He’s an easy target, coming off his second straight week of poor play, but there’s more to the story in this loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It does need to be said that the Bucs just flat out beat the Vikings Thursday night. From start to finish, they were the better team. They made game-changing plays on both sides of the football, the Vikings did not. It’s not because the Bucs wanted it more, it’s just that they out-executed the Vikings, plain and simple.
Doug Martin was the best player on the field, and the Vikings couldn’t slow him down until it was too late. Martin had his way with nearly every player on the Minnesota defense and showed that he belongs in the conversation of best dual-threat running backs in the league, as he racked up 214 total yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Minnesota secondary gave up too many third down conversions, and the defense missed 5 opportunities to stop the Bucs on their game clinching drive to go up 36-17. They seemed to be in good position on most plays, but were just unable to get the job done.
However the most damning part of the Vikings’ performance came in the form of 2 first half turnovers that led to 10 points by the Bucs. Jerome Simpson got sloppy after catch, and Adrian Peterson was simply one-up’d by veteran corner Ronde Barber as he was spinning up the middle and stripped in the second quarter…
These are just a few places where fans can place blame, other than the easy target that is, Christian Ponder. Though I will say that Ponder had little to no time to throw on many occasions Thursday night.
Now that doesn’t mean Ponder gets off the hook. The media is not going to be kind to the the second-year quarterback, but he’s just going to have to rise above it. Ponder made some great throws which he can build on, but he was clearly guilty of locking in on receivers, and not always making the right throws.
With a young quarterback like Ponder at the helm, the Vikings can ill afford to turn the ball over. If they don’t give the Bucs 10 points, it’s an entirely different game.
This was a night where they had to win inspite of Ponder and turnovers, which is just too much for this Minnesota team to overcome.