Vikings / Panthers Week 8 NFL Preview
We’re coming into a matchup this Sunday that features two first-round quarterback’s drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft. This matchup will consist of the highly productive quarterback coming out of Auburn, Cam Newton. And on the other side of the ball? This is the guy that comes from Florida State. He also had a very impressive start last weekend against, division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, and that guy is Christian Ponder.
Christian Ponder put up very impressive plays in the previous week, and that left analysts speechless. They were expecting a blowout. Many predicted the Vikings not even to score a point against the defending Super Bowl champions. But how did Christian Ponder answer that? He scored on his first home drive and gave us an immediate six points in under a minute.
Cam Newton, well, he is possibly having the best rookie season of all-time. He has completed 60.3% of his passes for 2,103 yards, 8 TD, and 9 INT. But don’t let them interception numbers fool you. He may not have the most accurate throw, but in 57 rushing attempts he has ran for 266 yards (averaging about 4.7 yards a carry) for 7 TD (2nd place in the NFL for rushing touchdowns).
Newton has made an immediate mark in the pro-style game, and is proving naysayers wrong. He is showing that he is the franchise of the Carolina Panthers, and that they didn’t waste their number one pick on them last season. Ron Rivera has done a great job producing this monster of a quarterback, and he is going to confuse the Vikings defense with every chance he gets.
Christian Ponder has yet to show much, only playing one full game that resulted in 27-33 loss to the Packers. But it was possibly the most shocking debut of a rookie that I have ever seen. As a Viking fan, even I thought we wouldn’t stand a chance against them, and he almost got us down the field to win it, if we wouldn’t have punted that is.
This game will be a close one, but one thing you shouldn’t expect is to see Ponder throw as much as last week. The Panthers aren’t doing a good job at all defending the rush against teams that have even mediocre rushing attacks. Imagine what Adrian Peterson will do to this Carolina Panthers defense when given the ball with the right blocking? He’ll tear the Panthers up, but Newton is capable of doing the same thing.
The Vikings have major problems rushing the quarterback, besides Jared Allen, and laying them out immediately. The usually can scramble away from the man who’s trying to get the sack for a good two to three seconds, and most of the time even get the ball out of bounds before getting hit.
They will not be able to do this with Cam Newton as the quarterback, he has the speed to immediately scramble out of situations and squeeze up the middle for a big gain or a touchdown.
I am expecting Christian Ponder to have a good game and I am thinking he’ll complete a good 60% of his passes for around 200 yards. Don’t expect him to miss over 60% of his passes this game like the last one.
I think, statistically, this game will be fairly close and will be a nail-biter until the end. Who doesn’t want Ponder to win us a game and prove he is the franchise of this organization? I think it’s time for Minnesota to get a quarterback of the future, and not a two year attempt of a Super Bowl ring out Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb. The NFL is getting younger at the quarterback position, and with Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley coming in next season, it’s going to get much much scarier.
Prediction: Vikings 38-35