Well, the good thing is football is back. The bad thing is the Vikings lost their preseason opener. Thankfully, it is only preseason and these games don’t count so there is no need to panic….yet!
These four preseason games are used to evaluate the players the Vikings have and who they will keep when the cut the roster down to 53 men.
On Friday night, all of Vikings’ fans’ eyes were on second year quarterback Christian Ponder. Fans could notice a great deal of improvement in Ponder’s play during the first two drives of the game with the first team offense.
Ponder finished 4-of-9 for 80 yards. Although Ponder had more incompletions then completions, three of the five incompletions were “drops” that hit the receivers on their hands and the other two were intended throwaways. After the game, head coach Leslie Frazier complimented Ponder’s decision making.
Ponder’s play of the night was his 52 yard completion to second year WR Stephen Burton. The Vikings could use Burton breaking out this season because they are in need of a receiver to fill in for Jerome Simpson, who will miss the first three games of the season due to a suspension.
“You’ve always go to step up when someone’s not playing or when the coach decides to sit someone or whatever the case may be,” Burton said.
Ponder also completed two passes to his best friend and tight end Kyle Rudolph for 22 yards.
“I feel like, offensively, we did some things well,” Rudolph said. ”Obviously we can go back and look at the tape and find something we need to do better.”
Toby Gerhart took the place of still rehabbing Adrian Peterson as the number one running back last night. Gerhart, who returned home to the Bay Area for the game, had five rushing attempts for 31 yards.
All of the Vikings scoring came from rookie kicker Blair Walsh who went two-for-two with field goals of 39 yards and 26 yards in unfavorable conditions at Candlestick.
Frazier noted they need to work on turning the three points from field goals into seven points.
Ponder agreed stating that the offense still has a lot to do before they are where they want to be.
Although the Niners offense only managed to score 17 points, the Vikings defense has a lot to improve on before the season opens. Leslie Frazier noted after the game that their main focus this week at practice will be working to improve their run defense.
- Kevin Williams, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin and Antoine Winfield didn’t dress for the game
- With Percy Harvin out, Marcus Sherels returned kick offs
- Letroy Guion sustained a PCL injury and will likely miss a week or two
- QB Notes: Joe Webb went 4-of11 for 20 yards and McLead Bethel-Thompson went 3-fo7 for 49 yards and an interception. Veteran Sage Rosenfels did not play.