The Minnesota Vikings’ performance on Sunday Night Football this evening was, in a word, abysmal. The Green Bay Packers rolled into Minneapolis and put an old-fashioned beat down on the Vikings and did not break a sweat doing it. The final score of 44-31 was hardly indicative of the mood game on the field. Sunday night’s game was the last Sunday Night Football game that is scheduled to be played at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome.
It was also the last meeting between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. In the 31 meetings between the teams at the Metrodome the Vikings have won 16 but lost both the first and last games at the dome. The highlight of the game, as far as Vikings fans are concerned, was done in the first 15 seconds of the game when rookie kickoff return man Cordarrelle Patterson ran back the opening kickoff over 109 yards. Blaire Walsh’s extra point put the Vikings up 7-0. The Vikings scored the final touchdown of the first half when Adrian Peterson darted and dove into the end zone with seconds left in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for Vikings fans the rest of the first half saw the Packers outscore the Vikings 24-3. Late in the second quarter Vikings fans were feeling positive as the score was tied at 10. Two minutes later, after a 76 yard toss and catch between Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson and a 93 yard punt return for a touchdown the Vikings found themselves down 24-10. Adrian Peterson dove into the end zone with seconds left in the half to bring the score at the half to 24-17.
For almost one half of the game starting late in the second quarter until late in the fourth quarter Minnesota was outscored 31-7. Gerhart and Ponder managed to run the ball into the end zone within the last five minutes of the game. The sobering statistic is that the poor performance netted the Vikings 31 points, almost double the amount of points the offense put up in the past two games. With all three of the Vikings’ quarterbacks having a shot, Ponder has been the only QB to put points on the board.
The defense has not stopped the opposing team’s scoreboard from lighting up like a Christmas tree. In the four games that quarterback Ponder has started, the Vikings have averaged 28 points per game. The Vikings’ defense has, in comparison, allowed in those four games, 35 points per game. In the three games this year with another quarterback at the helm the Vikings averaged 17 points per game to their opponent’s 28.3. In the last three games, each of which has featured a different quarterback, the Vikings have been out-scored 102-48.
Christian Ponder may not be the long-term answer to the Vikings’ offensive woes but until the defense comes up with a way to stop opposing offenses it will be difficult to come up with a win. Since the 2007 season the Minnesota Vikings have had ten different quarterbacks. Kelly Holcomb, Brooks Bollinger, Tarvaris Jackson, Gus Ferrotte, Brett Favre, Joe Webb, Donavon McNabb, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassell and Josh Freeman.
In the last five games the Vikings have used three of them, only one in consecutive, that was Matt Cassell in the second and third game. Vikings’ head coach Leslie Frazier was non-committal as to who the quarterback would be when the Vikings travel to Dallas. The Cowboys are .500 on the season and are still reeling from a devastating last second loss to the Lions.