With plenty of blame to go around in the Vikings’ disappointing 0-3 start, fans are calling for a change at quarterback.

For those at Mall of America Field on Sunday afternoon, fans were heard chanting for backup quarterback Matt Cassel at various moments of the game—including the final play when quarterback Christian Ponder was sacked to end the game.

Ponder is reportedly on a much shorter leash than people think, but head coach Leslie Frazier said after the game that he doesn’t foresee making a switch at quarterback after he watches film from the game.

83 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t put this on Ponder although I would still like to see Cassel or MBT. Ponder did make some plays with his legs but his arm and accuracy and vision are still a huge problem. I think we all knew when the offense couldn’t get 1 damn first down in crunch time the Browns would drive it right down the field and score. I can’t count the number of times that has happened over the years. Defense did step it up in the second half but as usual they couldn’t seal the deal. This team is a mess from top to bottom, time for some radical changes.

    • True, you can’t put this all on Ponder, just like you can’t put little bighorn all on Custer…

      FACT: You replace CP with even a B+ QB in this league in games 1-3 and Vikes would be 3-0..

      The only thing thing worse than Ponder is the guy who keeps him starting.

      • Cmon now, I’ve thought CP7 was terrible since the day he was drafted but he played decent, good enough to win this loss was on our defense and AD. That’s right I’m saying our record is on Peterson too 250 yards in 3 games isn’t enough for a rb with his salary. Our entire team has been poor this year, only bright spots are Harrison Smith and Jerome Simpson.

  2. Got out coached again the team plays with no emotion
    Frazer has to go and take the offensive coordinator with him.
    Terrible embarrassed to go out of the house wearing any Viking gear.

    • I got an idea for you Erv; Quit buying Viking gear.
      In fact, if every Viking fan would stop buying Viking gear for one month and boycott the games, Wilf would fire the entire coaching staff.
      Don’t forget, Wilf is a NY Giants fan, always has been. Hell, he has a suite there. It’s all about the money for him. Get the message to him that until he makes some radical changes, we ain’t buyin’ no Vikin’ gear.

  3. this loss was bad, really bad. it hurts. i know all too well what the bottom of my toilet looks like, and ya know what the worst thing is? stores all give out plastic bags nowadays, not brown paper. now what?

  4. Johnny….add one more to ponder’s shortcomings: football smarts/decision making…..on that last drive when he threw that 3 yd pass that was going no where with 15-20 sec left and clock keeps running…..stuuuuuuuuuuuuupid…….that one play showed me he doesn’t have “it”…..win or lose I don’t really care, but stupid football, coaches on down, I will not follow…..fan for life but I’m checkin’ out until major changes are made…..more power to my buddies who hang in there…

    • I hear ya krugs. It looks like Fran and I are starting a boycott to any financials that benefit Wilf until he makes some smart changes. I don’t like the product they’re putting out and I refuse to pay for any of it.

  5. What I don’t understand is while Ponder is running his tail off trying to escape constant pressure and add to a point total of 27, the great Jared Allen hasn’t reported for work yet. Why does he get a free pass for not doing his job? How come no one is chanting for a different right defensive end? I’d sure be in favor of it. I would also join a chant for a couple offensive linemen to be replaced. Our O-Line got owned today.

    • Coach, I;m a big Jared Allen fan so I watch him a lot and what I’m seeing is that he is constantly being double teamed and/or chipped. When he’s one on one he does get some pressure but the qb is getting rid of the ball fairly quickly most of the time. Could he do better? Yes. Joe Staley is a stud all pro too.

      • I’m sure that’s true, johnny, but one sack in three games? Ten total tackles? That’s not even close to all-pro caliber. Ponder needs to play better, I agree. So do a lot of other guys on this team.

        • Coach, I think there’s a huge difference between the two. You can “call out” Jared Allen, because you know he has the ability. He’s shown he can be the man.

          I don’t think calling out Ponder will do any good, I just don’t think he has the talent to be a franchise QB. Nice guy, tries hard, etc., but in the end, he just can’t. When you watch that movie Rudy, it feels good and stuff, but in the end, guy played what, one play? Not a season. Ability matters.

          Doesn’t mean I hate Ponder, because I don’t think he has the ability. I just hate watching him play for the Vikes.

          • What I’m sayin’, Tomb, is that in Ponder I see a guy who is busting his butt, running from pressure, scrambling for first downs and touchdowns, trying to play the most difficult position in the game, while All-Pro Jared Allen is dancing with a Brown lineman and putting no pressure on this third string QB who is backing us down the field for the winning score. I’m tired of Allen waving his hands at the crowd asking for noise. If he wants noise he can earn it by getting some sacks and creating some havoc. What I’m sayin’, Tomb, is I got more time for a young game hustling QB than I do for a chatty prima donna high priced DE.

            • Coach why target Jared Allen? Peterson arguably the best rb of all time can’t even get to 100 yards heck he’s looked very average this year call him out too.

              • Adrian Peterson has 333 yards of total offense – Jared Allen has .33 sacks per game. Adrian Peterson plays on offense for the 7th ranked team in the league in points. Jared Allen plays on defense for the team ranked 30th in the league in points allowed. The Vikings have allowed as many points (96) as the second highest scoring team in the league. Is that what our offense has to do for us to win – LEAD the league in scoring? That was the CLEVELAND BROWNS who just put 31 on us, SKOL. How can we keep ripping the offense, their leaders, and their coordinator while we look at information like that? It totally escapes me. It’s the DEFENSIVE coordinator we should be running out of town.

            • Coach, I see the same things you do. No question the guy is busting his butt, under pressure of no fault of his own. (Other than last week when he ran into the only defensive player, who was being BLOCKED, that could have sacked him.)
              I also see the same things I saw of him 3 years ago; inaccuracy, can’t go thru his reads, can’t seem to see the field. Poor traits for a guy who plays the most difficult position in the game.
              Sadly, I’m just not optimistic he can turn it around. Too many bad traits.

              With our defense playing so poorly to boot, this is going to be a LONG season.
              Geez, we were beat by the freaking Browns, at home!

    • Great QB’s adjust to pressure, step up and make big plays… Favre, Montana, etc, etc, etc….. Read Trent Dilfers critique of Ponder when the vikes drafted him. As true today as it was then.

      You can’t expect the O-line to stop 7 or 8 men rushing all day long, play after play, but you should be able to expect a starting QB in this league to burn them when they do. He can’t. He is not a starter.

      The opposing D can stack 8 men in the box and rush them all because they know that CP can’t beat them, he can’t play under even a little bit of pressure. He’s terrible. Wake up!

    • I noticed that CC and there’s more games than just this one that’s been the case. Only problem with replacing Muskrat this time of year is who’s gonna replace him at this point?

  6. I’m left with a lot of thoughts after this game and none of them are positive for the rest of this season. First off, coach, I hear what your saying. With the amount of points we’ve scored we should not be 0-3, but our head coach is a defensive guy and extremely responsible for the scheme we run on that side of the ball. The performance of that defense is largely on him, and that idiotic move to throw a challenge flag when the return man clearly never had possession of the ball allowed the officials to screw us out of a potentially gift wrapped TD has me pretty upset hours after the game. That’s a rookie coach mistake, Frazier isn’t a rookie coach. I have been behind him but he lost me today. I’m not going to be mad at Musgrave for trying the throw the ball in the 4th quarter because with the way the line was NOT opening any holes for Peterson, I know damn well we all would just be complaining about him not trying to throw it on obvious run downs. That being said, I’m dumbfounded why on the last two hail Mary’s of the game, Joe Webb (6-4 220) and Patterson (6-2 216) were on the sideline and sub 6 footers Jennings and Wright were in. That’s just awful, and once again shows me that in tough situations all common sense just seems to leave this coaching staff. So what do we do about it? Nothing, there’s absolutely nothing they can do. You can’t fire the entire coaching staff after three games. They could go ahead and can Frazier but then you need to elevate either Musgrave, Williams, or Priefer. Of that group Priefer is the best choice and his unit just followed giving up 300 return yards to Devin Hester with two major breakdowns on fakes that lead to ten points. They are going to need to play out this season with the current staff and blow it up if it doesn’t get any better. At least this coming off-season we should be able to attract good coaching candidates since the long-term stadium issue is solved. It would also be a great time to look at completely changing defensive schemes with a majority of our D-line set to be FA’s (Floyd could play DE in a 3-4 front).
    Next big issue of course is Ponder. I have to say that I think Christian has shown a lot of heart the last 6 quarters…with his legs. His accuracy continues to be poor whether he’s completing passes or not. He isn’t our long term answer at the position. He would be an outstanding #2 QB on any teams depth chart, and it’s really a shame for him that he was taken so high in the draft and had to be thrown into a starting role that he just flat out isn’t meant for. I also think that until our line starts playing better he’s our best option to role with this year unless of course they want to give MBT a chance. Cassel would get slaughtered behind this line with the way they are playing. MBT showed me in that last pre-season game that he knows how to deliver the ball as soon as his back foot hits the last step in his drop, so I think he could have some success, but ultimately, the QB that is going to open up our new stadium isn’t on the roster.
    So that’s where I’m at. Three games in, I’m pretty much figuring we’re screwed and this is going to be another lost year of Adrian’s career. I was glad to see him put his head down and get more of those 3 and 4 yard runs instead of going backwards today, but the fumble issues seem to be returning with him trying to do too much. I also think Harrison Smith is a total stud safety. I really don’t care about that last play, that was a great throw to one of the best young TE’s in the game. I think he’s going to make a play on that ball more times than not over the course of his career. It sucks that it happened but I have a feeling that he’s the type of guy that is going to use that play as motivation to get better.

    • Dan,
      Very disappointing game. You’re right, it made no sense why Joe Webb or Cordarrelle Patterson wasn’t back there on them to hail Mary’s…
      Just as everybody said so many many things to improve on.
      Play calling, execution and so on.

  7. in seven games so far, including pre-season, we barely won one game by one point. that’s gotta have an effect on a team’s psyche. now we’ll probably hear the ‘gotta get a win’, and ‘better call winfield’ statements, which only makes us sound more desperate and makes it harder to win

  8. Nothing big will be done. But, I’m the camp of MBT rather than Cassel. Everyone knows what Cassel brings, let’s what the kid can do. Who know’s maybe he’s another Hoyer?
    I say we trade Jared Allen before too long, start Griffen. Would be nice to get something for him and another team would have the option to sign him next year. Miami would be my choice.

  9. Smith getting burned had little to do with Smith in my opinion. We caught in on Redszone…..as the Browns came up to the ball……my ELEVEN year old asked why Harrison Smith was on the line against that really tall dude. No help in that 1/3 of the field.
    For the 2nd straight week….after LF chimed in with ‘more influence’ in the defense, they fail again with a defensive set that even an eleven year old can figure out how to easily exploit.

  10. Yeah, Smith up on the line in redzone defense. Didn’t work in preseason either. Even my dumbass noticed that. The coaches can’t notice anything week to week. Every idiot with a brain cell said ‘watchout! team on the ropes, they’ll try anything….’ What the hell do they do in practice?
    The team is always 2 or 3 steps behind in decisions, and don’t seem to have the talent to develope players as evidenced by our lack of depth.

  11. I have been a ponder supporter from the beginning, mostly because I desperately want the Vikings to finally have a franchise qb for more than a year, but for people saying ponder isn’t the only problem, that may be true, but he’s never not part of the problem either. I like Leslie and love spielman, and think Leslie is a good enough coach to win us some games, however his inability to see flaws of the people close to him are gonna cost him his job. Musgrave has got to go. They just blitz everyone on every down and he has no answer. Ap can’t get a carry because teams realize that if you give ponder all the freedom in the world he still can’t capitalize. Yes our defense has given up a lot but they’ve also taken the ball away a lot and scored themselves. So cassel might not be any better, but at least I don’t have to watch the same ineptness as ponder. I’ve seen it for three seasons and it’s gotten weary on me.

  12. From my house, it looks like the investment in Cook was a bust, last week, with the Bears and this week, unavailable as the other guys get burned.He’s a BUST! We needed him to do it for the Vikings, he can’t and it’s getting exploited. And with the QB, it’s like before and after Favre: We were in the dark, and suddenly with Favre, you remembered a real QB, like Fran Tarkenton. ..we can’t move the ball though the air, it’s like when Troy W. couldn’t catch!! Enough already. Frazier looks like a person held hostage. I actually agree with the idea of letting the 1st round pick play through and try to develope, but, when is this going to end? Anyone ever see Favre’s first game in Green Bay, he was awesome from the start, not three years of kindergarten and still the same bs., This is reminding me of the Mcnabb black out season, NOOO!!!!!!!

  13. Vikings are starting to get that loser mentality. Players have to play, coaches have to coach. And to that, there has to be leadership. Who is the leader? Frazier on the sideline…Ponder on offense, I’d say Greenway on D. Those guys are failing as leaders.
    The Browns suck…and they just beat us at our home. It falls on Frazier, the Browns were ready, Frazier’s team was not. Can’t let that happen…Can’t lose this Sunday to Pittsburgh.
    Do that and this season is gone…before September is over. That’s downright depressing. And it pisses me off. Can’t even fire him because the O and D coordinators are even worse.
    This is a talented team! Frazier just isn’t a good leader…Prove me wrong Leslie! Cause I don’t think you have what it takes.

  14. And in other news: Adam could write a post-game article today, if he wanted to. I saw him last July and his fingertips looked like a lumberjack’s.

  15. Before Sunday’s game I predicted the Vikings would win 27-13. Not that it’s any consolation to me, but I got one of the teams’ score correct. If ANYONE on VT or anywhere else had predicted the Browns would score 31, they would have been laughed off the internet. C’mon guys, which unit laid the egg Sunday? Right – the unit who was facing by far the weakest half of the Browns team. And the unit who faced the best half of the Browns team? Put up a respectable 27.

    Our defense is allowing 430 yards per game, 29th in the league… against teams ranked 4th, 22nd and 25th in the league in yards per game. (They wouldn’t be that high if they hadn’t played us!) We have MAJOR defensive issues fellas. MAJOR.

    • I don’t think anyone here is disagreeing with you that the defense has played terrible, but the offense and special teams certainly aren’t helping matters when they allow points to be scored when they are on the field. You can take atleast 17 points right off that total with Ponder’s week 2 pick six and the 10 points the special teams gave up last week on the fake punt and field goal. That isn’t factoring in a minimum of 2 instant field goals Hester put the Bears in range for and there has probably been a couple turnovers in plus territory as well. The Vikes defense has forced 4 turnovers (actually I should be fair, it’s 7 total as one was on special teams) in each of the last two games and we have lost. If the offense just takes care of the ball we win these last two easily, but they followed up several of those turnovers with turnovers. My biggest disappointment with the defense right now is the complete lack of a pass rush. Jared making the money he is should be taking plenty of heat, but the rest of those guys should be under fire as well. The main point here is that each unit seems to be taking turns when to play like absolute crap during the course of a game and for every great play one unit makes, the next one steps onto the field and erases it.

      • I agree, Dan. You’d be hard pressed to find a guy on this team who could honestly say, “It’s not my fault we are 0-3″.

      • Well said Dan. This defense is just not going to sell out knowing what they have in their offense. Shoot, they probably knew what they had in training camp with Ponder and the coaching staff.
        I’m not trying to stick up for them because they have surly sucked this season, but i think if the offense can get their head out, you might see the defense pick it up a notch. I Just think it won’t happen with this QB and coaching staff.

        • Fran, do you not remember the years when we won games 3-0, 13-6, and 12-7? Does a defense really have a right to mail it in if the offense is struggling? And can this defense look at the offense and complain about 27 points per game not being enough? Gotta disagree with you on this one.

          • At least they were wins! Plus, how many of those 27 points per game were scored by the defense?
            I am certainly not blaming this season entirely on the Offense, as I’ve said, the defense is playing poorly too.
            I’m saying that Christain Ponder and the present coaching staff is not up to snuff and I do not believe they can take us into the playoffs and ultimately win us a championship.

            • I think its 7 for the defense + 7 for special teams + 67 for the offense = 81. And other teams’ averages are affected the same way.

              You’re right – they were wins… because those teams didn’t allow those final drives when leading by less than 7.

              You could be right on the last one, Fran. I wouldn’t challenge you on that, only time will tell. We’re all in a pretty frustrated state right now, that is for sure. The most frustrating thing is how close we are to 3-0. Its a lot closer than people are feeling.

              • Maybe the in those games the offense sealed the deal with a couple 1st downs…and the opponent never had the chance. Just sayin’…

  16. the defense has underperformed, giving up way too many yards and points, didn’t expect it. ponder has played a little better since half time at chicago. the browns game was bad all around, i remember the two special teams fakes the most, if they get ya once, ok, but twice? c’mon! i’m starting to wonder if we need a big jolt, to change QBs or coaches, just to motivate these guys, idk. the play in this last brown’s loss was so completely uninspired, it seems like the whole team is in a funk. if we can’t beat the steelers, i expect changes during the bye

  17. A rib injury huh? Thought I saw him on the news last night tossing some balls to some London fans. (Of course the ball was either landing at their feet or sailing over their heads.)
    Could be the “Minnesota nice” way of benching him? Look for Cassel to start.

    • This report has the same feel as the situation last year before the GB playoff game. Difference being the elbow injury last year made it impossible for him to throw the ball. They will probably let him give it a go against the Steelers unless he completely can’t practice in the couple days leading up to the game.

  18. wilfs must see what the rest of the world can see….frazier cannot bring these players together as a team and get a high level of effort out of them…..sorry, coach, these are diff times…pros or not, big pay checks or not, today’s players need a head coach who can lead and “inspire” and frazier does not have it…..talent on rosters is fairly even over all….the teams with a super human QB or a great coach win in today’s nfl…..been a long time since vikes’ fans have had either…..surely the wilfs are working on a plan for the future…

    • Yeah, I suppose so, Krug. Some more respected, Super Bowl winning coaches like Tom Coughlin or Mike Tomlin or Mike Shanahan. Teams with more established QB’s like Eli Manning or Ben Rothlisberger, or a young superstar like RG III. Those guys would “lead and inspire”, and not allow their teams to start 0-3. (I’m trying to remember… who did we have for a coach and QB when we went to the playoffs last year?)

      • coach…..if you wanna take ONE good game on ponder’s part out of those 4 wins to get in the playoffs and support this regime and qb ….have at it…..everyone keeps looking back with the blinders off and looking ahead with blinders on…. but 90% of fans aren’t there…..your sarcasm almost drew me into a good debate……..ahhhhh, but back to work always appreciate your common sense

        • This is truly fun Krug, really. But who has the blinders on? People are making fun of Ponder’s accuracy. Higher completion pct. than Brady & Kaepernick. Can’t find receivers. Virtually identical yards to those two QB’s. They play QB for the two teams who are supposedly going to the Super Bowl. Vikes have scored 81, Pats 59, and 49ers 44.

          I don’t have blinders on regarding Ponder. I know why he’s not as good as P. Manning or Brees or Rodgers. But teams don’t score every time they get the ball, and most teams score less often than the Vikings. Its our defense, Krug. Allowing four…hundred…and…thirty…yards per game. They’re just supervising a freaking shopping mall out there. And, FYI, I really couldn’t care less where I stand with 90% of the fans, but I’m sure you already knew that. :-)

          • you’re right, I knew that…..besides I made up the 90% anyway…….my orig post was mostly about frazier and spielman…..I believe a diff coach and OC would get better results with our roster

            • You made up the 90%? I thought so! They say that 43% of all statistics are made up. You might very well be right in that belief, krug, and I will always defend your right to believe it. But I still like to argue!

              • I’ll attest to that, Coach does like to argue, and he doesn’t let trifling things like facts or logic get in his way. He’s old-school.

                • … this from the “facts and logic” master. Yeah facts like points and yards and… never mind. Tomb, lets change the subject momentarily… What’s wrong with the Steelers? Is it their Coach? Their QB? Their OC? I mean, they ARE scoring 14 points per game, (30th in the league), so no reason to put any of those folks on the hot seat. They only lost to the Bears by 17… (at home) Guess that means our defense should be able to hold them to, oh say…35 or so. What do you think?

                  • one big diff I see between purple fans and the faithful following Pats, Giants, Steelers, 49ers ,etc…..the non purple faithful have all those championship memories to cling to as their roster gets old or has a bad stretch…….we, on the other hand………..

                  • Great questions Coach, but can you rephrase it in the form of multiple choice? These essay questions can get exhausting.

                    • Minnesota. Pittsburgh’s a bunch of old farts and newbies. They are on the downslide. Minnesota, outside of Ponder, and maybe the LB corps, has plenty of talent. I think new coaching schemes would do wonders for us. I think we have more talent.

                      I also think if Baldinger makes a point of showing that broken, nasty ass pinkie finger on TV again, I’m going to pay someone to rebreak it straight.

                    • Bzzzz! Oh, I’m sorry… that’s not correct. The correct answer we were looking for was PITTSBURGH…. PITTSBURGH. Next Question: Which Coordinator should face the most consideration for being fired? 1. The offensive coordinator for a team ranked 7th in points scored (81) with a QB in his second full year of play. 2. The offensive coordinator of a unit ranked 30th in points scored (42) with a veteran Super Bowl QB? Bonus Question: Who is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive coordinator? (Just trying harder to use… “facts and logic”- wasn’t that the accusation?)

                    • All of the above. Musgrave and Haley should both be fired. The weird thing about Haley, to me, is that he looks exactly like a guy I used to work with. Like doppelganger exact. The guy I worked with was a dick too, so I theorize they are long lost brothers.

              • Buds,

                Is your 43% statistic made up?

                Ponder won’t start this week, so it should be interesting seeing Pat Castle taking snaps. Freds hopes he brings his wheels, if our offensive line continues to lead the league in sucks per snap, he will be running for his bloody life! Pip pip!

                Think we’ll see any “hooligans” starting brawls in the stands in jolly old England? Let’s hope none of those dopey soccer type chants begin sprouting up in the middle of the game. If they do, let’s hope old Leslie doesn’t ask the offensive line to hold them back from rushing the field, 95 year old Brits will be putting swim moves on Big Phil and bull rush moves on that weakling Sully. These two Sally’s are having a bad year so far.

                • No Freds, the 43% is a verified, certified, bona fide, registered scientific calculation with a margin of error of less that 3/10ths of 1/2 pct.

  19. tampa shopping QB freeman (don’t want him) and have demoted him, starting a rookie, now makes it easier for les to change QBs

  20. Heres what ponders stats will be come seasons end. At his current pace. This is no joke either. Touchdowns 10 Interceptions 26. Wins 0 Losses 16. I love my vikings but enoughs enoughs already. He always throws.late, never hits a wr in stride and he always stares down one wr.

  21. Just think… either Minnesota or Pittsburgh will be 0-4 a week from now. That will really be something for one of those teams and their fan base to deal with. If we lose this Sunday, I’ll offer to stay off VT for a week so you guys can vent freely. You’re gonna need it. :-)

    • Coach, didn’t you used to say “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”? surely we will show the London audience how to respect, and be nice to our opponent…….hopefully, on the flight, Spielman taught a couple of our guys how to speak English!

  22. What? We can’t vent freely if you’re here? You’ve never stopped us before.

    If you want to make an offer… offer to catch Krugs as he jumps out his basement window trying to hurt himself.

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