Ponder had a great rebound game. I was at the game and I have to say he didn't really miss many of his receivers... Haven't looked at the stats but at least 2 probably 3 of his incompletions were drops... another was a throwaway.
There is still a long way to go with this passing game, but I think the biggest difference is we weren't designing plays for certain players, it seemed to be run a bunch of routes and get open.
Vikings played well, but they will need to play better than this to beat Chicago.
Finally, The Chris Cook factor was pretty evident today, and to those that wondered why the Vikings let him hang around despite his legal troubles... this was the game that showed why. Chris Cook is the type of corner that can match up and give problems to any WR in the league. The Vikings absolutely destroyed Calvin Johnson in the first matchup between the teams... this week Megatron had 200 yards. Chris Cook's performance last year against the Lions right before his incident was what made the Vikings wait for him. Can't wait for him to be healthy again.
Megatron was controlled for most of the game. He had something like 1 catch for 2 yards in the 1st half. He tacked on 100 yards and TD (along with losing a fumble) when the Vikings had a 2 TD lead in the 4th quarter. The final numbers are certainly gaudy and make the people who have him on their fantasy teams happy, but they exaggerate the actual impact that Johnson had on the game.
Cook's injury certainly hurts the secondary, since AJ Jefferson isn't as good, but it was Winfield who did most of the work in shutting down Megatron in the first game.
Even without those 100 yards he still had twice the number of yards against us than he had the first game.
And he had little to no impact in the first half of the game. Apart from a very good series in the 3rd quarter, he didn't really do much until the game was just about out of reach and the Lions were in full on catch up mode.
Cook's injury does hurt the Vikings, but let's not overrate the *******. The Lions made adjustments (on a handful of Johnson's catches they brought in an extra lineman to help buy him and Stafford some time), and even with Cook, the secondary likely isn't good enough to hold down a guy that talented for 8 quarters.
I'm not disputing that Megatron's numbers were better in the 2nd game, but they exaggerate his impact on the actual game.
It doubly sucks because Budinger's up for a new contract this summer and this is the last year he was going to be cheap. Now there's the whole guy's coming off a knee injury awkwardness to negotiations.