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6-4, is 9-7 possible?

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#1 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

Gotta give credit to Ponder today, guy came in with everyone wanting him out and played a really nice game.

Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that Harvin was out, it forced Musgrave to open up the play book a bit and Ponder didn't disappoint, it reminded me a bit of his first 4 games or so. Zero turnovers and a number of good decisions and passes. The Lions aren't the greatest defense in the world, but pass wise they are like 12th overall or so.

Either way, nice win. Hopefully the Vikes can find a way to go 3-3 down the stretch, though it will be tough.

#2 biggentleben

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

Really easy to see a big difference here - Kyle Rudolph. He had more targets this game than the last 3 games combined. Rudolph has his faults, but often times he is a matchup issue for the defense. Ponder's recent struggles have coincided with a monster drop in targets toward Rudolph. Ponder is at his best when he's tossing short, quick passes to receivers and letting them pick up yards after the catch, and he has been throwing deeper in the last few weeks. He has completed all of 46% of his passes over 10 yards this season. He's got the receivers (Rudolph, Harvin, and Peterson especially) in the passing game that can break those throws for extra yardage.
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#3 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:13 PM

Really easy to see a big difference here - Kyle Rudolph. He had more targets this game than the last 3 games combined. Rudolph has his faults, but often times he is a matchup issue for the defense. Ponder's recent struggles have coincided with a monster drop in targets toward Rudolph. Ponder is at his best when he's tossing short, quick passes to receivers and letting them pick up yards after the catch, and he has been throwing deeper in the last few weeks. He has completed all of 46% of his passes over 10 yards this season. He's got the receivers (Rudolph, Harvin, and Peterson especially) in the passing game that can break those throws for extra yardage.

Yeah, it was nice to see Rudolph get back in action.

Thomas was very intriguing to me and looks to have some explosive potential.

There is also a ray of hope for the Vikes next game. Cutler could very well be out for more then a week, and if that is the case the Vikes have a decent chance to win in Chicago as long as they don't turn the ball over (no easy task against the Bears of course)

In addition, they should be fully healthy coming out of the bye, Peterson, Harvin, Simpson, Cook etc should all be able to heal the nagging injuries, and the Bears very well could be coming off of two tough games and hopefully loses against Houston and San Fran.

The rest of the schedule is tough, GB and Chi at home are both winnable IMO, though Green Bay has been playing better as of late, they still have plenty of holes (and injuries) on the defensive side of the ball. They haven't exactly wowed me in their last two games as well.

With all that said, the Vikes could very well go 0-4 against those two teams, but at least we have a fighting chance going into the last 6 weeks which makes for interesting football at the very least. Give me that over watching a team that is about 2-8 or 3-7 at this point of the season (high draft picks be damned!)

Ponder obviously is going to be the difference down the stretch in whether the Vikings going 2-4 or can somehow go 3-3, or 4-2.

#4 Fatt Crapps

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:47 PM

Where is DPJ to weigh in on this? Where did he go?

#5 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:55 PM

Rudolph was nice to see. You know what the biggest difference was? Ponder squared himself and set his feet. The Wright throw was a perfect example of what he SHOULD do and almost never does. He was much more comfortable in the pocket, he let it collapse and hung in there. He didn't look panicked or ridiculous like usual.

Still needs to go through progressions though.

#6 Willihammer

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:27 PM

O-line was dominant esp. in the 4th quarter. Kalil can do anything, he damn near beat AP to the end zone on that 4th qtr TD run after bowling over a linebacker. If he weren't so critical at the line, I'd be curious to see him line up as an eligible receiver in a trick play. I gotta think he is the first guy every defender would just rather not deal with, and therefore he'd be wide open.

I think we match up well with the Bears but I just don't trust Ponder to scratch together drives on the road.

#7 TheLeviathan

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

Yeah I've noticed Kalil down field a few times - he's a ridiculous athlete.

#8 Rick Blaine

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:51 PM

9-7 will be tough. Prior to the start of the season I assumed they would not beat the Pack or the Bears this year. If they don't -- 8-8 is the best they can do. Last summer 8-8 would have been viewed as a big improvement-or a successful season!

#9 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

I'd feel much more comfortable about 9-7 had they done a bit better over the last few weeks. They lost too many winable games. 2-4 down the stretch would be impressive I think....

#10 Badsmerf

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:27 AM

Ponder has one good game and we are talking playoffs? Playoffs? If Ponder can continue to play like that then yes, they could go 9-7. If he reverts himself to what we've seen all year they wont win any. It helps the team will be healthy soon too.
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#11 Kobs

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:41 PM

Rudolph was nice to see. You know what the biggest difference was? Ponder squared himself and set his feet. The Wright throw was a perfect example of what he SHOULD do and almost never does. He was much more comfortable in the pocket, he let it collapse and hung in there. He didn't look panicked or ridiculous like usual.

Still needs to go through progressions though.


Ponder clearly grew to distrust his offensive line, which, while logically understandable, is not something a quarterback can do. You have to drop back assuming that you will be protected, even if you probably won't be, and adjust when the pressure comes. Those few games where he was hit multiple times before finishing his drop or play fakes clearly rattled him and led to that lack of trust. Hopefully he has learned that lesson.

#12 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:02 AM

Rudolph was nice to see. You know what the biggest difference was? Ponder squared himself and set his feet. The Wright throw was a perfect example of what he SHOULD do and almost never does. He was much more comfortable in the pocket, he let it collapse and hung in there. He didn't look panicked or ridiculous like usual.

Still needs to go through progressions though.


Ponder clearly grew to distrust his offensive line, which, while logically understandable, is not something a quarterback can do. You have to drop back assuming that you will be protected, even if you probably won't be, and adjust when the pressure comes. Those few games where he was hit multiple times before finishing his drop or play fakes clearly rattled him and led to that lack of trust. Hopefully he has learned that lesson.


That is a really good take on the situation, he did look much more comfortable this last game (like his first four games).

#13 TheLeviathan

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:54 PM

Ponder clearly grew to distrust his offensive line, which, while logically understandable, is not something a quarterback can do. You have to drop back assuming that you will be protected, even if you probably won't be, and adjust when the pressure comes. Those few games where he was hit multiple times before finishing his drop or play fakes clearly rattled him and led to that lack of trust. Hopefully he has learned that lesson.


Agreed for the most part. Do you think the line has been worthy of him being skiddish this year? I've thought many sacks were his fault for holding the ball too long or running into defenders rather than staying in the pocket. I've never found a site I like for tracking o-line work, just rely on my eyes which isn't always fair.

#14 Kobs

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:57 PM

Ponder clearly grew to distrust his offensive line, which, while logically understandable, is not something a quarterback can do. You have to drop back assuming that you will be protected, even if you probably won't be, and adjust when the pressure comes. Those few games where he was hit multiple times before finishing his drop or play fakes clearly rattled him and led to that lack of trust. Hopefully he has learned that lesson.


Agreed for the most part. Do you think the line has been worthy of him being skiddish this year? I've thought many sacks were his fault for holding the ball too long or running into defenders rather than staying in the pocket. I've never found a site I like for tracking o-line work, just rely on my eyes which isn't always fair.


I think a few inexcusably missed assignments, which we've seen too much of, have more of an impact on a quarterback's trust than guys getting beat one-on-one, where they've probably been mediocre rather than poor. Good teams don't have defenders shooting through holes 1-4 untouched when they aren't overloaded. The Vikings have had that, and a handful goes a long way.

#15 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:27 AM

[quote name='Kobs'][quote name='TheLeviathan'][quote name='Kobs']Ponder clearly grew to distrust his offensive line, which, while logically understandable, is not something a quarterback can do. You have to drop back assuming that you will be protected, even if you probably won't be, and adjust when the pressure comes. Those few games where he was hit multiple times before finishing his drop or play fakes clearly rattled him and led to that lack of trust. Hopefully he has learned that lesson.[/QUOTE]

Agreed for the most part. Do you think the line has been worthy of him being skiddish this year? I've thought many sacks were his fault for holding the ball too long or running into defenders rather than staying in the pocket. I've never found a site I like for tracking o-line work, just rely on my eyes which isn't always fair.[/QUOTE]

I think a few inexcusably missed assignments, which we've seen too much of, have more of an impact on a quarterback's trust than guys getting beat one-on-one, where they've probably been mediocre rather than poor. Good teams don't have defenders shooting through holes 1-4 untouched when they aren't overloaded. The Vikings have had that, and a handful goes a long way.[/QUOTE]

I tend to agree with this take, the o-line is no doubt improved over last year with the addition of Kalil (who should only continue to improve) but the Vikes need to look at upgrading the O-Line overall this off-season. If you could replace Loadholt, and maybe one more with even a moderate upgrade you are suddenly looking at a very potent line. The nice thing is regardless of how this season ends up we go into 2013 with a lot less glaring holes (need 1 O-line, 1 CB, 1 WR, and potentially 1 QB) I feel pretty solid about the rest of the team at this point.

#16 TheLeviathan

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:55 PM

I think a few inexcusably missed assignments, which we've seen too much of, have more of an impact on a quarterback's trust than guys getting beat one-on-one, where they've probably been mediocre rather than poor. Good teams don't have defenders shooting through holes 1-4 untouched when they aren't overloaded. The Vikings have had that, and a handful goes a long way.


Missed blitz pickups has certainly been an issue. The only thing I don't know is how much of that is on Ponder or on Sullivan.

#17 Badsmerf

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:09 AM

Pocket presence was only half of his issue. This last game he actually threw the ball down the field and let his receivers make plays. Many of the sacks and such I've felt were his fault. When pressure is obviously coming, make an audible or get rid of the ball sooner. If he can't operate under pressure the only reason teams wont bring it is the potential of getting burned by AP, not Ponder.... which is pathetic.
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#18 TheLeviathan

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:49 AM

Pocket presence was only half of his issue. This last game he actually threw the ball down the field and let his receivers make plays. Many of the sacks and such I've felt were his fault. When pressure is obviously coming, make an audible or get rid of the ball sooner. If he can't operate under pressure the only reason teams wont bring it is the potential of getting burned by AP, not Ponder.... which is pathetic.


I've thought a few times how much Ponder reminds me of T-Jack when it comes to handling pressure. And I've felt the same about a number of the sacks. I have no data on this, but from watching it just feels like 40% of the sacks are bad blitz reads, 40% are Ponder either holding the ball too long or running right at defenders in a collapsing pocket, and 20% are the line actually getting beat.

I think the issue downfield isn't even his arm strength. It's his inability to set his feet on throws. The comps to Pennington may need to switch more accurately to Cade McNown if that continues.

#19 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

Really easy to see a big difference here - Kyle Rudolph. He had more targets this game than the last 3 games combined. Rudolph has his faults, but often times he is a matchup issue for the defense. Ponder's recent struggles have coincided with a monster drop in targets toward Rudolph. Ponder is at his best when he's tossing short, quick passes to receivers and letting them pick up yards after the catch, and he has been throwing deeper in the last few weeks. He has completed all of 46% of his passes over 10 yards this season. He's got the receivers (Rudolph, Harvin, and Peterson especially) in the passing game that can break those throws for extra yardage.


There's no reason why they shouldn't be able to do both. Peterson and Harvin are both matchup nightmares for defenses, so if the Vikes can add one more in the form of Rudolf, they absolutely should. Why it is that the coaching staff isn't getting him involved more makes me wonder a bit, and I suspect the OC won't be doing much OC work in MN come next year. Defenses cannot stop all of those guys. If they come up with a plan to do so, then someone else will be obviously open somewhere.

#20 Willihammer

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:53 PM

I think the little Percy sideline blowup showed us a glimpse of a dynamic of this team. Percy knows he is the most overqualified, underpaid person in the lockerroom, an MVP candidate with a grudge against management. Meanwhile Ponder, and for that matter, Frazier, are company guys. Each was "promoted" into the QB coaching position, respectively. Beneficiaries of the TJ/Chilly firings, but they're not really there on merit.

So in the rare event that Ponder doesn't give Percy his first look, and throws the ball incomplete, takes a sack, fumbles, or otherwise misreads a situation - in practice or in a game, Percy can lay into Christian a little more than he would into a Joe Webb who's not there on a scholarship, nor a Brett Favre who has Superbowl credentials. There's also the possibility that Percy is playing with an eye to getting out of Minnesota asap so he doesn't care how many bridges he burns while he's here. So, Ponder's a little ashamed, he wants to be Percy's friend, to play up to Percy's standards, and he overcompensates by forcing a few balls Percy's way. Not usually a problem since Percy is so good, but the side effect is that guys like Rudolf get overlooked.

Basically, if the Vikings are the cast of the Office, I'd wager that Percy is Ryan, Ponder is Kelly, and Frazier is Michael Scott, and Rudolf is one of the guys in the warehouse. Just a theory.

#21 TheLeviathan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:34 AM

Among Ponder's issues - getting the ball to Percy a lot is not a priority to fix.

#22 Badsmerf

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

I think the little Percy sideline blowup showed us a glimpse of a dynamic of this team. Percy knows he is the most overqualified, underpaid person in the lockerroom, an MVP candidate with a grudge against management. Meanwhile Ponder, and for that matter, Frazier, are company guys. Each was "promoted" into the QB coaching position, respectively. Beneficiaries of the TJ/Chilly firings, but they're not really there on merit.

So in the rare event that Ponder doesn't give Percy his first look, and throws the ball incomplete, takes a sack, fumbles, or otherwise misreads a situation - in practice or in a game, Percy can lay into Christian a little more than he would into a Joe Webb who's not there on a scholarship, nor a Brett Favre who has Superbowl credentials. There's also the possibility that Percy is playing with an eye to getting out of Minnesota asap so he doesn't care how many bridges he burns while he's here. So, Ponder's a little ashamed, he wants to be Percy's friend, to play up to Percy's standards, and he overcompensates by forcing a few balls Percy's way. Not usually a problem since Percy is so good, but the side effect is that guys like Rudolf get overlooked.

Basically, if the Vikings are the cast of the Office, I'd wager that Percy is Ryan, Ponder is Kelly, and Frazier is Michael Scott, and Rudolf is one of the guys in the warehouse. Just a theory.


Way too many assumptions going on here.
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