I'm not a huge fan of Ponder either, but I certainly don't blame Ponder for not playing. I believe if he could have, he would have.
I liked Webb before, but I still blame him for a terrible QB performance. Many of those throws simply weren't timing issues, they were awful. His decisions to throw the ball away & the way he did it are unexplainable.
ReFo: Vikings @ Packers
Here's how ProFootball Focus graded out some of the players.
Webb: -5.4, -7.6 in passing
Charlie Johnson: -4.1
Peterson: no grade, but said he had his second best performance of the year. Blamed poor blocking mostly on Johnson and Fusco as the reason for lack of production.
Fred Evans: +5.9
Harison Smith: +5.9
As to our cornerback's play:Quote:
As a unit the Vikings’ defense was unable to contain the Packers as much as they needed to in order to keep this game close, but there were a few players that stood out. Fred Evans (+5.9) was the one defensive lineman who made plays in the backfield and around the line of scrimmage. On just 25 snaps he graded more than twice as well as any other DT for Minnesota, and late in the game he was still trying as hard as anybody. With 5:47 to go in the game, and things pretty much done, Evans still tore through T.J. Lang on a run play and torpedoed the run 5-yards deep in the backfield. The other standout from the game was rookie safety Harrison Smith (+5.9), who saved his finest performance of the year for the playoffs, even if it was ultimately in vain. Smith excelled in both coverage and against the run in this game, breaking up a pass in man-coverage on TE Jermichael Finley, but also shooting up to make tackles in the run game when needed. Smith can feel hard done by to miss out on the Pro Bowl in his first season, but if he can have days like this, and iron out the poor games, the Vikings have found a very good player.
– Antoine Winfield and Chris Cook, two of Minnesota’s top three corners, allowed 100% of the balls thrown at them to be caught. They combined to allow 9 catches for 115 yards.
I like the "blame who you already hate" theory. I'll throw my own target into the ring here by blaming...
The Chicago Bears. I hate them, even more than the Packers, and if they hadn't sucked quite so bad in the second half of the season, we never would have been in this position. Better Bears, no Vikings playoffs. Simple as that. I think we'd all have been happier ending up 10-6 with no playoffs but a fantastic four game finish. Sure, many would complain, but not nearly as bitterly.