QB masterful during 14-second drill

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER and KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: September 11, 2012 - 8:06 AM

The Vikings' improbable 26-23 overtime victory over Jacksonville on Sunday drastically altered the atmosphere at Winter Park on Monday. Perhaps most uplifting to coach Leslie Frazier were the late heroics delivered by quarterback Christian Ponder, whose two-play, 32-yard, 10-second march at the end of regulation set up rookie Blair Walsh for a tying 55-yard field goal.

Ponder, don't forget, took over with only 14 seconds left. After the defense surrendered a 39-yard touchdown pass, the Vikings were down 23-20, starting at their own 31. Ponder united the offense, hit Devin Aromashodu for 26 yards and then called timeout. With seven seconds left, he hit tight end Kyle Rudolph with a simple 6-yard completion and the stage was Walsh's.

"The poise that was needed in that sequence and the leadership that was needed, that's good stuff," Frazier said. "That's what this league is made of -- when you have a quarterback who can take you down in the last 2 minutes of a game and put you in a position to win the game. He did something we hadn't seen very much of."

Added Ponder: "Honestly I don't know if I would have been able to do it [last season]. I'm so much more comfortable. I truly believe we can overcome anything, and if we execute the right way that we can make plays when we need to."

Playing through pain

Cornerback Antoine Winfield helped stabilize a young secondary Sunday just four days after his younger brother, Anthony Travis, was murdered in Akron, Ohio.

Winfield did not practice Thursday, the day after learning of his brother's death. But he returned to Winter Park on Friday and made his 159th career start against the Jaguars. Winfield was credited with four tackles.

Frazier called Winfield a "very courageous young man, a very strong young man."

"To experience the loss that he experienced this week and to come to work, to work as hard as he did and then to play in the ballgame and play as well as he did, I don't know that I could have done that," Frazier said. "I don't know many people that could have done that."

No arrests have been made in the murder of Travis, 30. Police said he was shot after an apparent late-night street fight.

Good luck, rookie

As Walsh ran onto the field for his 55-yard attempt, Adrian Peterson slapped him on the helmet.

"He kind of turned it actually," Walsh said. "I was laughing when I was running on the field because I couldn't believe he just did that. Most people don't even want to touch the kicker or talk to him or anything. Christian just gave me a little low high-five as I was walking by, and [Peterson] went and slapped my helmet. I don't think he knows how strong he is."

Walsh said the slap "broke my concentration a little bit. I was like, 'Wow, that was ridiculous. I'm just going to go hit this kick.' "

Tie game

Walsh didn't retrieve the football from either the tying or winning field goals. But he did receive a unique memento for his heroics: owner Zygi Wilf's tie.

Apparently, Wilf does this occasionally, if the moment is right. And what better moment than a rookie showing both a big leg and cool nerves in his first game?

"Literally off his neck and he threw it at me," Walsh said. "I was like, 'All right.' It's a nice tie. I couldn't even read whatever the brand was, that's usually a good sign. I didn't want to touch it, or smell it or anything like that. I just sort of put it in the locker."

Injury-free

The Vikings didn't experience a notable injury Sunday. Three players missed the game because of ankle sprains: receiver Jarius Wright, safety Andrew Sendejo and linebacker Marvin Mitchell.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 1 Top 9th Inning
St. Louis 5
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Minnesota 2
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Washington 1
Boston 2 Delayed
Atlanta 4
NY Yankees 10 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 0 Cancelled
Baltimore 0
Detroit 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Chicago WSox 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Texas 3:05 PM
Oakland
Cleveland 3:10 PM
Arizona
Arizona 3:10 PM
LA Angels
Miami 5:05 PM
Houston
Seattle 8:05 PM
Kansas City
San Francisco 9:05 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 9:05 PM
San Diego
Milwaukee 9:05 PM
Cincinnati
Detroit 6:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Washington
Boston 6:30 PM
New York
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
LA Lakers 6:30 PM
Toronto
Miami 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Golden State 7:00 PM
Memphis
Sacramento 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Houston
Dallas 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Utah 8:00 PM
Denver
Portland 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Calgary 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Columbus 7:30 PM
Chicago
Dallas 8:30 PM
Edmonton
UCLA 6:15 PM
Gonzaga
NC State 6:37 PM
Louisville
Utah 8:45 PM
Duke
Kent State 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Michigan State 9:07 PM
Oklahoma
(15) North Carolina 6:00 PM
(3) South Carolina
(18) Iowa 6:30 PM
(5) Baylor
(9) Arizona State 8:30 PM
(7) Florida State
(14) Stanford 9:00 PM
(2) Notre Dame
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close