AN EXCERPT FROM THE PATRICK+ BLOG
With 7:40 remaining in Sunday’s game and the Vikings trailing 35-3, Matt Cassel came back to the huddle, a message so clear that it could have been offered over the public address system:“The Minnesota Vikings and the entire Wilf family would like to announce that we came into this game with no intention — barring injury — of allowing Christian Ponder on the field. We didn’t want Christian to come in, look good in garbage time and have to put up with the ‘Did we give up on him too soon?’ nonsense. We just want the Ponder experiment to be over with, so we’re going to allow Cassel to finish this mess that he helped create. Thank you.’’
Vikings CB Chris Cook vs. Panthers WR Steve Smith
Smith was targeted seven times and caught five short passes for a total of 21 yards, including a 2-yard TD. Cook got a crucial early penalty for holding Smith. Smith gets the edge.
PLAY OF THE GAME
On the opening drive of the third quarter, the Panthers had third-and-3 at their 21-yard line. Panthers WR Brandon LaFell (11) beat Vikings CB Josh Robinson (21) off the line and took a long pass from Cam Newton (1) all the way to the end zone for a 21-3 lead. Panthers WR Ted Ginn (19) blocked CB Xavier Rhodes (29), as LaFell raced the final 40 yards.
“ I just have to be in better position, get on that route and take it all away.” — Robinson