Sunday, December 18, 2011
Wrap-up: Saints 42, Vikings 20
By Kevin Seifert
A few thoughts on an entirely predictable outcome at the Metrodome:
What it means: The Minnesota Vikings dropped to 2-12 on the season and are now one loss away from tying the franchise record for most defeats in a season. (They were 3-13 in 1984.) And for what it's worth, they're not eliminated from contention for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. The Indianapolis Colts (1-13) and the St. Louis Rams (2-12) might have something to say with that, but one can dream.
Porous pass defense: As we discussed earlier in the week, it's impossible to win the in NFL if you can't defend the pass. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is one of the league's best, but the Vikings never came close to challenging him. They set a new NFL record for going a ninth consecutive game without an interception, all while allowing Brees to complete a stunning 32 of 40 passes for 412 yards and five touchdowns. That's varsity vs. JV stuff. Coach Leslie Frazier, a former NFL defensive back who has coached the secondary for much of his career, said: "I don't think I did a good job getting my guys prepared."
PonderWatch: Another underwhelming performance from quarterback Christian Ponder drew questions about whether Frazier still unequivocally supports him as the team's quarterback of the future. After Ponder completed 14 of 31 passes and threw another interception, Frazier said: "He struggled today. … We have two games left so I want to continue to watch him play and understand that we still have to get some pieces around him. He has done some good things along the way. He struggled the last few ball games. .... But we have two more games so there is more time for him to continue to improve and to get some work." That was something less than unequivocal, wasn't it?
What's next: The Vikings will play Saturday at the Washington Redskins.