Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Hartman: Tougher second half lies ahead for Vikings

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 1, 2012 - 12:14 AM

There's no doubt the first half of the Vikings' schedule, in which the team went 5-3, was much easier than the second half will be.

On the basis of the Vikings' performance last Thursday in losing 36-17 to Tampa Bay, the second half looks even more difficult. They play at Seattle on Sunday, then at home against Detroit, home-and-home games with the Bears and the Packers and at St. Louis and Houston, which appears to have the best team in the AFC.

You can see the difference in talent just by looking at the 27-33 combined record of the Vikings' first-half opponents vs. the 38-22 combined record of their second-half opponents.

"For us, it is always one game at a time," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said about the imposing upcoming schedule. "Seattle is a tough football team, that's a tough environment to win in, they're 3-0 at home. It's hard for teams to go out there and have success, so that's where our focus has to be."

Looking back to the loss to Tampa Bay, many focused blame on second-year quarterback Christian Ponder, even though he was being rushed relentlessly throughout the game. But while many criticized Ponder, Frazier didn't find fault with him.

"I think he is coming along and still progressing well," Frazier said. "We have to do some things around him to help him. That's what we worked on in this time we've had off, to try and improve in some of the areas and take some of the pressure off of him."

Although the offensive line had trouble handling some of the Bucs' blitzes and forced Ponder to hurry several throws, Frazier said he thought the line has done a good job overall.

"We want to improve this entire second half," he said. "We want to improve our offensive line and our entire team, that's an area we can improve. [Tampa Bay] had success bringing some pressure but we'll learn from it. I think we'll be better for the things we've learned from it."

Seattle is third in the league in points allowed (16.8 per game), but curiously they rank 27th in the league in third down conversions allowed (43.9 percent).

The offensive coordinator for Seattle is Darrell Bevell, who held the same position with the Vikings for five years (2006-2010), and he certainly knows the Vikings defense as well as anybody. But Frazier doesn't believe the teams' familiarity with each other will give either side much of an edge.

"Yes and no, their personnel is so different than when [Bevell] and I worked together," Frazier said. "Just the familiarity of the person more so than the team, I don't know how much it really helps because the team is so different."

Another former Viking in the game Sunday will be Seattle wide receiver Sidney Rice, who is really producing after having some serious shoulder problems. He is their leading receiver with 28 receptions for 367 yards and three touchdowns.

"He's playing very well for them," Frazier said. "We'll have our hands full trying to defend him."

While the Vikings still aren't getting much credit, they are tied with the Packers for the fifth-best record in the NFC.

Rough past vs. Michigan

The Gophers football team will try to defeat Michigan at home this Saturday for the first time since 1977, when the Maroon and Gold scored one of the biggest upsets in school history by beating the No. 1-rated Wolverines 16-0.

That year the Little Brown Jug trophy returned to Minnesota for the first time in 10 years and Michigan was shut out for the first time in 113 games. But the Gophers are 2-28 in the series since that victory 35 years ago. Since then they have gone 0-14 at home and 2-14 on the road. They defeated the Wolverines 20-17 in Ann Arbor in 1986 and their last victory in the series came in 2005 with a 23-20 win on a last-second, 30-yard field goal by Jason Giannini.

In looking back at that 1977 season, I'm convinced no Maroon and Gold team has defeated three top teams such as Washington, UCLA and Michigan in the same season since.

The Gophers had lost at Ohio State and Iowa and defeated Northwestern at home before Michigan came to town unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the country on Oct. 22, 1977.

The coaches were Cal Stoll for the Gophers and Bo Schembechler for Michigan. The Wolverines were a three-touchdown favorite.

Paul Rogind kicked three field goals and freshman running back Marion Barber Jr. scored one touchdown. Freshman quarterback Mark Carlson, who was being redshirted up until that game, made his first collegiate start and completed six of 10 passes for 60 yards to help the Gophers pull off their huge upset.

Some might be surprised that Las Vegas oddsmakers have Michigan as only a 12 1/2-point favorite. If the Wolverines' great quarterback, Denard Robinson, doesn't play, that line will go down.

Still, maybe the Gophers have a better chance to win than some people think. Over their past six games at home they are 5-1, and they have won six of their past eight at TCF Bank Stadium.

Jottings

• This week the Gophers face Michigan, coached by Brady Hoke, who was a top candidate for the Gophers job before Jerry Kill was hired. And the Vikings face the Seahawks, coached by Pete Carroll, who at one time was thought to have the Vikings job before Dennis Green was hired.

• Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf, who lives in New Jersey and operates a big real estate business on the East Coast, said there was no damage from Superstorm Sandy to their homes, except no power or phone service, and little damage to their business.

• Vikings becoming free agents in 2013 include linebackers Erin Henderson, Jasper Brinkley and Marvin Mitchell, offensive linemen Phil Loadholt, Joe Berger and Geoff Schwartz, safety Jamarca Sanford, wide receivers Devin Aromashodu and Jerome Simpson and running back Jerome Felton. Some of the big boys -- including Percy Harvin, Brian Robison and Jared Allen -- become free agents at the end of the 2014 season.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Leslie Frazier (left), Christian Ponder

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles 1 Top 10th Inning
San Diego 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 8th Inning
San Francisco 3
Oakland 0 Top 9th Inning
LA Angels 2
Washington 3 Top 9th Inning
Seattle 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 3rd Qtr 5:31
(13) LSU 10
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 6 2nd Qtr 9:26
(3) Oregon 21
(25) Washington 14 2nd Qtr 4:27
Hawaii 10
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 2nd Half 44:55
San Jose 1
Portland 0 2nd Half 44:55
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
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 Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close