10 Vikings plays that shaped season: No. 7

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
Welcome back to our chronological look at the 10 plays that most shaped the Minnesota Vikings' 2013 season. Today: Play No. 7.

WHEN: Nov. 17, 2013

WHERE: A 41-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks

THE PLAY: Walter Thurmond's 29-yard touchdown return of Christian Ponder's interception in the fourth quarter.

WHAT THEY SAID: Ponder: "I was trying to make plays that weren't there and just have to be smarter with the football. Games like that are unfortunately going to happen."

IMPACT OF THE PLAY: The interception, which was Ponder's second in three throws, was also his last pass of the day. Coach Leslie Frazier pulled Ponder from the game with the Seahawks up 38-13, and though Ponder would get another start the next week in Green Bay, he would play just six more quarters the rest of the year. After the Vikings finally made the switch to Matt Cassel, Frazier would say that Ponder's inconsistencies eventually cost him the job. It was a bit perplexing that he got another start after this game, in which the Seahawks got 17 points off his three turnovers. The interception itself displayed one of Ponder's most common flaws; he stared down receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, and never saw that Thurmond had peeled off slot receiver Jarius Wright to step in front of Patterson. It turned out to be the last interception Ponder threw all season, but it was also one of his worst.

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter



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