Super Bowl XLI champ and 4-year starter at the University of Minnesota Ben Utecht said from a player's perspective, the Vikings deserve a lot of credit and took fans all the way to the end despite a last-minute, one-point loss to the Bears on Sunday.
After the teams exchanged early touchdowns, the Bears took a 14-7 lead with a pass to Brandon Marshall, a classic example of a big receiver getting leverage on a cornerback, Utecht said.
In the fourth quarter, the Vikings at third and goal elected to run the ball and ultimately had to settle for three to bring the score 30-24, but Jay Cutler and company had ten seconds to drive the field, and cinched it with a pass to tight end Martellus Bennett -- a touch touchdown to defend, Utecht said.
At least Ponder performed better than last week.
"We finally saw the Christian Ponder that we drafted, this is the guy that we want to build this team around," Utecht said of Ponder's performance. "Making clutch passes, making better decisions and really spreading out the offense."
"He hit eight of his receivers over the course of the entire game. He was moving the ball across the field and we were seeing the receivers making the catches. When you have that efficiency, big plays are going to happen, and that's what Christian Ponder gave us."