Sunday, October 23, 2011
Halftime: Vikings 17, Packers 13
By Kevin Seifert
MINNEAPOLIS -- A few thoughts at halftime from the Metrodome before returning to our Countdown Live chat:
- This is how underdogs win games: Near-perfect execution and a few well-timed mistakes from the opponent. That's more or less what we have here between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.
- The first pass of rookie quarterback Christian Ponder's first NFL start was a 72-yard bootleg pass to receiver Michael Jenkins. His second pass was a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, also on a rollout. The Packers should have expected a steady diet of bootlegs, based on what Ponder did during the preseason.
- Ponder has given the Vikings a new level of energy and, just as important, accuracy on easy passes. Overall he has completed eight of 14 attempts. He has been under control and appeared unaffected by the Packers' blitz packages.
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed his first 13 passes and finished the half 17 of 20 for 197 yards. One was a drop by receiver Randall Cobb on what could have been a touchdown. The Vikings' injury-depleted secondary is no match at this point.
- Cobb has had a rough day, considering that drop and a fumbled fair-catch attempt that gave the Vikings possession near midfield for their second touchdown.
- Vikings defensive end Brian Robison should have been ejected for kicking Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang in the groin. He got lucky when officials limited his punishment to a 15-yard penalty. It was a dirty low blow and couldn't possibly have been justified.
- Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is having his way with Packers left tackle Marshall Newhouse. Allen has two sacks, bringing his season total to 11.5. In three games against the Packers when Chad Clifton has not played, Allen has 11.5 sacks.
- Now, back to our Countdown Live chat.