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Bleacher Report – Vikings

What Now? Matt Cassel Leads Vikings To 34-27 Victory In Ponder’s Absence.

Photo – Andy Kenutis (

By: Aj Mansour |

Minneapolis, MN – It’s been a long road to week four for the Minnesota Vikings. Dropping their first four games in dramatic fashion, the Vikings jumped ship and head over to London to square off against the Steelers for a week four matchup between 0-3 teams. All the drama surrounding the team through the first few games made it that much sweeter for Leslie Frazier and the Vikings as they prepare to board a plane back to the United States with a 34-27 victory under their belts and a smile on their face!

The story of the game was no doubt the play of fill-in quarterback Matt Cassel. When it was announced earlier this week that Christian Ponder had suffered an injury to his rib and then announced on Friday that Cassel would be the starter, Minnesota fans were not quite sure what to think. After seeing the way that Cassel controlled the offense, developed a flow through the air and confidently led the Vikings to their first win of the year, those questions were moved aside.

But where are we now?

The Vikings head into the bye week with a gigantic question that will need to be answered by the time that the Vikings take the field on October 13th. Who is your starting quarterback for Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers.

Common sense would tell you that Cassel has the hot hand and should remain under center. Sunday against the Steelers, Cassel completed 16 of 25 passes for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns. While those numbers are impressive, the most important stat from Cassel’s line has got to be the big fat zero underneath the interceptions column of the game book.

“Zero turnovers, that’s a big deal,” head coach Leslie Frazier told KFAN after the game. “We can beat a lot of teams when we do that. Great job by him.”

From the very first snap, Cassel took charge of the Vikings offense, he looked composed, and most importantly, he looked like a quarterback. Cassel regularly hit receivers in stride, protected the ball and he balanced the Minnesota Vikings offense. While Cassel’s performance has sparked excitement among the fan base, it’s sure to spark some controversy and tough decisions within the coach’s meeting rooms.

Because of the way that they set up the “Christian Ponder sidelined with a rib injury” situation (whether it was legit or not), they are going to have to make a decision two weeks from now of whether or not they will bench their “starting quarterback” (Christian Ponder) or bench their hot hand, undefeated for the Vikings quarterback (Matt Cassel)?

“We’re going to enjoy this win for 24 hours,” Frazier said. “Then we’ll think about the future (with the QB situation).”

As for Cassel, he’s playing the good teammate card in regards to the starting role.

“Christian’s a heck of a QB,” Cassel told KFAN after the game. “[As for now], I will continue to prepare myself as if I am going to play.”

The Vikings head to the Bye Week with a record of 1-3 and will return to Mall of American Field in two weeks to face the Carolina Panthers.

Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN

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