CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16: Quarterback Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings in action during the game against the Chicago Bears on October 16, 2011 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings Have Lost Five Of First Six Games This Season

Donovan McNabb didn't have a terrible game on Sunday, but was benched in favor of Christian Ponder anyway. For more on the situation, and the best coverage of the Minnesota Vikings on the internet, be sure to check out The Daily Norseman.

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Donovan McNabb Benched: Christian Ponder Reportedly Inserted As Minnesota Vikings Starting QB

Change is in the air for the Minnesota Vikings. Following the benching of Donovan McNabb in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, many wondered if Christian Ponder would get the team's next start. After no news on Monday, head coach Leslie Frazier has reportedly informed all parties involved that Ponder will be getting the start on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers

Jason LaConfra has it on Twitter:

Vikings are changing QBs. Leslie Frazier has made the change and notified those involved. Christian Ponder takes over as starter    

McNabb was benched after going 19-for24 for 177 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Ponder came into the game and didn't put up any better numbers, going 9-for-17 for 99 yards without a touchdown or interception. Ponder had more than one serious overthrow, which can be attributed to lack of chemistry with wide receivers.

Frazier either sees something he particularly likes in Ponder's performance, or the team feels it's just time to look to the future, as McNabb doesn't figure to offer much in the way of future potential. Sitting at 1-5 with very little progression week-in and week-out, it's simply time to see what the rookie can do.


2011 Minnesota Vikings: No Word On Quarterback Situation

As expected, there is now an official quarterback controversy for the Minnesota Vikings. After Christian Ponder came on in relief of Donovan McNabb in Sunday night’s blowout loss to the Chicago Bears there is now speculation that he will replace McNabb as the starter:

We’ve said it here before, but Donovan McNabb is not going to be this team’s quarterback in 2012. He won’t even be on the roster next season. Frankly, after you’ve benched the old stalwart for the new guy, it’s really hard to go back. And, at 1-5 and staring a top 5 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft squarely in the face, every snap that would go to Donovan McNabb at this point is one less snap that goes toward developing Christian Ponder. Nothing positive could come out of that.

McNabb has been ineffective at best so far on the season, and Ponder did seem to outplay him in limited work on Sunday evening. It does not help matters that McNabb took an ugly early safety where he seemed to slip to the ground in the end zone while trying to avoid a sack.

Coach Leslie Frazier said that he will not name a starter until Wednesday for Minnesota’s next game. If Ponder is named the starter his first career start will come against the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, who are the lone remaining undefeated team in the NFL.


Vikings Get Throttled By Bears, 39-10

Well, the Vikings got a little glimpse of the future this evening, if nothing else.

Despite Donovan McNabb going 19-for-24 for 177 yards on the evening, Minnesota Vikings' head coach Leslie Frazier has finally pulled the trigger on the switch to quarterback Christian Ponder, the team's first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Florida State University. Playing largely against the Bears' second-string defense. . .and, largely, behind Minnesota's second-string offensive line. . .Ponder looked pretty good for a first-timer, completing ten of his eighteen passes for 99 yards and not getting sacked while running for his life from Chicago's defense.

Now, the Vikings are going to have a quarterback controversy on their hands as they prepare to play the Green Bay Packers next Sunday at the Metrodome. Will they go with the rookie, or will they throw Donovan McNabb out there one more time?

Our friends over at The Daily Norseman will have coverage of the entire thing as the week goes on, so be sure to check them out.

Tonight, however, the Vikings fall to 1-5 on the 2011 season, and are firmly in the race for the top selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, as they lose to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field by a final score of 39-10.


Devin Hester Continues To Be Ridiculous, Bears Lead Back To 23

Yeah. . .that "momentum" the Minnesota Vikings just had?

Forget we mentioned that.

On the ensuing kickoff after the Vikings' first touchdown of the evening, Ryan Longwell kicked a lollipop to Chicago's Devin Hester at the 2-yard line. For those of you that have been living in caves for the past few years, Devin Hester is a really, really good kickoff returner, and he showed that again. Hester made a couple of people missed, juked Longwell at the 35-yard line, and then just flew past everyone in a white uniform to score for Chicago. The extra point put the Bears' lead back to 23 at a score of 33-10.

Well, Minnesota had some momentum for about 10 seconds there. . .that's pretty good, I guess.

With a little more than nine minutes left in the third quarter, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Chicago Bears by a score of 33-10.

The Vikings are also down two offensive linemen at this point. . .center John Sullivan is out for the rest of this game with a concussion, and has been replaced by Joe Berger. Tackle Phil Loadholt is also out of the game with an undisclosed injury, and has been replaced by Patrick Brown. The Vikings only dressed seven offensive linemen this evening, so they're basically down to their last five.

Yep. . .it's not getting better.


Vikings Convert Turnover Into Points, Close Gap To 26-10

The Minnesota Vikings needed a spark to get themselves going in the second half, and they got one from defensive end Jared Allen.

On the Chicago Bears' first possession of the second half, Jared Allen finally got to Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler, stripping him of the football and making the recovery at the Chicago 44-yard line. From there, the Vikings actually managed to put together a drive, moving 44 yards in six plays. The big play on the drive was an 18-yard pitch-and-catch from Donovan McNabb to Percy Harvin.

Adrian Peterson capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to cut the gap for the Vikings to 26-10.

Hey, it's not much at this point, but given what we got from the Vikings in the first half of this one, it's better than nothing for Minnesota fans.

With 10:23 left in the third quarter, the Vikings have gotten a little bit closer, trailing the Chicago Bears by a score of 26-10.


Cutler's Second TD Pass Gives Bears 23-3 Lead Over Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings came into the evening with the second-highest sack total in the National Football League. . .but with the lack of pressure on Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler this evening, you wouldn't know it.

Cutler hit undrafted rookie Dane Sanzenbacher for his second touchdown pass of the evening, this one from 13 yards out, to give the Bears a 23-3 lead over the Vikings with 6:41 left in the first half of play.

The Vikings actually got on the board a bit earlier in the second quarter, courtesy of a 37-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell, but at this rate, that's not going to be enough. The Bears. . .who were in the bottom quarter of the league in passing offense coming into the evening. . .are simply carving up the Minnesota defense thus far.

As we approach halftime at Soldier Field, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Chicago Bears by 20 points. Keep it tuned right here for all of your updates.


Chicago Opens Up 16-0 First Quarter Lead On Minnesota

This, ladies and gentlemen, is shaping up to be a very long night for Minnesota. Yeah, I know I said that earlier, but I figured I'd accentuate that.

After the safety, the Bears took over at about their own 44-yard line, and it didn't take them long to get back into the end zone again. Jay Cutler found Roy Williams for a 17-yard hook-up to get down into Minnesota territory, and Matt Forte had a 21-yard run that put the ball inside the Minnesota 5-yard line (thanks, in part, to a horse collar tackle by Cedric Griffin). From there, it was former Golden Gopher Marion Barber getting into the end zone, as he ran for a three-yard touchdown through a hole big enough that anybody reading this could have scored on.

Yep, things aren't looking good for Minnesota.

With 3:34 remaining in the first quarter of play, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Chicago Bears by a score of 16-0.


McNabb Hands Chicago Two More Points, Minnesota Trails 9-0

Wow. . .I believe the kids would call what just happened with Donovan McNabb an "epic fail."

The Bears pinned the Vikings at their own 5-yard line with a punt. After a short gain on first down, Donovan McNabb dropped back to pass on second down. With two Bears. . .pardon the pun. . .bearing down on him, McNabb thought it would be best to curl up into the fetal position and fall down.

Unfortunately, when he did that, he was in the end zone. As soon as he was touched down by Bears' rookie defensive tackle Stephen Paea, the referees awarded the Bears a safety, and the Vikings now find themselves down 9-0.

Seriously, for a quarterback that has been in the NFL for 13 seasons, what McNabb just did there is completely inexcusable. He should have had the awareness to know where he was and get the ball out of the end zone, but he did not.

So, with less than six minutes left in the first quarter of play, the Vikings trail the Bears by a score of 9-0.


Bears Strike First, Take 7-0 Lead

If the first series for each team was any indicator, it might be a long night for the Minnesota faithful.

The Vikings went three-and-out on their first possession, concluding with Visanthe Shiancoe dropping a pass that he should have caught and rumbled about 20 yards with. On the ensuing possession, Jay Cutler completed a 17-yard pass to Roy Williams, and then lofted a rainbow for Devin Hester that Hester hauled in between Cedric Griffin and Husain Abdullah.

The touchdown pass to Hester covered 48 yards, and the Bears' drive covered 68 yards in just three plays and 1:13.

With 12:17 left in the first quarter of play. . .and with each team already having had the football once. . .the Minnesota Vikings trail the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field by a score of 7-0. The game is the nationally televised feature game for the week on NBC, so find your local NBC affiliate and tune in!


Inactive Lists For Minnesota Vikings And Chicago Bears

The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears have announced their lists of inactive players for Sunday night's NFC North clash at Soldier Field. Those lists are as follows:

Vikings Inactives

LB Xavier Adibi
CB Brandon Burton
C Brandon Fusco
OL DeMarcus Love
S Mistral Raymond
DE D’Aundrae Reed
CB Antoine Winfield

Winfield's neck injury will keep him out for a second consecutive game. Chris Cook will get the start this evening in Winfield's place.

Bears Inactives

WR Earl Bennett
OL Gabe Carimi
QB Nathan Enderle
S Chris Harris
DE Nick Reed
DL Matt Toeaina
DE Corey Wootton

Defensive end Julius Peppers, who has not practiced at all this week, will start for the Bears this evening. Maybe there was something to that whole "payback for the Brett Favre thing last year" theory than we may have originally thought.

Kickoff is less than an hour away from Soldier Field, and we will have the updates here for you at SB Nation Minnesota. Or, if you want to be a part of the best in-game discussion of Vikings football on the internet, you can check out the Game Thread at The Daily Norseman.


Full Injury Reports For Minnesota Vikings And Chicago Bears

There is one highly significant name on the injury report for both the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings going into their match-up at Soldier Field on Sunday night. We'll start by taking a look at the injury report for the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jared Allen eye 10/16/2011
E.J. Henderson knee 10/16/2011
Husain Abdullah pelvis 10/16/2011
Kenny Onatolu hamstring 10/16/2011


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Percy Harvin ribs 10/16/2011


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Antoine Winfield neck 10/16/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jasper Brinkley hip 09/03/2011

It doesn't look likely that Winfield is going to play in this one, but if we hear differently we'll be sure to update you. As far as Harvin, he has a rib problem that dates back to the pre-season that he aggravated last week against the Arizona Cardinals. He'll be wearing extra padding this evening, but should be good to go. Nobody else on the injury report is really in danger of missing the game for Minnesota.

Now, on to the Chicago injury report.

Chicago Bears Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Charles Tillman hip 10/16/2011
Corey Wootton hand 10/16/2011


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Earl Bennett chest 10/16/2011
Kellen Davis elbow 10/16/2011


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Julius Peppers knee 10/16/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
J.T. Thomas knee 09/03/2011

The big name here, obviously, is defensive end Julius Peppers, who injured his MCL in Chicago's loss to the Detroit Lions last week. Peppers returned to the game, but was clearly slowed by the injury and is listed as "doubtful." The "doubtful" designation means that there's roughly a 25% chance that Peppers will play, and it is still legitimately up in the air as to whether or not he'll play this evening.

Peppers has had a field day against the Vikings the last couple of times he's seen them, whether it was when he was with the Carolina Panthers in 2009 or with the Bears last season, so if he was out of tonight's game it would be a plus for Minnesota. A member of the Chicago media has advanced that the theory that the Bears might be playing a bit of a cat-and-mouse game with Peppers' status in an attempt to throw the Vikings off, but this writer thinks that that's far-fetched at best.


Week 6 NFL Lines And Odds: Minnesota Vikings At Chicago Bears

Since we're getting to that time where folks want to start putting money on the NFL action for this weekend, let's take a look at all of the odds and ends for the Sunday Night Football match-up between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. To do so, we'll get some help from our friends at Odds Shark.

Taking a look at what Odds Shark has for this, the point spread for this one has the Bears as a three-point favorite at home (although one betting location shows Chicago as a two-point favorite). Since, as we've stated on numerous occasions, home-field advantage is usually good for three points, so this game is pretty much viewed as a toss-up.

The over/under for this one is anywhere between 41.5 and 42.5, and that makes for an interesting betting conundrum. Neither of these teams are exactly lighting it up on offense so far this year, with the Vikings and Bears ranked 16th and 18th in scoring offense, respectively. The Vikings have been a little better defensively, currently ranked 9th in the NFL in points allowed, with Chicago sitting at 17th. Pass defense is a weakness for both of these teams, as they're both in the bottom quarter of the league in that category, but it remains to be seen if either passing offense can take advantage of it. The Bears are ranked 23rd in the NFL in terms of passing yardage this season, while the Vikings are the second-worst passing offense in the NFL.

With the struggles of the Chicago offensive line and the Vikings' pass rush having generated the second-most sacks in the NFL thus far, Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler should be consistently under siege in this one like he was on Monday night when Chicago lost to the Detroit Lions. Even with the Vikings' recent struggles at Soldier Field. . .the team has only won in Chicago once in the last decade. . .that might be enough to get Minnesota a close victory.

For entertainment purposes only. . .if I were a betting man, I would be tempted to take the Vikings and the points, and take the under as far as total points are concerned.


Vikings Battle Bears In Prime Time On Sunday

For the best coverage of the Minnesota Vikings on the internet, be sure to check out The Daily Norseman.

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