Ponder, first unit see little playing time in Vikings' preseason loss

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 10, 2013 - 8:18 AM

Christian Ponder had a completion and a pick in a brief outing, while the Texans pulled away late against Vikings reserves.

 

Those hoping to get a good preseason measure of Christian Ponder’s progress Friday night better not have brought a backpack or an oversized purse to Mall of America Field. There was little time to waste with emergency bag checks or unexpected returns to the parking lots. As it turned out, Ponder’s night on the field didn’t last long during the Vikings’ preseason opener against Houston.

Forty-three seconds of game time, to be exact.

Two passes.

The first: a 15-yard dart to Jerome Simpson for a first down. The second: another bullet toward Simpson, this one a bit out in front, hitting the receiver in the hand and bouncing into the arms of Houston safety Shiloh Keo. Interception.

That was it for Ponder. That was it for the first-unit offensive line and receivers, too, in a game the Texans broke open after halftime to win 27-13.

The pick? With a blitz coming, Ponder didn’t see exactly what he was expecting and couldn’t connect. Night over.

“It’s the first preseason game and I know a lot of these younger guys needed the work and everything,” Ponder said.

A reminder: No one was all that worried about Friday’s final result. The preseason opener, after all, is most valuable for assessing the bottom half of the roster and the lesser-known commodities. Which is why Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Chad Greenway, Kevin Williams and Brian Robison were among the starters not in pads when the night began.

The adrenalizing preseason tease came instead from Cordarrelle Patterson, whose advertised swiftness with the ball in his hands was evident on the opening kickoff, which the rookie receiver returned 50 yards, just one cut away from taking it the distance.

“That thing opened up so big,” Patterson said. “I wasn’t even expecting it to open up like that. … I thought I had it to the house, man.”

Patterson was equally impressive on offense, catching four passes for 54 yards in the first half.

“The opening kickoff obviously was a big one,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “But then some of the catches he made on those inside breaking routes [too]. And he showed some ability to break some tackles there. So that was very encouraging.”

And give undrafted rookie Zach Line a nod of approval for delivering the night’s biggest play, a 61-yard touchdown reception on a dump off from Matt Cassel early in the second quarter. Line slipped a pair of tackles on his rumble to the end zone and picked up a key downfield block from Stephen Burton.

“As I came out of the backfield, I saw that it was pretty wide open,” Line said. “I knew they were going to flow over the top. That’s when I saw Stephen coming over; [he] made it easy for me. Seriously, it was like a chariot riding down the sidelines until the very end.”

That score was part of a night for Cassel (12-for-19, 212 yards, 96.8 rating) that had its moments as the Vikings piled up 247 yards before halftime with the backup quarterback leading three scoring drives. But Cassel also matched Ponder with an interception, on an ill-advised throw across the field toward John Carlson.

Frazier’s plan had always been for the first-team offense to play just one series. But after that opening drive ended so abruptly, it was a decision that seemed, at the very least, peculiar for an offense that still has so much to polish.

After only two snaps, it might not have been a terrible idea to tweak the plan, providing a second series to establish a rhythm and to at least give Ponder something more constructive on which to build.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Orlando 7:00 PM
Memphis
Boston 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 35 2nd Half
American Univ 29
Wright State 33 2nd Half 20:00
Detroit 27
Syracuse 47 2nd Half 16:56
North Carolina 43
Cleveland State 31 2nd Half 16:28
Oakland 33
Delaware State 33 2nd Half 17:09
NC Central 29
High Point 31 2nd Half 20:00
Presbyterian 28
Howard 14 1st Half 10:30
Bethune-Cookman 16
Coppin State 3 1st Half 14:25
NC A&T 10
Nicholls 25 1st Half 2:23
Northwestern St 38
Hampton 21 1st Half 5:44
SC State 18
Gardner-Webb 1 1st Half 17:44
Campbell 4
MD-Eastern Shore 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 0 1st Half 20:00
New Orleans 0
Norfolk State 0 1st Half 20:00
Savannah State 0
TX A&M-CC 8 1st Half 15:20
SE Louisiana 5
Sam Houston St 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
McNeese State 4 1st Half 15:40
Incarnate Word 5
Milwaukee 2 1st Half 15:59
Valparaiso 12
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Texas 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Texas Southern 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 53 2nd Half 6:18
Alabama A&M 44
Southern U 50 2nd Half 5:54
Alabama State 40
Texas Southern 54 2nd Half 4:10
Miss Valley St 48
(12) Texas A&M 31 2nd Half 20:00
(1) South Carolina 39
Robert Morris 36 2nd Half 20:00
Mount St Marys 21
East Tenn St 39 2nd Half 15:38
Mercer 33
Wofford 34 2nd Half 16:18
Furman 30
Morehead St 27 2nd Half 20:00
Tenn Tech 24
Illinois 24 2nd Half 19:06
Michigan 39
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 8:00 PM
Auburn
(15) Nebraska 8:00 PM
(20) Iowa
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: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close