The Vikings showed plenty of fight in the first half of Sunday’s game against Seattle, but a late second quarter TD from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin proved somewhat of a bad omen. Seattle decided right there they weren’t going to let the Vikings hang around, and in the second half they came out and took care of business like the potential championship team they are.
Seattle’s defense set the tone in the second half, picking off Christian Ponder twice, and returning one of those picks for a TD. Ponder played reasonably well in the first half, but whatever tweaks the Seahawks introduced in the third quarter utterly bewildered the Vikings QB. His interceptions were not rushed throws or bad footwork throws or anything that could be chalked up to poor pass protection or receivers running bad routes or any of the rest of it. No excuses for Ponder: he made two of the worst throws you will ever see from a third-year quarterback.
Leslie Frazier decided after the pick-six that he had seen enough and yanked Ponder. But by that point it was too late for backup Matt Cassel to get anything going anyway. Seattle didn’t even need much from their offense in the second half. Russell Wilson did all the damage he needed to in the first half. With Ponder throwing the ball around like a fool, Seattle’s D was able to put the game away without any difficulty.
What we saw Sunday was the stark contrast between a team that is totally lost and one that is totally locked in on their mission. Seattle is a juggernaut and the Vikings got to witness first hand what that looks like. In retrospect, the Vikes probably didn’t have a chance. They were able to remain competitive in the first half but once Seattle made their adjustments it was game over. They clowned the Vikings in the second half.
Minnesota drops to 2-8 on the season, and are once again in the thick of it for the #1 overall draft pick. The quarterback situation is also once again in disarray after two weeks of competent work by Christian Ponder. Who starts next week against Green Bay? It probably doesn’t even matter.