Chip Scoggins is a Star Tribune sports columnist. He has temporarily returned to cover the Minnesota Vikings. He had the beat from 2008-2011 after covering college football for five years. Chip has been with the Star Tribune since January 2000. He can be followed on twitter at @chipscoggins.Find Chip on Facebook.
Mark Craig has covered football and the NFL the past 20 years, including the Browns from 1991-95 and the Vikings and the NFL since 2003. Since 2008, Craig has served as one of the 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. He can be followed on Twitter at @markcraignfl.
The Vikings are back in the hunt for a top two draft pick.
The Seahawks defeated the Vikings 41-20 at CenturyLink Field on Sunday to fall to 2-8. They’re tied for the second worst record in the NFL with the Texans, Falcons and Buccaneers.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder had three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble). He finished 13 of 22 for 129 yards and one touchdown. He had just 15 yards in the second half before he was benched for Matt Cassel, who threw an interception on his first drive. Cassel was 5 of 13 for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was 13 of 18 for 230 yards and two touchdowns with a 151.4 quarterback rating. Seahawks running back had 17 carries for 54 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He also scored on a six-yard shovel pass from Wilson.
The Seahawks had allowed 200 rushing yards in two of their last three games, but they contained Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. He had 21 carries for 65 yards.
Records: Vikings 2-8, Seahawks 10-1
Hidden star: Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright had three catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
Next up: Green Bay, Nov. 24, at Lambeau Field, noon.
The Seahawks have a 24-13 halftime lead over the Vikings at CenturyLink Field. Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin returned a kick 58 yards that led to a touchdown with 10 seconds left before the end of the half.
The good: Other than a fumble on the opening drive, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has played well in a tough environment. He’s 9 of 13 for 114 yards and a 38-yard touchdown pass to Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright.
The bad: The Seahawks had -2 yards on offense through first two drives, but the Vikings defense has allowed 203 yards in their last three drives before the half. All three drives ended with touchdowns.
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been limited with 10 carries for 29 yards (23 came on one carry), but he also has two touchdowns.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson went 9-for-12 for 173 yards and one beautiful 19-yard touchdown pass to Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin right before halftime.
The ugly: The offensive line hasn’t protected Ponder, who has been pressured the entire game. He was sacked and fumbled the ball on the first drive of the game and has been hurried consistently by the Seahawks pass rushers.
Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane’s belly roll celebration wasn’t exactly a pretty sight either.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier hopes to have running back Matt Asiata available for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, but Asiata was thankful on Monday to just be around his second family following a difficult two weeks.
Asiata departed to Utah last Monday to attend the funeral of his father, Pita, who passed away on Oct. 28 in a bus accident. Matt returned to the team on last Wednesday and continued to rehab his shoulder injury during Monday’s walkthrough and said it was a blessing to be back on the field.
”After my dad’s passing, it’s been hard,” Asiata said. “It’s been hard on my family, especially on my mom. I just got to be strong for them and be that son to take over my dad’s spot. I’m trying to be strong. I’m not trying to show my emotions or feelings out here on the field. I’m just trying to stay happy. When I get time to myself that’s when I start getting emotional and stuff. I’ll be good though. Being around the players, I’ll be fine.”
Asiata said he’s struggling mentally, but he feels he can’t for his family’s sake. He said he has to remained focused and be his family’s provider including in time of need. He echoed a saying his father always told him, “Family first.”
“It’s a good thing being around his second family, his teammates and the coaches in this organization,” Fraizer said. “I think that help to kind of ease some of the pain even though it’s very, very difficult.”
Asiata was one of the last players on the field after the walkthrough working with a staff member on catching passes and different blocking techniques against a punching bag as part of his rehab. He said it was the most work he’s done with the injury that has caused Asiata to miss the last three games.
He didn’t feel as gassed on Monday, but Asiata expects to regain his conditioning over time. Frazier said on Monday he’ll see if Asiata can practice on Wednesday following the off day.
Asiata doesn’t want to reinjure the shoulder and has taken precautious with the injury, but his father’s death has pushed him to return to the field.
“Before my dad’s incident, I’ve been pushing but it pushed me a lot more seeing my kids and my wife, especially my mom seeing her down,” Asiata said. “Every son hates to see their mom down like that, so I’m trying to take a big step for my family and be that older guy and be that dad.”
Well, there goes the No. 1 draft pick.
The Vikings beat the Redskins 34-27 at the Metrodome tonight, outscoring Washington 20-3 in the second half.
Veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams sacked Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III three times in the second half, and the Vikings overcame an injury to Christian Ponder (left shoulder) to hold on.
Washington drove to the Vikings' 4 in the final seconds, but lost the ball on downs.
Ponder was 17-for-21 for 174 yards, and was injured diving at the goal line late in the third quarter. Adrian Peterson scored on the next play to give the Vikings a 28-27 lead.
Peterson ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Cassel completed 4 of 6 for 47 yards, and set up two Blair Walsh field goals in the fourth quarter.
Washington won the statistical battle, as Griffin passed for 281 yards and ran for 44 more. Alfred Morris rushed for 139 yards.
Records: Vikings 2-7, Washington 4-5
Hidden star: Vikings tight end John Carlson had 7 catches for 98 yards.
Next up: Seattle, Nov. 17, at Century Link Field, 3:25 p.m.
Washington has a 24-14 halftime lead over the Vikings at the Metrodome, scoring TDs on drives of 77, 78 and 80 yards.
The good: Vikings rookie Cordarrelle Patterson caught his first NFL TD pass, a 2-yarder from Christian Ponder.
The bad: The Vikings were unable to slow down Robert Griffin III (three touchdown passes) or RB Alfred Morris (88 rushing yards).
The ugly: The Vikings are so banged-up that they weren’t able to find 46 healthy players to dress. They were one short.
Griffin is 16-for-21 for 179 yards and has a 140.7 passer rating. Ponder is 10 of 13 for 85 yards, but had an interception on the opening drive, leading to a Washington field goal.
Adrian Peterson has 44 rushing yards on seven carries, including an 18-yard TD run.
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