Aug 16, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Charlie Johnson (74) on the sideline during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Vikings 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Fall To 0-3


Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier talks on his radio during the game with the Cleveland Browns at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns win 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It is officially time to hit the panic button in Minnesota.  The Vikings dropped a very winnable game against the Cleveland Browns today at the Vikings home opener.  The final score may have been 31-27, but the game never really seemed to be going well for the Vikings.

In a sloppy game that featured 7 turnovers and 12 punts between the two teams, there was very little for Vikings fans to be excited about.   Here are a rundown of some of the disappointments:

  • Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) reacts following the game against the Cleveland Browns at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns defeated the Vikings 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

    Adrian Peterson was held to 88 yards on 25 carries and only found the end zone once.  He also fumbled the ball once and his longest run was only 9 yards.

  • Christian Ponder turned the ball over twice.  There was an interception off a tipped pass and a fumble on an attempted pass.  Ponder was also sacked six times, and managed to evade several other sack attempts on this day.  Ponder had a quarterback rating of 64.4 and only averaged 5.4 yards per attempt.
  • Sep 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett (83) scores the game-winning touchdown past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook (20) during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. The Bears won 31-30. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Chris Cook got injured again.  Time may be running out for the often injured cornerback to prove that he can be a regular and solid part of this defense.  His contract ends this year and his future with the team is in doubt.

  • The Vikings secondary got beat on a regular basis.  We saw AJ Jefferson get burned so bad by Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon that the fire department is still working on putting out the flames.  The injures to Cook and Sanford didn’t help, but today Josh Gordon looked like Calvin Johnson out there.
  • The offensive line struggled.  There’s no polite way to say this.  For the Vikings to win games, the offensive line needs to play better.  Pressure came from everywhere to get to Ponder and Peterson before they had time to get things going.

  • The play calling and personnel were questionable at best all day.  When the Vikings needed to go the distance of the field in less than a minute with only one time out, short passes to the middle of the field were called.  In that situation, the team needs to be more aggressive.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Overall, the Minnesota Vikings should be extremely disappointed to be at 0-3 right now will have to have a major turnaround soon to even try to get back into this season.  If the Vikings fail to get things going, we could see major changes to this team coming much sooner than expected.

Tags: Adrian Peterson Christian Ponder Featured Josh Gordon Minnesota Vikings

  • Ramon Lang

    Is Ponder era over ?

    • fin

      Yes so is Fraizers and Musgraves and Williams

    • Dave Ferrara

      Hopefully by next Sunday. Play Kassel!

    • Bob E.

      Am I the only one who watched Cassel in KC last year?! He is HORRIBLE! Ponder is terrible but, Cassel damn sure aint the answer!

  • Dave Ferrara

    I’m disgusted with the Viking’s “talent” scouts. Green Bay knows a good QB when they see one, but we have to suffer season after season with guys like Ponder, Culpepper and Tarvaris Jackson. Frazier is no better than Childress was, either. If I were AP I’d BEG to get traded- he will never get the big numbers with this team. I now hope the Vikings have a horrible season so we can clean house! Of course, we do have a decent backup in Matt Kassel (he looks so much more in command than Ponder), but of course they won’t put him in until it’s too late- like they always do.

    I’m starting to think that the Wilfs are a big part of the problem- they just don’t want to spend the money on a great coach or QB.

    Between the Vikes, Twins and T-Wolves, being a MN sports fan is just painful these days. At least the Lynx are doing well, but do most people even care?

    • Jake

      Ugh, what an ignorant comment. Peterson will never get big numbers in Minnesota? So you’re like the only guy on Earth who didn’t watch him run for 2000 yards last year? Did you just start watching the Vikings? They are a running team through and through, one of the only teams left that actually runs the power-I that Peterson thrives with. And Cassel as the starter? C’mon dude, did you not pay attention to the last few years he played in KC and to how bad he was in preseason?

    • Daniel Laxen

      The Packer know a QB when they see him huh?…You realize that Rodgers free fell to them at #23. He was projected a top 5 pick, but at that time missing on a 1st round QB stunted the growth of any team that drafted and missed taking a QB in the 1st round. The fact is you either get lucky or you do not. Can’t miss guys are few and far between. Rodgers wasn’t considered a can’t miss, by where he was taken. What they now know is that he’s about as accurate as any QB that has ever played. That’s why they dumped Favre…Did you know that in games decided by 5 points or less that Rodgers has the worst record of any QB starting today? He loses more than 70% of those types of battles.
      What the Vikings need to do is plug in another QB and see if it doesn’t spark the O-line to play better. This points the finger at what many believe the problem is. Should the QB be successful then the line didn’t believe in Ponder and you’ll have your answer. The fact is there isn’t a franchise QB on this roster…I feel bad for AP.

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  • Bob E.

    Ponder deserves credit when it is due. He may not be the answer we are looking for at QB but, his running TD’s were impressive, He did a lot of good things with his feet. It was a close game with AP getting stuffed, so Ponder deserves a tip of the hat for what he was able to get done. Stats dont tell a whole story. And yes, I expect alot of negative replys for having the nerve to say Ponder did something good.

    • Daniel Laxen

      Bob, C’mon man! Look at his red zone stats…He’s awful! He has to run because his limited arm makes throwing the football down there a crap shoot at best. Musgrave knows this and can’t call plays for his lack of arm strength. He missed Joe Webb wide open with time to pass by 3 yards. Did Webb even get a finger on that pass? Continue playing Ponder and the Vikings will struggle to win 4 games this season…

      • Bob E.

        Agreed he is not the answer at QB. I was just trying to make note that we put 27 points up with AD getting stopped (by AD standards anyway) because Ponder did a few things well, and I think when credit is due it should be given… I was a Ponder supporter for a lot longer than most people but, even I think it clear he is just not going to get it done. I was happy he found the and zone for us a couple times with his feet but, Kapernick has shown us now that even the best running QBs are one good Defensive Coordinator away from being figured out. I would personally love if we got Kirk Cousins out of Washington… no need at all for that kid to be warming a bench. Put in MBT long before Cassel cuz that guy is atrocious…I guess I’m one of the few who remembers how bad the Chiefs looked last year, and am firmly against Cassel as anything but a last resort.

  • Imshaken

    Maybe it’s time the Vikes took a play from the Browns and start our third string QB. :o)

  • Jake

    Ponder did a few good things but his biggest problem is that he is unable or unwilling to sit back and let the play and the routes develop. As soon as he gets the ball the first thing he is trying to do is escape the pocket whether he needs to or not. Then he goes immediately to his check downs. He never, ever looks down field. The last drive of the game is a perfect example. A bunch of short check downs rather than looking down field; and on the very last play he was trying to get out of the pocket and roll right when he didn’t even need to and ended up running right into the defender who ultimately sacked him. It’s as though he’s terrified to get hit and he’s looking to run or get rid of the ball as soon as he touches it. He’s not patient enough to make accurate, smart throws down field which is why his completion percentage is awful and his yards per attempt is awful. This also means he can’t be counted on to make plays in the clutch, which we saw today. He simply is not the answer. They need to skip over Cassel (who any educated fan knows is not the answer) and play MBT to see what he has to offer. You’re already down 0-3, what is the harm in letting MBT start. It can’t get any worse.

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  • Daniel Laxen

    Look I’ve stated already that I feel that MBT isn’t the answer, but Cassel isn’t either, in my opinion. The Vikings have to do something or this type of failure WILL continue. At this point I don’t care who they play at QB, just don’t let him have a #7 on his jersey…Put in a new QB and see if the team as a whole doesn’t pull together. especially on the line of scrimmage. Anyone defending Ponder shouldn’t even be responded to anymore…