Griffen Steps Up In Big Spot

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 1, 2013 – 7:39 am

Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder and Blair Walsh all picked a great time to have one of their best – if not the best – performance of the 2012 season. In the game’s biggest moment, those three Vikings registered A+ performances to help lead the Vikings to victory in a true win-or-go-home scenario.

But those three weren’t working alone on Sunday. Another Vikings player also registered a season’s-best performance on Sunday, and that performance was a huge factor in the team’s win. Everson Griffen played like a man possessed, and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers paid for it.

In his 3rd season out of USC, Griffen had arguably the best game of his career Sunday. He sacked Rodgers three times for a loss of 20 yards, hit Rodgers another time, and tallied 4 total tackles on the day.

Griffen’s first sack came late in the 2nd quarter on a 2nd-and-10 from the Minnesota 38 with Green Bay driving for what looked like could be a TD right before the half. The sack resulted in a loss of 9 yards and all but eliminated the opportunity for Green Bay to score a TD and instead forced them to position themselves for a long FG try. Griffen’s 2nd sack came on the Packers first drive of the 2nd half and resulted in a loss of 3 yards on a 1st-and-10 play from the Minnesota 45. Griffen’s third and final sack came in the 4th quarter on a 1st-and-10 from the Green Bay 34. It backed Green Bay up 8 yards and eventually forced them into a 4th down, which they converted on a completion to Jarrett Boykin.

For the regular season, Griffen finished 3rd on the Vikings with 8.0 sacks, just a half-sack behind Brian Robison and 4.0 sacks behind Jared Allen. Griffen also ranked 4th on the team with 10.0 tackles for loss, 2nd on the team with 25 QB hurries, and he added 7 tackles and a forced fumble on special teams.

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Welcoming Christian Ponder To Minnesota In Style

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 29, 2011 – 11:37 am

On Thursday morning I woke up 14 hours before the start of the 2011 NFL Draft unsure of whom the Vikings would select with their 1st-round pick. Just a few hours into Friday morning, though, I not only knew who the Vikings selected at #12, I also met him at the airport and welcomed him to Minnesota while riding back to Winter Park.

Ponder and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave

Yes, Vikings Entertainment Network, with the help of Paul Martin and the Vikings operations staff, was there to swoop Ponder up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport late Friday morning and deliver him to Winter Park, where the QB met with the Vikings coaching and personnel staff. VEN Videographer Jordan Struck was there to record all the action, and we’ll have an entertaining and informative piece about Ponder up on the site momentarily.

Ponder arrived right on time at MSP and was promptly met by representatives from Brooks Brothers, so he could try on a suit coat and tie for his press conference later today. After a quick fitting and the selection of a purple and white-striped tie, Ponder and the VEN clan headed back to the limo for a ride back to Winter Park.

Inside the limo on the way back, we had a chat with Ponder about his time at Florida State, the draft-day experience and phone conversations with Frazier and Spielman, his thoughts on living in Minnesota, why he’s so driven to do well in school and pursue advanced education, what charities he wants to support while with the Vikings and some of his other interests and hobbies.

Ponder even took the time to call in to AM 1130 KFAN and join Paul Allen’s 9-noon radio show. It was a great trip with Ponder and I could clearly see that he’ll be a good fit in Minnesota. He never once seemed impatient with the suit fitting or with having to wear a microphone for the VEN piece. He was smiling a lot and was enthusiastic about being in Minnesota. He wasn’t checking his cell phone constantly and there were no awkward silences in the car. He was thoroughly happy to be chosen by the Vikings and I think he’s going to win a lot of fans over very quickly.

Ponder with Frazier and Spielman

Be sure to check back frequently to today because we’re going to carry Ponder’s press conference live. We’re also going to have a sit-down interview with Ponder on later today as well as comprehensive coverage of the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Also, don’t forget to look for the “Meet Christian Ponder” piece that Jordan and the rest of the VEN video guys are working on right now.

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