<
>

10 Vikings plays that shaped season: No. 2

1/6/2014

Welcome back to our chronological look at the 10 plays that most shaped the Vikings' 2013 season. Today: Play No. 2.

WHEN: Sept. 8, 2013

WHERE: A 34-24 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

THE PLAY: Christian Ponder's interception to Stephen Tulloch with 2:22 left in the first half.

WHAT THEY SAID: Ponder: "Got to have better awareness that a guy's bearing down on me. My mind-set is it's first down, I don't want to take a sack, but hopefully won't give a turnover. Just eat it, take a sack and live to play another day."

IMPACT OF THE PLAY: Ponder was rolling left out of play action on first down, with receivers Jerome Simpson and Greg Jennings in single coverage. The Lions sent five pass-rushers, with Willie Young flushing Ponder out of the pocket. He said he was trying to fling the ball out of bounds, but Ponder's long wind-up on the throw gave Ndamukong Suh time to hit his arm as he released the ball. The pass fluttered up in the air, creating an easy interception for Tulloch and giving the Lions the ball back three plays after Matthew Stafford had fumbled. The Vikings, who were on Detroit's 30, had a chance to go up 17-6 or 21-6 at halftime. Instead, the Lions drove 70 yards for a touchdown. cutting the Vikings' lead to 14-13 at halftime and cruising to a 10-point win. It was the first game where the Vikings blew a lead, letting the Lions off the hook on a day where they turned the ball over twice times, botched the snap on a field goal, had one touchdown overturned by a challenge and another nullified by a penalty. The loss foreshadowed the rest of the Vikings' season -- a year replete with quarterback problems and blown leads.