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With so much talk about our passing game improving, it seems like nothing changed this week either. What do you think the Vikings can do to improve it before the St Louis game?
-- David G.
El Paso, Texas
The sub 100-yard passing outings are hard for fans to stomach given the fact that
There were several moments where the Vikings needed a big-spot completion from Ponder, and they got it. Two that come to mind immediately are 3rd-down throws. On the opening drive of the game, the Vikings faced a 3rd and 9 from the Chicago 28. Ponder fit a throw to
Those are the type of big-spot throws the Vikings need Ponder to make. And given the way
Good win for the Vikings to stay in the playoff picture. Credit to the defense and Adrian Peterson for playing a great game. My concern is about Christian Ponder and the passing game. It seems like guys can get open, but he's not passing the ball. His deep ball is also looking weak. What are your thoughts about his ability to make passes?
-- Shane K.
I don’t have any doubt that Ponder can make all the throws necessary. Where I think it’s still a work in progress is his timing and some of the pre-play and post-play decision making. The throw Ponder made deep down the middle of the field to
Do you believe Adrian Peterson is the most talented running back of all-time? I certainly do.
I’m probably not qualified to answer that question because I wasn’t around to watch some of the greats play. As great as Peterson has been during his career, there are some who will argue that Jim Brown or Walter Payton were greater. And then there are others who would say that Peterson has indeed matched or even surpassed those historic names.
Peterson doesn’t yet have the numbers to say he’s the greatest. He doesn’t have the longevity, either. And he hasn’t led his team to a Super Bowl, yet. So from that standpoint, there’s more work to be done for Peterson.
But all things considered – physical ability, production, toughness, etc. – I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a running back in NFL history that possessed a better all-around combination of traits.
What do you think the chances are that
I’m not sure what the chances are of either winning their respective rookie of the year awards, but there’s no doubt that both have made a profound impact on the Vikings this season. Both Kalil and Smith have been reliable and productive starters for the Vikings from Day 1 of the regular season. I agree with Josh that the offensive rookie of the year will almost certainly go to one of those two quarterbacks, but maybe Smith has a beat on defensive rookie of the year honors given his most recent interception returned f or touchdown. I’m sure there are several defensive rookies who are having seasons worthy of praise, but none more so than Smith in my opinion.
Do you see Sunday's game against St. Louis as an opportunity for Christian Ponder to gain more confidence in passing, as the Rams compared to the Bears do not have anywhere near as strong of a defense?
-- Mathew D.
Every week is an opportunity for Ponder to progress as an NFL player, but I would not single out the Rams as a weak opponent whom the Vikings can cushion their stats against. Under first-year head coach Jeff Fisher, the Rams have made drastic improvements, especially on defense. They currently rank 12th in total defense and 12th in passing yards allowed per game. They aggressively addressed personnel issues in their secondary over the previous offseason, signing free agent cornerback Cortland Finnegan and then drafting a pair of CBs in Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson. They also have some talent in their front seven with players like defensive end Chris Long and middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.