Vikings vs. Seahawks: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Minnesota
No one really thought the Minnesota Vikings had a chance against the Seattle Seahawks. All six of the predictions in the St. Paul Pioneer Press expected the Seahawks to win and cover the spread of 12.5 points.
A search of the Twitterverse found only fans so drunk on the purple kool-aid that they are blinded by any reality believing that the Vikings had any chance to pull off an upset.
This one wasn't even deserving of a comparison to the biblical reference of David and Goliath—as David was able to defeat the giant in an upset. In this case, the giant shrugged off the underdog and swatted him with a rolled-up newspaper, putting him in his place.
The Seahawks showed the Vikings that they are a much better team. They used one of the Vikings' former weapons, kick returner Percy Harvin, to hammer it home.
Harvin only touched the ball twice in his Seattle debut, but both times he came up with big plays to help the Seahawks. His only catch converted a 3rd-and-10, and his one kick return was good for 58 yards and set up a Seattle touchdown right before the half.
Seattle turned a fumble and three interceptions into 20 points in routing the Vikings 41-20.
It was another ugly loss for the Vikings despite an improved effort by the defense. An ugly loss deserves some ugly grades—don't expect any high marks for this one.
Christian Ponder: F
Ponder had his worst game of the season. He completed just 13 of 22 passes for only 129 yards. After throwing two interceptions on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter that led to 14 points for the Seahawks, he was benched for the first time in his career.
Along with the two interceptions, he also had a fumble that led to a field goal in the first quarter. Even with a touchdown, his passer rating was a lowly 53.0.
Matt Cassel: F
Coming in for Ponder in the fourth quarter, Cassel promptly did his best Ponder imitation and threw an interception. Showing some mercy at this point, the Seahawks only converted it into a field goal.
Cassel finished 5-of-13 for 78 yards with a touchdown along with the interception. His passer rating was even lower than Ponder's at 52.7.
Josh Freeman: N/A
Inactive for the fourth straight game, Freeman has got be thinking that he is in football's version of hell. He's mostly likely counting the days until he gets to sign a contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Overall grade: F
Adrian Peterson: D-
Seattle did a very good job of keeping Peterson from making a difference in this game. He finished with 65 yards on 21 carries—an average of only 3.1 yards per carry.
Toby Gerhart: C
Gerhart led all rushers with 67 yards on seven carries—most of them coming in garbage time after the Seahawks built a 41-13 lead.
Overall grade: D
No touchdowns from the unit for the Vikings really says it all.
Greg Jennings: Inactive
He was a surprise last-minute scratch for the Vikings. Jennings was listed as probable on Friday according to Vikings.com.
Jerome Simpson: F
Benched at the start of the game for his DWI last week, Simpson was not factor with only one catch for one yard.
Cordarrelle Patterson: D+
Targeted nine times, Patterson only came up with three catches for 28 yards. His longest reception was only for 15 yards. Either he is overrated, he's not being used properly, or it's Christian Ponder's fault.
Jarius Wright: C+
The brightest spot for the unit, Wright got the start in place of Jennings. He finished with only three catches for 69 yards, but two of them were for touchdowns.
Joe Webb: D
Webb had only two catches for nine yards. There's a reason the Vikings wanted to keep him on the roster. I wish he would show us some of the athleticism that he supposedly possesses.
Overall grade: D+
John Carlson: C
Carlson has had a couple of good games since taking over for Kyle Rudolph as the No. 1 tight end. After catching seven passes for 98 yards against the Redskins, Carlson had five catches for 69 yards to lead the Vikings.
Rhett Ellison: Incomplete
Ellison was activated for the game against the Seahawks, but he did not make a catch.
Chase Ford: D
Again, Ford is doing a very good Carlson impression. He finished with one catch for 11 yards. He doubled his season output in one game. He only needs six more catches to match Carlson's total from last season.
Overall grade: C
Carlson looked good early in the game when Christian Ponder completed a couple of passes to him.
Run Blocking: D
Adrian Peterson had 21 carries and only gained 65 yards—enough said.
Pass Blocking: C
Seattle was only credited with two sacks and three quarterback hits. It wasn't the fault of the offensive line that Minnesota quarterbacks threw three interceptions.
Overall Grade: C-
Jared Allen: C-
Allen finished with five tackles and no sacks. He did knock down one pass and had one quarterback hit on Russell Wilson.
Kevin Williams: C-
Williams only had two tackles, but he was part of a unit that held Marshawn Lynch to only 54 rushing yards.
Sharrif Floyd: C-
See Williams—the exact same stat line.
Brian Robison: C+
Robison recorded the only sack of Wilson in the game and led the Vikings with two quarterback hits.
Everson Griffen: D
Only one tackle for Griffen in the game.
Fred Evans: C
Evans had two tackles, one for a loss.
Chase Baker: C
Baker had three tackles in only the second game of the season he's seen any action.
Overall grade: C-
Sure, they limited Lynch to 54 yards, but he also had three touchdowns.
Chad Greenway: C-
The Vikings' leading tackler the last five seasons, Greenway is not performing like a Pro Bowler. He finished with six tackles against the Seahawks, but not one of them sticks out in my mind.
Erin Henderson: C-
The same goes for Henderson. Henderson finished with six tackles in the game, but not one of them made a difference.
Marvin Mitchell: C-
Mitchell finished with only four tackles, but at least one of them was for a loss.
Overall grade: C-
Not an impressive game for the linebackers. There was not one play that changed the momentum of the game.
Chris Cook: D
Just because Cook's a starter doesn't mean he's good. Cook finished with two tackles and no impact. He was covering Percy Harvin on his only catch of the game—good for 17 yards and a first down on a 3rd-and-10 play.
Josh Robinson: D
Robinson got lucky when an offensive holding penalty offset his pass interference penalty. He finished with one tackle.
Xavier Rhodes: D+
Rhodes gave up a 44-yard reception to Doug Baldwin in the first quarter. It was the longest play of the game and led to the Seahawks' first touchdown.
Marcus Sherels: D-
Sherels did not look good on defense. He finished with three tackles and was credited with one of three passes defended by the Vikings.
A.J. Jefferson: C
He finished with one tackle in limited action.
Russell Wilson only had five incomplete passes in the game.
Jamarca Sanford: C-
Sanford finished with seven tackles, one tackle for a loss and one quarterback hit, but his performance did not stick out at all.
Andrew Sendejo: C
See Sanford—the only difference is that Sendejo led the Vikings with 11 tackles, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
Robert Blanton: D
Blanton finished with two tackles and no impact.
Overall Grade: C-
A lot of tackles, but not one that changed the momentum of the game.
Blair Walsh: C+
Walsh made both field-goal attempts and both PATs to finish with eight points, but his kickoffs are not getting deep and ending up as touchbacks. Percy Harvin was able to return a kickoff 58 yards at the end of the first half that resulted in a touchdown.
Jeff Locke: C
Locke averaged only 36.7 yards on three punts, well below his 45.6-yard average on the season.
Cordarrelle Patterson: C
Patterson averaged 29.3 yards on four kickoff returns. He still leads the NFL with a 34.4-yard average for players with more than four attempts.
Marcus Sherels: F
There were five punts in the game for the Seahawks. Sherels did not return one of them. He let one bounce inside the 5-yard line. The only positive is that he did not muff any of them.
Overall grade: C-
There were no big plays for the Vikings to help offset what Seattle was doing in the game.