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Now and Then: The Minnesota Vikings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Christian Ponder reacts to throwing an interception for a Denver Broncos touchdown in the first quarter on Dec. 4, 2011 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.

    When the Bears and Vikings met on Oct. 16, Chicago easily defeated the chaotic Minnesota team. Devin Hester scored a long touchdown, the Bears D scored a safety, and the team started a five-game winning streak. Two and a half months later, the two teams are in very different places.

    What has changed for the 3-13 Vikings?

    Quarterback carousel: They started the season with Donovan McNabb under center. The one-time star of the Eagles failed to live up to expectations. Halfway through the loss to Chicago, they gave first-round draft pick Christian Ponder a chance. He has played brilliantly at times, but gets sacked often and has trouble holding onto the ball. Against the Redskins on Saturday, Ponder sustained a concussion, but it expected to play on Sunday.

    Purple Jesus Injury: Despite the continued terribleness of the Vikings, Adrian Peterson has been a reliable bright spot. The running back consistently runs for tons of yards, reaching the 1200+ mark in every season he has played. That ended with an awkward tackle on Saturday. He tore his ACL and MCL, and hopes to be ready for next season.

    Slowed-down Allen: Heading into the game with Chicago, Allen had at least one sack in every game, and that continued with one sack of Jay Cutler. He continues to lead the league with 18.5 sacks, but isn't on the same pace. He had sacks in four of the past seven games and needs 4.5 on Sunday to break Michael Strahans record.