Quarterback Christian Ponder did well to silence his many critics, completing 24-of-32 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Most importantly, however, was his willingness to spread the ball around the field with top target Percy Harvin on the bench with injury.
Running back Adrian Peterson continued his remarkable post-ACL surgery season with 171 yards and one touchdown. His 61-yard scoring romp in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach.
Christopher Gates of SB Nation's Minnesota Vikings blog, the Daily Norseman, writes that given Ponder's improvement and Peterson's incredible ability, a Vikings playoff run is not out of the question.
But if some of what we saw today from this team can continue. . .if Christian Ponder has really discovered that he can trust members of his receiving corps not named Percy Harvin, if the Vikings can get Percy Harvin healthy, if Adrian Peterson can continue being superhuman, and the defense can show more of the spark they showed on Sunday. . .well, stranger things have happened in the National Football League, haven't they?
The Vikings, at 6-4, sit in third place in the NFC North, one game behind the 6-3 Green Bay Packers and two games behind the 7-2 Chicago Bears. The division picture will grow much clearer as the season goes on with the Vikings still yet to play four division games.