Three-and-out: Bears at Vikings

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 5, 2012 - 9:47 PM
What a week Christian Ponder is having. News broke late Monday that the Vikings quarterback had popped the question to his girlfriend, ESPN reporter Samantha Steele. It's now confirmed: Steele is officially Ponder's fiancée. Then on Tuesday, Ponder made a cameo at Oltman Middle School in St. Paul as the show-and-tell guest of sixth-grader Cala Boesel. That came less than 48 hours after Ponder delivered a woeful effort in the Vikings' 23-14 loss in Green Bay -- which had to make Boesel's presentation a harder sell. But wait, there's more. As the Vikings prepare to host Chicago, here's a trio of other things you should know.

1. The Vikings are not eager to see Brandon Marshall again.

As consternation infects the Twin Cities regarding the Vikings' quarterback struggles and their lack of playmaking receivers, the Bears boast one of the most potent passing tandems in the NFL. Jay Cutler has thrown Marshall's way 125 times this season -- that's 40 percent of his pass attempts -- and completed 83 for 1,075 yards and seven touchdowns.

Best of all for Chicago, Marshall is often tightly covered, yet his strong hands and body positioning allow Cutler to be bold with his throws.

The Vikings saw that two weeks ago when many of Marshall's 12 catches came amid blanket coverage.

"It can be frustrating when you've got guys draped over him like we did," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "But we just couldn't figure out a way to get the ball out, knowing they were going to force it into his hands."

Added cornerback A.J. Jefferson: "He's such a big-bodied guy. I never felt threatened by his speed. He's not going to outrun me. But he has an ability to box people out and get in front of you, like a basketball-type guy. I had my hand on a few of his catches. Unfortunately, my one against his two is rarely going to win."

With 91 total catches, Marshall is well aware he's just 10 short of breaking Marty Booker's single-season franchise record. That's the way he's wired, always conscious of how his production measures up.

In Week 12 against the Vikings, Marshall surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the sixth consecutive season and made sure to remind Cutler of that feat during the game.

"You're disgusting," Cutler responded with a laugh.

2. The Vikings still believe Ponder is a clear-cut winner over Joe Webb in the quarterback pecking order.

Asked about the ongoing assessment of Webb and what his biggest weaknesses were, Frazier skillfully packaged his response, expressing confidence in Webb as a backup without detailing his flaws.

Certainly, Webb's inaccuracy as a passer is a concern. There's also a belief that his potency diminishes when defenses have time to prepare for him.

Plus, Ponder won the job outright.

"He did a good job in the OTAs," Frazier said, "and the things he did in training camp let us know he was the guy that needed to be the starting quarterback. Nothing against what Joe's done."

As for whether Frazier has full authority to choose his quarterback, that's a slightly trickier topic. It's clear General Manager Rick Spielman believed Ponder deserved a comprehensive evaluation this season -- through good times and bad. It's a philosophy Frazier accepted and agreed with.

But certainly the organization's dedication to Ponder also makes it a tad more complicated to pull the plug -- even if it's only for a few possessions.

Still, Frazier has asserted he's the guy with that say.

"Similar to what I had to do a year ago in Detroit [in replacing Ponder with Webb]," Frazier said. "I can make those changes during the course of a game without having to get that red phone and get a call to New York."

3. Several Vikings might want to start formulating itineraries for Honolulu.

With an NFL-best 1,446 rushing yards, it's safe to ink Adrian Peterson into the Pro Bowl.

As of Wednesday, three other Vikings were also the leading NFC vote-getters at their respective positions: Jared Allen at defensive end, Matt Kalil at offensive tackle and Percy Harvin as a kick returner.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield is probably the next most likely Viking to get an invite.

Pro Bowl voting will end Monday night. Rosters will be announced Dec. 26.

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Denver 28 3rd Qtr 0:55
Cincinnati 27
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Denver 82 FINAL
Charlotte 110
Portland 95 FINAL
Houston 110
Utah 97 FINAL
Memphis 91
Toronto 120 FINAL
Chicago 129
Atlanta 100 4th Qtr 1:08
Dallas 88
LA Clippers 118 4th Qtr 0:20
San Antonio 122
Sacramento 14 1st Qtr 5:00
Golden State 15
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Washington 2
Nashville 5 FINAL
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(SO)
Florida 4
Arizona 0 2nd Prd
Vancouver 3
San Jose 0 2nd Prd
Anaheim 0
Calgary 0 1st Prd 10:27
Los Angeles 1
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 68 FINAL
Colorado 82
Lewis & Clark 49 FINAL
Portland 71
SC State 59 FINAL
Abilene Christian 65
Manhattan 71 FINAL
Fordham 57
Truett-McConnell 57 FINAL
Ga Southern 90
Citadel 56 FINAL
Michigan State 82
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Ohio State 93
Gardner-Webb 89 FINAL
Purdue 84
Idaho 68 FINAL
Northern Ky 81
Fairfield 66 FINAL
Albany 77
North Dakota St 61 FINAL
Alcorn State 50
UT Martin 37 FINAL
Butler 64
SE Louisiana 65 FINAL
UCF 70
Oakland 60 FINAL
Clemson 70
Florida A&M 57 FINAL
East Carolina 75
Eastern Ky 66 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 69
IUPU-Ft Wayne 43 FINAL
Illinois State 68
Norfolk State 74 FINAL
James Madison 71
Binghamton 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 69
Towson 56 FINAL
Navy 61
Long Island 73 FINAL
New Hampshire 72
Northern Ill 66 FINAL
Notre Dame 91
William & Mary 62 FINAL
Old Dominion 69
Liberty 47 FINAL
Princeton 65
Delaware 81 FINAL
Robert Morris 84
MD-Eastern Shore 82 FINAL
St Bonaventure 80
Colgate 43 FINAL
Syracuse 78
Kansas 52 FINAL
Temple 77
Mercer 54 FINAL
Tennessee 64
East Tenn St 60 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 84
Va Military 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Bucknell 53 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
Alabama A&M 62 FINAL
Western Mich 71
New Orleans 59 FINAL
Indiana 79
Columbia 65 FINAL
Connecticut 80
Long Beach State 49 FINAL
St Johns 66
Wofford 44 FINAL
West Virginia 77
Southern U 66 FINAL
Baylor 70
UAB 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 83
Char Southern 54 FINAL
Colorado State 75
North Florida 70 FINAL
Iowa 80
NC Central 67 FINAL
Jackson State 64
Rice 72 FINAL
Lamar 79
Central Mich 89 FINAL
McNeese State 56
Coppin State 56 FINAL
Michigan 72
Furman 76 FINAL
Minnesota 86
SE Missouri St 51 FINAL
Ole Miss 82
Weber State 51 FINAL
Oklahoma 85
Grambling St 39 FINAL
TCU 80
Loyola-Chicago 62 FINAL
Texas Tech 44
Incarnate Word 47 FINAL
Tulsa 76
Penn 50 FINAL
Vanderbilt 79
Chicago State 38 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 63
Simpson 62 FINAL
Drake 84
Tenn Tech 81 FINAL
UMKC 60
Murray State 83 FINAL
Southern Ill 71
Oral Roberts 45 FINAL
Missouri State 52
Jacksonville St 65 1st OT 0:20
Air Force 66
Milwaukee 47 2nd Half 7:08
Arkansas 62
Wisconsin 66 2nd Half 1:21
California 48
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
LSU 71
North Dakota 54 FINAL
Marquette 67
Northern New Mexico 39 FINAL
New Mexico St 78
UC Santa Barbara 69 2nd Half 1:20
Oregon 70
Miami-Florida 51 2nd Half 7:30
Providence 62
Northeastern 68 1st OT 2:21
St Marys-CA 70
Kent State 52 2nd Half 9:31
Texas-El Paso 59
UC Davis 68 2nd Half 0:46
Northern Colorado 63
Lewis-Clark State 81 FINAL
Eastern Wash 87
Walla Walla 52 FINAL
Portland State 94
TX A&M-CC 32 2nd Half
Cal State Fullerton 36
Marshall 30 2nd Half
Nevada 38
Boise State 14 1st Half 11:59
Houston 11
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Washington
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
BYU 48 FINAL
Memphis 55
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
UMBC 87 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 59 FINAL
(16) Stanford 71
Washington St 87 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 60
Sacramento St 94 FINAL
San Jose St 97
SIU-Edwardsville 74 FINAL
UMKC 58
Oakland 92 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 84
Belmont 43 FINAL
(14) Georgia 62
George Mason 83 FINAL
Longwood 61
Kansas 81 FINAL
Creighton 84
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Kansas State 68
UT Martin 65 FINAL
Missouri 74
Hampton 67 FINAL
DePaul 86
Florida State 65 FINAL
Tulane 54
Murray State 44 FINAL
Illinois 64
Fla Gulf Coast 74 FINAL
Arkansas State 68
BYU 50 1st OT
Utah State 50
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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 Noon

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