After a 4-1 start, the Minnesota Vikings were looking very confident and inching their way closer to the playoffs. This was partly due to the play of second-year quarterback Christian Ponder. Without throwing an interception in the first 4 games, Ponder was beginning to look like the promising franchise quarterback every Minnesota fan was waiting for. Just as things were looking positive, it all started to spiral out of control and with only one win in the Vikings next four games, the Vikings were looking at a 5-4 record. The loses resulted from a combination of problems, but one of the main problems was Christian Ponder. In those last four games he passed for only 4 touchdowns while throwing 6 interceptions. His completion percentage and passer rating spiraled down as he couldn’t even surpass 100 passing yards in two of the games.
The pressure was on Christian Ponder as the Vikings came back home to play in front of the restless Minnesota crowd after loosing handily to the Seattle Seahawks, a game many fans think they should have and could have won. The booing from the home fans was expected but Ponder took the field never giving them a chance to express their feelings. In fact it was nothing but celebration and cheers. After beating the Lions in Detroit earlier in the season the Vikings looked to sweep the series and take a big advantage in division wins. Christian opened the game with a season long 54-yard completion to rookie Jarius Wright. After the big catch, Ponder slowly but surely picked apart the Detroit secondary passing for 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and 221 yards on a 75% completion percentage. What was looking like disappointment turned into a pleasant surprise against a respectable Lions defense. The dominant running game from Adrian Peterson gave the Vikings offense a huge offensive advantage and took a lot of pressure off Ponder. Peterson did what Peterson does – rushing for 171 yards on 27 carries.
The Vikings are entering into their bye week and will not be taking a much needed week off. A much needed break for several reasons will help prepare the Vikings for the tough schedule ahead which includes both the Packers and Bears twice. Percy Harvin sat out against the Lions with an ankle injury and should be ready to go in week 12, likewise Adrian Peterson who hasn’t missed a game will get a full recovery from his ankle injury which has been limiting him on and off in practice the past couple weeks. Following the bye, Minnesota will play both the Packer and Bears twice and will also travel to Houston to challenge the Texans. 5 of the last 6 games for the Vikings are against Super Bowl conceding teams and have a combined winning percentage of 78%.