend the end zone. The combined to knock a TD catch out of Johnson’s hands in the end zone, and overall Johnson was held in check with 5 catches for 54 yards.

The Vikings returned home Sunday afternoon to enjoy their win, and they’ll begin preparations this week to host the AFC South’s Tennessee Titans on Sunday. We’ll have more reaction to Sunday’s game tonight and this week, so be sure to stay tuned to vikings.com for more coverage.


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72 Responses to “Vikings Defeat Detroit 20-13, Claim Spot Atop NFC North”

  1. By odark30 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    first——(of course)

  2. By odark30 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    and second, and third, and why do idiots like me and others think it is necessary to say ” I’m First! ” Who cares?

  3. By Bluebird7 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    We are a TEAM!

  4. By ponderthefuture on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    nice job of containing megatron. this defense is for real!

  5. By Parody on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Titans appear to be significantly easier than either of our previous opponents, but I would say that goes doubly so for the Colts, who happen to hold bragging rights as the only team who has beaten us so far.

    So, I hope that the team continues to build up great gameplans and come prepared for big opposition next week, and every week this season. If they don’t, we’ll soon return to the rank of a scoffing mark for analysts and opposing teams alike.

  6. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Not sure Colts brag about being the only team to beat the Vikings. It is not like the Vikes have the reputation the Niners have– give it a little time Parody. You’re jumping the gun.

  7. By tomcat on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    props to the defense and special teams! it was good to see ap bludgeoning the lions tacklers, too. best defensive performance since last week! i hope it turns into a trend. i hope the cowboys help us tomorrow. skol!!

  8. By Parody on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    I know Titus. Just stretching things a bit. But think about it…how many Colts fans do you think are saying “They beat the 49ers, and the 49ers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year, so we must have a pretty decent team if WE beat THEM! The Packers couldn’t even peat the 49ers, so we have a GREAT chance at beating Green Bay next week!!!”

    Trust me, there’s a lot. People love to find arguments like this to build up their ego when the chips are down.

  9. By T.allen.govikes on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    great game vikes! percy, sherels , adrian and defense. Father in laws eating his words we’d only have 3 wins all season!

  10. By RichardA1 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Who were those ladies in pink tights in Vikings uniforms! thats not mean tuff ugly!!! wheres our bloodlines!! there suppose to be canibals, eating them alive! grrrrrrrr,, it should look like a midevil battle, blood, guts everywhere,,,,I might barge into the Vikings locker room and give them a pep rally next game day,,Play like Vikings….SKOL.

  11. By RichardA1 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    What happened to the supposed best team in the NFl, the 49ers? where was one of the best defense’s in Detroit the Lions are suppose to have? Vikes kept there head and kicked Butt, that’s what.

  12. By odark30 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Awwww. how cute…Titus signed in as me…….Dont worry. Someday Titus, Someday……

  13. By Parody on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Vikings fan anywhere I go. Because of that, many times I got stopped by random people asking how I thought the team would do this year, often just asking about the first four games. At those times, I said with confidence that we’d be 3-1 at this point, and had to do a bit of arguing to defend my position.

    Well, it didn’t work out the way I thought it would, and I started to have serious doubts after the loss to the Colts. But after being proven right with a couple of convincing wins over the toughest two opponents in the first quarter of our schedule, I have even higher hopes and expectations of this team than I did before the season started.

    It looks like we could win 8-more games yet this season and finish 11-5. That is going to take a lot of hard work and solid effort by coaches and players alike, but it appears very possible. What a great bounce back that would be from the worst season of the team’s existence!

  14. By purple08 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    This team looks well coached and comes prepared each week with a solid game plan. That being said…6 offensive points in the game (1 missed field goal) is not very impressive. 3-1 is very very impressive. Keep it going Vikes. Stay focused. Well done Coaches!

  15. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Parody, I am with you 100%. I upgraded to 11-5 yesterday in my thinking- prior I was saying 10-6 during the preseason, most mocked me. I also said we would be 7-3 at the BYE and 8-0 at home, but I didn’t think the Colts would be a loss. But I really missed it with my hometown Bills– I really thought they would be very good.

  16. By vikingbob136 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    I like the special teams today but everyone knows you can’t return a punt and kickoff every week.
    Without the special teams, i don’t know what would have been the final score today.The offense has to perform better.
    But i just drank the kool aid that Titus passed me and i am totally on board now and will be very disappointed if we don’t win 9 or 10 games this year.

  17. By vikingbob136 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    And don’t take your foot off the pedal with Tenn next week.
    They scored over 40 against Detroit so i hope the Vikes don’t overlook them.(trap game)

  18. By OTKalil2012 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Perspective, is a dish better served cold…

    Titus and myself, I believe were the only 2 regulars predicting a winning season for the Vikings…

    Titus was 10-6…I had the Vikings going 9-7…

    Fred came in close…With an 8-8 season predicted…

    While I believe the talent level on the team is higher than I originally predited in wins earlier this season…I have my doubts now and lower expectations from the Vikings coaching staff…So I will keep my season prediction at 9-7…

    Two very good things come from that prediction…

    I also predicted the Vikings to split there wins and losses within the division this season going 3-3…That might have the Vikings winning the division…If things fall into place right at the end of the season…

    And while I believe the coaching staff needs plenty of work to get better production from the offense…

    It will take much less work for the coaching to make strides in their play calling…Than it would be to coach players, who lack in talent on the football field….

    This is a very talented team…

    Defense is doing well…Offense ???…A lot of games left to make progress…Anything can happen…

  19. By vikingsfan1955 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Now I have to say I love the team for proving me right so far, I have said this is a complete team young but with great potential. Ponder is doing very well, no not much offense this game but he held his composure and didnnt turn the ball over. Can you see this team in another yr wow, and that said can the nay sayers give the coached their props. I defend your right to say how you feel but still when they show what they have this yr lets give it up to them. Defense great game great game you are showing more every game that your in it to win it. This team plays for these coaches they love them and this has a no give up attitude. Harvin AP, you are freaks of nature and we love you and with the 2 of you we will make the playoffs. Coaches great game plan and if we don’t get it this yr I know next yr we will be one of the most if not the most feared teams in the league. We have tenn titians next so don’t take them or any team light. Still we should be 4 and 1 next week.Can you believe we were predicted to be one of the worst teams in the league and last in our division. No ones laughing or taking us lightly anymore.

  20. By Vikings1 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    @Parody

    3-13 wasn’t the worst record of the Vikings existence, they only won 1 game in 1961 their first year in the league!

  21. By VikesShield on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    titans qb is injured so thats good

  22. By Spencer on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Looks like CJ2K is back in form.

  23. By RichardA1 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Going to be chopping down the Titans with our Viking Battle Axe’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. By vikescot on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    ***********GREAT PLAY by our defense!!!!!!!! GREAT PLAY by our special teams !! But where was our TOTAL Offense !!! HAD a ground game but our play calling in Red Zone was sub-par at best….. I liked the way Musgrave tried to change things a little bit but Percy behind center was not a real deacoy move. A win is a win but I sure was nervous through out that game as our offense could not seem to get in the end zone and ice the game for us. We keptt Lions in game far too long.. Big time defense T.O. and we needed to score TD on those…… Watched Ponder’s presser and he needs to get rid of the word “h u g e” ….. Would have liked to have seen a few more bootleg / roll outs w/ Percy coming the other way or AD screen in the flat w/ AD catching ball in stride heading up field rather than over middle and having to turn and then run w/ no Momentum…..Again G R E A T game by DEFENSE , SPECIAL TEAMS and ok offensive play to keep Megatron off field… BIG win but our OFFENSE needs to get Jenkins / Simpson et al involved also !!! Great win again just a whole lot of nail bitting that should not have been there!!!!! S K O L !!!!!!!

  25. By Fran on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Good thing the Special teams ran two back. Not ready to give our boys praise yet. They have to really prove it to an old timer like me.

  26. By Parkway on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah cj2k averaging 2 carries a yard. Remember when there was actually a debate if he or AP was a better RB? Laughable

  27. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    3 and 1 looks pretty good to me. We beat SF sound. And or “D” held its own against one of the best offenses in the league, in Mo town. i think our special teams looks ok also. Mabey we will do ok this year.

  28. By Parkway on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Glad I’m not the only one hating what Musgrave is doing.

    “The Vikings offense played far too conservatively, and couldn’t find ways to run out a clock after holding the lead the entire game. Musgrave found too many instances to implement creative, but ineffective plays, including a wildcat play for Percy Harvin that fooled no one. The passing plays for a loss, the three yard gains on third and long and the inability to get into the red zone all contributed to a closer game than the Vikings may have hoped for.”

  29. By Spencer on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Parkway- you’re an interesting character.

  30. By Fran on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    It takes years of winning for fans to have confidence in their team . It only took two games for you gentlemen. My how times have changed.

  31. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    parkway,
    There is something called an opponent. We ran quite a bit of time off the clock. Did you not notice? Or did you think our running game alone would take it into the end zone?

  32. By Parkway on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Prevent defense and running up the middle 15 times in a row is not what I call inspired play calling. I know there is strategy in the “4 minute offense” etc. But just once it would be nice to see some effective and interesting play calling to get us down the field and put up some points. If we out score them, they can’t win. That’s a fact. So instead of playing the “run out the clock” game, how about play the “score more points than the other team” game? It usually works 100% of the time.

  33. By Ariascasillas on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings need to replace jenkins with aromashadu…run ap with asiata a total of 35 times a game and we should be fine…toby just does not have burst right now…he seems timid. Hopefully erin henderson comes back next week…vikings defense starting to get swagger back…offensive line better then most give fredit for…

  34. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    If you have Confidence in your offense to get the job done and your defense to hold them with 10 minutes in the 4th with a sizable lead, then I say, Lets ice it!!!!

  35. By T.HARRIS on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Your right Parkway seem like Mustgrave just get off the gas keep Percy going can’t nobody mess with him.

  36. By Ariascasillas on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    With hasselbacks lack of mobility…we should run weakside blitzes to rattle him early…cris johnson should not cause us a problem unless we lose our containment…our offense needs to blossom into what they will become soon…we did not target percy enough today…musgrave needs to stop getting cute and get more methodical

  37. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Just food for thought, Mustgrave is not our head coach. But our other coaches do have much in put, I would assume. One of those coaches is singletary. Who is he, might I ask? And what side of the ball did Leslie Frazier play on?

  38. By LilBuckDaDon on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    I think with Harrison Smith And Jamarca Sanford as our Safeties. We have 2 good safetys because I think Jamarca is. A hard hitting and a ball hawk safety

  39. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Great win by our young team. We all can be thankful to be competitive again after the past two seasons. And next year– watch out! For the next twenty four hours we should all be Cowboys fans.

  40. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Titus,
    I totally dig your vibe, but I think we are going to make some big time noise this year. Not just because of the 49ers game, but the way this talent is coming together.

  41. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    vikes or die– I agree 110%– you missed most of my posts the past month or so? I predict 10 wins and the division — and playoffs. Just not sure we will go deep in the playoffs- but building from this year on, we own the division.

  42. By Parkway on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Hope Carlson can show up at some point in the near future.

  43. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Titus,
    Sorry, I am totally a new comer to the blog. Ben a fan from birth. just cant get over what I am actually seeing from this kick ass team!!!!

  44. By purple08 on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Nice to see a bunch of you guys patting yourselves on the back and telling everyone how you called it. Well done! Despite what Parkway says, I think the play calling has been perfect for a young team needing to build their confidence and do what they need to to get some early wins. The future is bright, however 8 wins this season will be a huge success for this team IMO.

  45. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    purple08,
    We are 3 and 1. Right now as we sit, we are at the top of our division. Why should i believe you, that we are only going to be 8 and 8.

  46. By Ariascasillas on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Everson griffen should be in the game as much as possible either at de or dt…i dont care…cuz his motor is non stop and i notice that he usually takes the opposing qb off their spot…i think oir defense knows that they are the strength of team again and its nice to see smith, robinson, jefferson learn from winfield, allen and greenway…and of course i include brinkley and henderson when it comes to our youth…go vikes!!!

  47. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    EG will if he wants to get paid!!!

  48. By vikes or die on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    If not, he will just be another statistic.

  49. By vikingsfan1955 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    seems mlike gb has lost bit’s swagger and having trouble scoring like last yr and what a squeeker they just had sunday. I think now we have opened some eyes wide and gb is not the shoe-in so many predicted they will be. I say if we can win our division we can go all the way.This team and the coaches seen to fear no team and trust me the offense will get it together soon and then we will ahve total balance, but the old adage holds true D wins game and ours is showing they can play against the best in the league,

  50. By Bluebird7 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    When Greenway put the hit on Johnson, I kind of smiled and said “Payback for the facemask on Joe Webb last year.!

  51. By DeerTracks... on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    “Payback for the facemask on Joe Webb last year.!

  52. By DeerTracks... on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    I was thinking the same thing, pal

  53. By megakrab on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    at what point can we start mentioning names for our defense again? everyone said it was too early before and i think we are watching them come into their own so i’m saying we are getting close… i want something to yell on big plays other than just yelling something about D!!!

  54. By Rick on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    I love how even after a win how much some people have to complain about. Yeah the win wasn’t by a huge margin yeah outside of a few plays it was not a crazy exciting game but thats divisional games they are almost always close. Good teams find ways to win even if its not through their offense for 1 game. I for one am perfectly fine with the way they won the game a win is a win. Not to mention the defense had a solid and effective game plan they gave up some yards but they kept them out of the endzone almost all game. As far as the offensive game plan why be aggressive and risk turning the ball over just my 2 cents. Hats off to the coaching staff for keeping the players focused in the last 2 games coming off that flag fest in Indy since then what has it been 3 or 4 penalties? Not bad. Next up the Titans and Chris Johnson might as well stay at home :)

  55. By OTKalil2012 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    I did see something yesterday, that really sticks out…

    The fact, that Ponder missed a few pass plays…Where I saw Simpson running open…One time it would have been an easy TD, had Ponder saw Simpson…

    Finally !!!…I saw an open WR other than Harvin…Gives a fan hope in the pas sing game…

    But why are Jenkins and Aromashudo still on this team ???…

    Again yesterday…Aromashudo and Burton had no catches at all…Jenkins had one catch for 4 yards ???…

    I know some fans are upset with Carlson…But I give the guy a break for being hurt all preseason…And still learning the system…Or at least catching up…

    But Aromashudo and Jenkins have been on this team for around 3 years…

    What is their excuse ????…And why does Frazier keep these 2 guys around ???…

  56. By SmileyStar on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    Ponder needs to figure out how to get the ball in the end zone! Our defense is good, running attack is good, special teams is good, but the passing game is lacking…Ponder is the only weak link, the Vikings have…

  57. By OTKalil2012 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    Ponders pass completion rating is one of the highest in the league right now…

    And Ponder has thrown no interceptions all year…

    Does Ponder need to find ways to get the ball into the end zone…

    Or does the offensive coordinator need to call better plays ???…Or maybe Frazier needs to find more WR’s weapons for Ponder that will fight for the ball in the red zone…

    Instead of guys like Jenkins and Aromashudo…

  58. By BlueBird7. on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    The WR’s have to be on the field playing for them to catch some foot-b-a-l-ls.
    Also, Ponder has to have time to throw, yesterday he was, at times, running again like a rabbit in the crosshairs of the LB’.s

  59. By Wisconsin Vikes Fan on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    I have followed the blogs for some time now but have just never commented…why you ask? I have no idea. But I would like to chip in now and say that this young team is looking great! After Speilman has taken the reigns, the team is finally headed in the right direction and I love what we are seeing from our young talent. Finally no more band aids to fix a gash. There were many great things to take from the game yesterday but I agree with some of you others that we got way too conservative way too early in the game. Ponder has played great and can make the plays so call some plays to get ALL of our weapons involved…hence Kyle Rudolph….a couple catches yesterday? And I got sick of seeing two or three tight ends and one receiver sets and calling a play action roll out with nobody getting open and Ponder running for his life. On a much more positive note, I felt that Josh Robinson played a great game! It may have just been me but he seemed to be matched up on Calvin as much as anybody and he held his own. They tried to pick on him at times but he was always right there to make the play or tackle. Love what I’m seeing out of him! Now let’s roll the Titans this week and really make people start to ask are these Vikings for real, because you bet we are!

  60. By odark30 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    EXTRA EXTRA
    Rock-em-sock-em Robots…….Megatron nearly loses his head to Chad Greenway.

  61. By BlueBird7. on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    Nice post, Wisconsin Vikes Fan..Good to hear from somebody that does not have cheeze spread all over their face. GreenBay got took on the Seattle game, Sure hope the Packers don’t try to take it out on the Vikings to catch up in the North standings. In case they try, just remember, We fight back! Go New Vikings!

  62. By bkocinski on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    Look, the offense wasn’t top notch yesterday, but that happens. When that happens its up to the rest of the team to make plays. That is exactly what happened. The defense and special teams stepped up big time.

    Now to say Ponder is a weak link is way too premature. The second year QB has shown incredible improvement from last year. It’s as if you forgot about his impressive TD pass to Kyle last week where he was running for his life, switched directions, back peddled, and threw the perfect pass to the end zone on 4th and 1. He is playing incredibly disciplined football and taking the shots he is given. We need a few more weapons down field for Ponder to have a chance at being a flashy QB who throws 50 yrd bombs on every possession. That’s not the team we are right now, and he just got Simpson back this week. Simpson already showed he can stretch the field and attract attention. Give it some time, but for now, props to Ponder for leading this team to a 3-1 start. Something I, as a Vikings fan, didn’t see coming at all. I certainly didn’t predict to be leading the NFC North by week 4, or at least tied in 1st depending the outcome of the Cowboys vs Bear game.

    As for Musgrave… He get’s cute at the wrongs times, and is too predictable the rest of the time. Run on 1st down for a few yards, go in the air on play action on 2nd down, then throw for 4 yards when we need 7 on 3rd down. Too predictable in the play calling in my opinion, but again, props to Ponder for taking what we are giving and protecting the football to live another down.

  63. By South Carolina Troy on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with some earlier posts about are recievers.Harvin is great, Simpson can be a legit number 2 with great speed after that we dont have much at all that i can see.I hope someone steps up and proves me wrong at wr we will see. Go Vikes!!!!

  64. By SmileyStar on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    Good QBs don’t need stair receivers, they make star receivers. Our play calling in the passing game is bland cause the trust isn’t there that ponder can do it with out turning it over. Has ponder brought the team back from a deficit with his arm, or scored a game winning touchdown through the air. Can ponder get the ball 90 yes down the field through the air in less than 2 minutes?

  65. By irishviking99 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    Really SmileyStar? and you were watching what during the first game? The game was all but over and Ponder, that’s right Ponder brought the team and our season back from the brink. That first game and our ability to come back showed the rest of the team, that we can do anything. Do we need to get better in some areas, of course, but saying that Ponder can’t get it done? You really aren’t watching the Vikings play are you? Your just looking at stat lines after the game. Maybe watch a game before you comment?

  66. By bkocinski on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    @SmileyStar

    I have to completely disagree. A good QB doesn’t make a bad receiver a good receiver. If a receiver can’t hold onto a pass even if it’s thrown well, they aren’t a good receiver. If a receiver can’t get open or make a play on a ball thrown up high and deep, he isn’t a good receiver, no matter how well the ball is thrown. Even the best QBs need weapons.

    Again, Ponder is still developing. He is doing a stand up job at that as well. Have a little faith. Consider Alex Smith for example… He played in the league for years before he had his breakout season last year with the Niners and took them deep into the playoffs.

  67. By RichardA1 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    Of course we did, that’s because we are the best group of players ever to play football! we just can’t beat them all to badly because there will have to be a team for us to beat in the Superbow!!!

  68. By purple08 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    @Vikesordie. I didn’t predict an 8-8 record. I said winning 8 games would be a huge success. The Vikes start off well and people in here are ready to give them the NFC North. I just don’t want to hear the crybabies when we start to lose a few games, like every other year. It is disguting to me. Yes the Vikings are looking good, I am totally excited about it but we will do well to finish in 3rd place behind GB and CHI. That is only if DET poops the bed the rest of the season. We will be a true SB contender in 2 years if AP can stay healthy. Until then, enjoy watching our young guys develop into a SB caliber team. It should be fun.

  69. By Purple_ppl_eater on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    “Be surprised!” I told all the nay-sayers who ruled us out way before the season started. We should of been 4-0 if it wasn’t for the penalties against us in the 3rd qt vs the Colts. Well make it to the play-off this year. If we can beat the NFL’s best defense(9ers) and nfl best passing offense(lions) were a threat to be reckon with!! GO VIKS!! AP,Harvin and J Simpson ALL DAY! This will be Ponders break out year. BELIEVE!

  70. By rjg0915 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    A big reason the defense looks so much better than last year is that the offense isn’t leaving them on the field the entire game. Any NFL defense will tire if they are left out there long enough.

  71. By vikingsfan1955 on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    anyone thats says ponder is lacking must be watching the jets and thinking it’s the vikings. he is in his second yr and is controling the game well and he has good recievers and he and the recievers will jell soom believe that he isn’t throwning interceptions and he has good protection so be patient he will get it he’s in his southmore yr and not showing the jinx like so may others have.I will say this team is so close to becoming well balanced in all aspects on both sides of the ball now we are finding ways to win not lose and some still aren’t happy.

  72. By DrinkHeavy on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    I’m with Purple 08 on this one..real glad to see the team make progress and get some wins against some quality teams early, but we need to keep things in perspective..long season ahead and we have the youngest team in the NFL. GO VIKES!

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