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Tough ‘Game Ball’ Decision For You To Make

The Vikings were expected to struggle greatly this week, as the Texans represent the AFC’s best, but they made it look easy as they cruised to victory.

A number of individual performances contributed to the win, but none really stand far out above the rest, so now you have the tough task of casting a single vote for this week’s VT game ball.

Here are your nominees:

CHRISTIAN PONDER:  16 of 30 for 174 yards and a touchdown.  Seven runs for 48 yards.

ADRIAN PETERSON:  25 runs for 86 yards.  One catch for 4 yards.

JARIUS WRIGHT:  Five catches for 53 yards.  One run for 8 yards.

BLAIR WALSH:  Three for three on field goals (56, 41, 39) and two extra points.

HARRISON SMITH:  Seven tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble.

ANTOINE WINFIELD:  Five tackles, one sack.

JASPER BRINKLEY:  Three tackles, one forced fumble.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. I went with Harrison Smith just because he’s a safety and WHITE. You just never see that.

  2. If the whole defensive line was on the list, I would have went with them. They dominated a very good running team today. Hell, Ponder out gained them himself!

  3. I went for Harry Smith too, Fran. I would’ve voted “entire D” if it was an option. Holding the Texans to 6 points in Houston, at a game the Texans really wanted to win is very impressive.

    However, I think that since he’s showing promise and finishing out a great season, we really need to think about trading him. Maybe we can package him with Jared, Percy and AD.

    1. Lol Tomb geez. I went with Smith also with the same thought on entire defense. I think Texans offense got frustrated and couldnt recover. I’m really starting to like Al Williams, he’s getting things figured out.

    2. Ha! I guess I deserved that, always talking about trading our best players but Man, I’m an old guy and scared that I may not live to see The Vikes win the big one. I’ve seen them lose 4 SB’s now and they haven’t even been to one in decades.
      As far as I’m concerned, whatever it takes and whoever we have to trade, to get there again.

      Dallas lost today and the Giants are getting their ass kicked. Getting closer to that wildcard.
      A chip and a chair. . .

      1. I know what you’re saying Fran, I too want to see a SB win before all that’s left of Tomb is a Tombstone…

        I can “kind of” see your point about Jared Allen, but the other guys not so much. They are scary good.

  4. As of this comment Ponder is winning the poll.

    I almost didn’t even include him.

    Has it been that long since Vikings fans have seen good quarterback play that they forgot what it looks like?

      1. i have to add that we played a great game today. excellent team win. i had a coach who said, “it’s not our fault they’re shitty”

        the big takeaway for me, and it’s almost shocking, is that we’ve got nine wins with another game to play, and the post-season at stake. wow

    1. Adam, I would guess that much of that’s a kneejerk reaction to the perceived negativity from some of us against Mr. Ponder.

      1. want more ponder hate fuel? if he hadn’t thrown two ints at gb, we’d be playing for the division title next week

      2. “perceived negativity”? Consider me a victim of such perceptions. I will try to be more understanding of the intended analysis of said QB.

  5. we’re surprising, winning three games of this last four, so far, that was considered our waterloo

  6. The end of this season has been exciting enough to motivate my search for NFL Football in Central America.

    I went with Jarius Wright because I want to encourage the lad. If he has a game like this most weeks, he will be a solid starter.

    I have been so so happy with Harry Smith, it brings tears to my eyes to watch him play.

    A skol to all of you! Happy Holidays!

  7. How many weeks have I heard “Ponder had nothing to do with winning today.”? Well, he accounted for 222 yards on this day. He averaged 7 yards per run and 6 yards per passing attempt. Peterson averaged 3.4 yards per carry. Can we say that Ponder at least had something to do with winning today? (sarcasm)

    “Christian had a terrific day throughout, playing with a lot of poise, a lot of control — he did all the things we needed,” Frazier said.

    Game ball to Ponder. (way more obvious than some of you are admitting – second place Harrison Smith)

    1. Haha, a Leslie Frazier quote being supportive of Christian Ponder? Where did you dig that one up? Every press conference since the day they drafted him?

      Look, I want the kid to succeed, I do. But there has been far more Joey Harrington showing up on Sunday’s than Fran Tarkenton. Speaking of Fran, who this week described the Vikings as a “kindergarten” passing attack, I wonder if Ponder’s “game ball production” upgraded us to 1st grade.

      1. Let’s look at it this way Adam…

        For the past 6 weeks, I would dare say a majority of Viking fans and nearly all NFL “experts” had this game penciled in as a Texan win. If you told them on top of that the fact that Adrian would rush 25 times for 86 yards, anyone left picking the Vikings would have jumped ship. Tell me you’re with me on that, lets get some common ground.

        So how do we then explain a 23-6 win on the road in the stadium of the ready-to-be #1 AFC seed? Yes, a wonderful effort by the Vikes defense, no question. Houston a little flat? Perhaps. But you cannot deny that our QB made of number of critical plays, runs and passes, on third down to keep the time of possession well in our favor. To be sure, this isn’t the New Orleans offense. But as Leslie reminds us, “We are winning the way we are designed to win.” And when Adrian wasn’t our Ace in the whole, Ponder was. Let’s give the man some credit for gosh sakes.

  8. Dear Mr. Tomb,

    You didn’t really think I would let this get buried in the archives, now did you?

    “Easy there, Pollyanna. By all means, savor the flavor of a victory, but playoffs? I haven’t seen this kind of denial since Aaron Rodgers proposed to a woman. Let me be clear: I am a stalwart Vikings fan who vastly enjoyed this particular win, but we will not–I repeat–NOT make the playoffs this season.” Tomb – Dec. 13, 2012

    I’m posting this now, with one week to go, so that you have the chance to alter / temper your position slightly, or completely. Of course, if you choose to stand pat, and we beat the Packers next week, your credibility will be somewhere in the Norv Turner vicinity. How is it you often word this… “What say you?”



    1. You know what’s weird, I could just repost that comment this week.

      “Easy there, Pollyanna. By all means, savor the flavor of a victory, but playoffs? I haven’t seen this kind of denial since Aaron Rodgers proposed to a woman. Let me be clear: I am a stalwart Vikings fan who vastly enjoyed this particular win, but we will not–I repeat–NOT make the playoffs this season.” Tomb – Dec. 22, 2012

      At this point I sort of have to, right? Either of two things happen: our beloved Vikings beat the hated Packers at home and make the playoffs, and we all rejoice while I happily eat crow (or perhaps lose and back into the playoffs in a less satisfying dance card).

      Or, we lose and fate deals us no postseason, and the only thing I have left is that I was right. Extremely small solace, but at that point, what else do I have?

      So, I hope you’re right, Pollyanna, but I fear you’re wrong.

      1. Not buying that. Be honest here, sir, you had us eliminated long before game #16. The fact we are in with one week to go already has you wrong to some degree, and we all know it.

        1. I said we wouldn’t make the playoffs.

          I just checked, and we aren’t locked in.

          AGAIN, I hope I’m wrong, but I still don’t think so. Admittedly, I’m actually giving us a chance now, so if you want to latch onto that, I’ll be happy to oblige you.

      2. It’s okay Tomb. You’re not alone, I think there were 2-3 others sticking that fork in.
        Adam? Skol?

        1. Well, to really have a good chance, I saw us needing to win out the last 3 games…and to be fair, we still haven’t done that. We are 2/3rds of the way there, but not quite there.

          Having said that, I’m definitely surprised we won today. Huge props to the defense. I think, as far as offense, the Texans sold out to stopping Peterson. While they may have won that battle, they lost the war. That’s what they get, and we reap the benefits and are the victors on this day.

        2. I’m in tombs corner here. A Viking win would be great but the packers have been playing great ball and are a better team(mostly thanks to 1 player).
          The optimist: The Vikings are in the playoffs, no question
          The pessimist: our year is over, we can’t beat the all mighy fudge packers
          The realist: odds are the packers will win and end our season, I will hope until the last minute we can pull off the upset but I’m not getting my hopes up

    2. Coach, I cannot and did not deny that “our QB made of number of critical plays, runs and passes, on third down to keep the time of possession well in our favor.”

      You are the one doing the denying here, as you seem to be under the impression that our passing offense does not, at times, look lost. Am I wrong?

      1. Could our passing attack be better? MOST definitely. As I said long ago (its on record), the Vikings clearly made a decision to live with a marginal group of receivers when they chose a safety and a LT in the first round. I think those were excellent picks. Now, one of the NFL’s most productive receivers is sitting on their IR. Yes, with their current and available personnel, passing is not their strength.

        We know that. Its who we are. Do they look “lost”? No, I don’t think they do. Francis wants to call them a kindergarten attack? Fine. They look like what we should expect, given the paragraph above. Are we really waiting for Ponder to come out and light it up for 300+? Who will he throw to for yards like that? Yes our top 3 receivers have all had some success with other teams, but not when they play together as a group of 3 – they relied on others getting #1 attention.

        Leslie’s quotes are ringing true. “We’re winning the way we were designed to win.” “Ponder did what we needed him to do.” Maybe we’re in more agreement than I think, I’m just saying that we are not seeing the failure of a second year QB because of how many passing yards we are producing.

  9. “Chad Greenway said the game plan was to choke off the Texans’ running game, which would hamper their ability to use play action and bootlegs. It worked.” (J. Souhan, Star-Tribune)

    As I have often said, when the Viking stop the run, they win.

      1. My bad. (Good research!)

        As I have often said, when the Viking stop the run, they usually win.

        1. I know, I should be bitch slapped for even bringing it up, but Coach was one me like fat on Gerhart’s face. I had to do something!

    1. it’s more the turnovers, coach, the turnovers. i keep telling you

      and congrats for posting after 10:30 pm

  10. Game ball to H.Smith! No question about it. Young dude has helped change our entire defense, has a big hand in the makings of what looks like an….elite D. Yeah, I said it.
    Big kudos to Ponder, nice game kid. But hey, somebody PLEASE explain to him that you can’t throw the ball on your way to the ground! Don’t do it again! Smarts, that’s why we drafted you.

    Gotta give mention to B.Walsh. This kid is money! Broke an NFL record!
    Agree with whoever said the entire D deserves a ball.

  11. Well said, cart. Smith and Walsh are tremendous additions to this team. This was a very enjoyable game for me to watch. Back to back wins on the road, dominating a very dominant offense, winning TOP over a very tough defense, very few penalties again,,, This is becoming an ever-improving football team. Good job, Leslie.

  12. This D has been flying under the proverbial radar all season, I would LOVE to see them get a little recognition when they beat up on yet another darling of the NFL (Packers) and sail this Viking warship into January.

    Love this D under Frasier. Love Harry Smith. Love Chad Greenway and Winfield. Good feelings all around tonight.

      1. Hey, CC things are good, we are in the dry and hot season down here. Its weird to spend Christmas this way 🙂 No complaints, of course.

        1. It is awesome to see you here Starr and to hear that all is well. Merry Christmas and my best to mrs. Starr!

    1. Starr! How are things down yonder these days? Been a long time…glad to see you’re still around.

      1. Tomb, I was glad to climb out from under my rock to see that you and coach are still after each other every day.

        1. My welcome to you as well, Starr. As they say, “Hearts come home for Christmas.” Yes, I am still doing my best with trying to help Tomb understand the game of football, and he with my use of the English language. (neither of us is making much progress at this point, however, as we each feel we are pretty astute in those areas already. 🙂 )

          1. Yes, well your stalemates are one of the highlights of my weekly blog-reading. I would like to read more of Fragile Fred’s stuff, though.

  13. No doubt Coach. Leslie has done a …..great job. Maybe he’s been listening to some old wise coach?
    I am enjoying this run. Nobody, and I mean nobody had us at 9 wins with a chance at 10. Not even homers like me. This was a big upset on the road. I don’t know if we get in….but if we do. We beat GB to get in? This team could be very dangerous, weak passing game and all.

    1. Could ANYTHING be sweeter than beating the pukes to clinch a playoff berth?

      Maybe a few things, but not many.

      1. … well, perhaps disproving selected naysayers would be considered sweeter by some…perhaps.

  14. I’m with starrc10. Game ball goes to the entire defense. While the eyes of the world have been focused upon Peterson and his quest for the rushing record. It should be noted that team defense has been the root source for nine victories.

    Also, how about Blair Walsh? Set an NFL record today with nine consecutive FG’s from over 50 yards. Good job rookie,

    Bring on the packers! Let ‘s kick their okoles!

  15. Game ball to Ponder today because third down is the money down and he was pretty darn good there all day. Harrison get’s my second place vote. Peterson should get some votes too because that was a tough 86 he got today and the way they were selling out to stop him opened up some other things for Christian and the passing game. This was just a great all around team effort. This season has been a success, but I’m really hoping for an epic destruction of the Packers next week with a huge day from AD to break the record. Tip of the hat to the coaches too.

  16. late in the game i wanted to see AD running the ball for the record, but i later heard that he had had a stomach injury of some kind, and that he’ll be ok for next week

    win sunday and probably get the phackers in garbage bay a week later. oh, man, i would love it so much to beat them twice in a row and knock them out of the chase

    five to go. five to go. five to go. five to go. five to go. five to go. maybe i’ll believe it can happen if i say it enough

  17. In this season of Peace on Earth and Good Will toward Men, I would like to offer the following acknowledgements to all my friends here at VT:

    – The Viking passing game needs to improve, and does not look very good sometimes. Most of the reason for that need to improve is their second-year QB.

    – The Vikings are not yet in the playoffs, and have a very tough game ahead in order to get in. Those who predicted they would not make the playoffs this year may still prove to be correct.

    – Christian Ponder may or may not be the QB of the future for the Vikings. After two years, he still has not shown that he was worth a 12th-overall pick in the 2010 draft, when his selection was widely considered to be a reach. His footwork and decision-making are his greatest flaws… although a weak arm is also a flaw… and so is his lack of accuracy… and his tendency to leave the pocket too soon.

    – Leslie Frazier still has a lot to prove, as he has not yet coached a team into the playoffs even once. He is far too unemotional during games, and needs to learn to get fired up. He may not even be as valuable to this team as Percy Harvin is.

    – Bill Musgrave’s offense is very conservative, even to the point of frustrating some fans at times. There are many times when he should have called a different play than the one he did, and he should learn to never call plays that don’t work.

    – Even if the Vikings defend the run well, that does not necessarily mean they will win their game that day. And sometimes they allow double-digit yard runs, which is not good at all. If they win the turnover battle, however, that means they will win their game that day.

    – The top three Viking wide receivers had some level of success for other teams at one point in their career, either at the college or pro level. We should not let them be the blame for the aforementioned need for improvement in the passing game.

    – Old former coaches can be stubborn and cantankerous, and they should learn how to be more agreeable when it comes to football. Even if it is not their intention, their opinions could reach the point of pissing some people off sometimes, and that is not a good thing.

    Merry Christmas to all the gang here at VT! May the Reason for the season be a source of Peace and Hope to you, and may you cherish all your loved ones, whether near or far from you in this most blessed of holiday seasons. A special best wishes to Freds, who is noticeably absent these days, and, I fear, still going through difficulty. God Bless, Freds.

    (And may Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews both come down with the flu in about 6 days.)

  18. NOTE: I am quite aware that last comment in parentheses is not exactly in the spirit of “Good Will Toward Men”. I am still a work in progress on some things, especially opinions on football-related items.