Raise your hand if you saw the Vikings and Broncos getting into a shoot out today at MOA? Yeah didn’t think so. But a shoot out was exactly what the game turned into. After a rugged first half, the two defenses fell totally asleep in the second, allowing huge plays all over the field. For the Broncos it was Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas shredding a confused Vikings secondary, and for the Vikes it was Christian Ponder hitting Percy Harvin on an array of short passes and watching Percy weave through helpless tacklers. And Toby Gerhart chipped in with some tough running.
The game plan for the Vikes was to build a big enough lead that Tim Tebow wouldn’t be able to stage one of his now-signature fourth quarter comebacks. Unfortunately the Vikes were never able to build that lead because every time they gave the ball back Denver went down and scored. The Vikes were able to get up by 3 with a couple of minutes left, but the defense rose up and held the Broncos to a tying field goal. Unfortunately, Christian Ponder threw a pick on his first pass of the ensuing possession and that was it for the Vikes. The Broncos went down for the winning FG and the Vikes are 2-10.
Ponder may have thrown the pick that ended the game, and he did make some other mistakes along the way, but overall he put in a solid effort. Thanks to the lousy Broncos tackling, and Percy Harvin’s shifty moves, Ponder was able to rack up a career high – and Vikings rookie record – 381 yards. He also threw 3 TDs. But he was picked twice. He did a lot of this in the face of a big Broncos blitz that left him banged up but not rattled. Ponder’s progress, Harvin’s stellar play and Toby Gerhart’s grinding running were the offensive high points. The defense…um, that was a mess, but Jared Allen did have a nice game with a sack, a safety and a forced fumble. The Vikings just had too many coverage break downs. You can’t allow a gimmick QB like Tim Tebow to throw for over 200 yards.