Monday, December 03, 2012

Ponder Kills a Memorable AP Day

Adrian Peterson had one of the best games of his career on Sunday, rushing for 210 yards on 21 carries. It was the third time he's reached the 200-yard mark in a game in his stellar career so far.

And the Vikings still couldn't win.

Green Bay emerged victorious, 23-14. The Vikes had the lead at halftime, 14-10, after the Packers jumped out to a 10-0 lead after their first two possessions.

The Vikings were down 10-7 in the second quarter when Peterson ran off right tackle, broke a couple of tackles and was gone down the sidelines. It was an 82-yard TD, the longest run from scrimmage ever.

And his first carry in the second half was for 48 yards, and it put the Vikings in the red zone, with a golden opportunity to expand their lead.

It all went up in smoke when Christian Ponder was intercepted by Morgan Burnett in the end zone on an ill-advised pass. Green Bay turned into three points.

In the fourth quarter, another long Peterson run set up what looked to be another score, with the Vikings down 20-14. And Ponder threw another interception, again by Burnett, and that took the steam out of the Vikings, and again, the Packers added to their lead with another field goal.

It was a crushing defeat for the Vikings. They played well enough to win, but Ponder's interceptions killed them. He was just 12-for-25 for 119 yards, and fans are now grumbling for a QB change, to Joe Webb. Head coach Leslie Frazier said after the game that Ponder would get the start next Sunday against the Bears at the Metrodome.

The loss drops the Vikings to 6-6, as their playoff chances fade with the harder schedule they are playing. They trail both Chicago and Green Bay, who are tied for the NFC North lead, by two games. Four games remain: Chicago, at St. Louis and Houston, and the season finale at home with the Packers.

I'd still be happy if they ended the season at 8-8. It's still five games better than they were in 2011.

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