What’s the difference between a good team and a bad team? Good teams will find a way to win a game while bad teams will continually seek out ways to lose. The Denver Broncos have transformed themselves into a good team this season since making Tim Tebow their starting quarterback. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings have solidified themselves as one of the NFL’s worst teams in 2011. On Sunday, the number of points scored might have been a surprise, but the result shouldn’t have been; Denver 35-32 over Minnesota.
Much like many other games this season, this was a game the Vikings should have won. They outgained the Broncos 489-336 in total yardage. Denver had only one first down the entire first half. Yet Minnesota found a way to lose. Christian Ponder will get plenty of blame for the loss, and he did earn his fair share. His two interceptions were brutal. The first was returned for a TD, while the second essentially ended the game by giving Denver the ball inside the Minnesota 20 yard line with just over a minute to play. On a side note to Coach Frazier, when the opposition has the ball 1st and goal from inside the 10 yard line with 1:12 remaining, and you don’t have any timeouts, let them score. Granted, the chances of driving down the field in about a minute with no timeouts aren’t very good, but they are better than not having a chance at all.
While Ponder will take the heat on the offensive side of the ball, what the hell happened to the Viking D in the second half? Every time the offense put the Vikes ahead, the defense gave up huge plays and gave the points right back. The Bronco’s last two TD drives were 1 play for 41 yards and 2 plays for 66 yards. None of those plays involved Tebow running the ball either. The Denver QB had a decent game throwing the ball(10-15 202, 2TDs), but he was a non-factor rushing the ball. The only impact play he made running the ball was on a 2-pt conversion to tie the game. That was a play that everyone in the U.S. saw coming, except for the Minnesota defense. Demaryius Thomas was the real Viking killer. He torched the defense with 4 catches for 144 yards and 2TD’s. Minnesota also gave up over 100 yards on the ground to Willis McGahee. The defense in the second half was just as responsible for this loss as Ponder was.
There were some positives to take out of the game. Jared Allen was a monster. The Vikings DE had a safety, a sack, and a forced fumble, which he also recovered. Christian Ponder threw for 381 yards(along with 3TDs), breaking Fran Tarkenton’s rookie record for passing yards in a game. The biggest star for Minnesota, however, was Percy Harvin. This guy was electric, grabbing 8 receptions for 156 yds and 2 TDs.
This is certainly a frustrating season for the Vikings and their fans. So many games have been winnable, yet Minnesota has fallen short. Unlike the Les Steckel debacle of thirty years ago when the team went 3-13, this team looks like it will be very good, just not this year. The Minnesota faithful have to hope that Ponder will grow, and stars like Harvin and Adrian Peterson will not get disillusioned while the team struggles with their young QB.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).