Saturday, August 25, 2012
Preseason3: A slogfest for the Vikings
By Kevin Seifert
Reviewing Friday night's action at the Metrodome:
San Diego Chargers 12, Minnesota Vikings 10
Preseason record: 1-2
Of interest: It wasn't a night of progress for the first-team offense. Quarterback Christian Ponder was sacked five times in the first half, threw an interception and led the team to only three points during his outing. Here's how the eight possessions for the first team went: Punt, punt, missed field goal, fumble, interception, punt, punt, 29-yard field goal. ... Ponder did have a nice 40-yard pass against heavy pressure to receiver Percy Harvin down the right sideline. ... But with receiver Jerome Simpson sitting out in anticipation of his three-game NFL suspension, the Vikings didn't have a lot of firepower. ... The Chargers rested much of their starting offense, including quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates, and the Vikings' rush got to quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Defensive end Jared Allen had two sacks, as did middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley in an encouraging showing for him. ... Safety Mistral Raymond couldn't play because of a lower back injury, so Jamarca Sanford and Harrison Smith were forced to play most of the game.
Local coverage: Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "A Pauly Shore film retrospective would be easier to sit through." ... Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune on the Vikings' offense: "All that momentum that seemed to be building through efficient performances by the first string against the 49ers and Bills? Friday's effort was less crisp than a three-hour-old bowl of Corn Pops." ... The Vikings' lack of depth at receiver, as evidenced by the offense's performance with Simpson out of the lineup, "should be a growing cause for concern," writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune. ... Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: "The Minnesota Vikings appear to have made it through three preseason games without a significant injury to a starter, but Friday's 12-10 exhibition loss to San Diego provided enough nicks to cloud looming roster decisions at multiple positions." ... Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "This one was hard to watch at times, especially from the view of quarterback Christian Ponder, who saw white helmets with lightning bolts lunging toward him all night."
Up next: Thursday at the Houston Texans