Week 11: Seahawks 41, Vikings 20 — Ponder Ponder in the End

Because he’s an NFL quarterback, and NFL quarterbacks are ridiculously good athletes — all of them — Christian Ponder will occasionally make plays that give you the impression he’s a halfway decent player.  Last week he looked good against Washington in a 34-27 victory, and this week he kept the Vikings in it early with two long field goal drives and a 38-yard touchdown strike to somebody named Jarius Wright.  But given a sufficient length of time against a sufficiently good defense, an offense under Ponder will sputter.  The sailed passes and the bad decisions will ultimately win out in the end, like they did today when Ponder gifted the ‘Hawks 14 points by tossing interceptions on consecutive drives.  The first one lead to a supremely cool flip-pass touchdown from Russell Wilson to Marshawn Lynch that effectively iced the game.  The second one, a pick-six by Thurston Howell III, was simply a nice gesture to all the fantasy players who have Seattle’s D.

Christian Ponder being Christian Ponder was not the story of this game for the ‘Hawks defense.  Ponder is not a good quarterback; he’s just better than the other Vikings quarterbacks*. The story is how the Seahawks shutdown Adrian Peterson.  I mean, AP is clearly not the same player he was last year, but he’s still a fantastic back.  And given the ‘Hawks’ struggles against the run in recent weeks, holding the reigning MVP to 65 yards on 21 carries is a major coup for the D.

On offense, the Seahawks weren’t the ’99 Rams today, but they were good enough.  They never really got Beastmode going (In a game featuring AP and Beastmode, who would’ve guessed that “Garbage Time” Toby Gerhart would be the game’s leading rusher?), and they struggled on third downs (just 4-11, and Coach Carroll didn’t help things much by eschewing a few good opportunities to go for it on fourth), but Russell Wilson played really well today … again.  He had several “that’s a great effing throw” throws.  The aforementioned shovel pass to Lynch, the touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin, and the big third-down toss to Percy Harvin** come to mind.  I’m calling it now.  In the next few weeks, you’re going to start hear some Russell Wilson-MVP buzz among NFL talking heads.  He’s going to be the guy everybody is talking about by saying he’s the guy nobody is talking about.  Mark my words.

So 10-1 with a three game lead in the division.  Nice time for a bye week.

-DJG

*And honestly I’m not sure if that’s even true.  If you told me to pick between Ponder, Matt Cassell, and Josh Freeman I’d role a three-sided die … if such a thing existed.

**Oh right, I should mention, the ‘Hawks prized off-season acquisition played his first game in blue and highlighter green today.  He was extremely economical in his debut.  In limited time he busted a 58-yard kick return that set up a touchdown, and made a sweet catch on 17-yard third-down completion.