Eric Goska column: Beware the double-100 against Vikings

Jan. 3, 2013
In Sunday's regular-season finale against the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was particularly successful on third down, going 8-of-11 for 87 yards and a touchdown. Lukas Keapproth/Press Gazette Media

Double whammy

Individuals who amassed more than 150 yards rushing against the Packers while their quarterbacks compiled a passer rating of 100 or better (minimum 10 attempts).

YardsRB-QB (rating)Date
223Tom Wilson-Norm Van Brocklin (158.1)Dec. 16, 1956
199Adrian Peterson-Christian Ponder (120.2)Dec. 30, 2012
188Barry Sanders-Dave Krieg (101.5)Dec. 4, 1994
168Jerry Nuzum-Joe Geri (103.3)Nov. 20, 1949
167Ricky Bell-Doug Williams (127.1)Oct. 21, 1979
167Barry Sanders-Scott Mitchell (141.1)Oct. 29, 1995
159Hugh McElhenny-Y.A. Tittle (112.0)Nov. 23, 1958
155Barry Sanders-Charlie Batch (149.6)Oct. 15, 1998


Always a handful, the Vikings become more troublesome when one of their own rushes for 100 yards or compiles a passer rating of 100.

When a pair of players does both in the same game, Minnesota becomes darn near unbeatable.

The Packers were dealt this double whammy in falling 37-34 to their purple rivals last weekend. They allowed Adrian Peterson to run for 199 yards, and they let Christian Ponder craft a career-best passer rating of 120.2.

Green Bay comes face-to-face with these same Vikings in an NFC wild-card game Saturday at Lambeau Field. Should the team extend Peterson and Ponder the same courtesy, itís all but certain the Packersí playoff run will end before it gets started.

From Chuck Foreman to Robert Smith to Peterson, Minnesota has featured some tough customers at running back. Petersonís latest outburst was the 166th regular-season 100-yard rushing outing by a Viking since 1961, and the teamís record in those games is 119-47 (.717).

From Fran Tarkenton to Warren Moon to Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings have had their share of excellent quarterbacks. Ponderís triple-digit rating was the 202nd in team history (minimum 10 attempts), and Minnesota is 167-35 (.827) in those games.

Heady numbers, yes. But woe to any defensive coordinator who allows Ponder and Peterson to collaborate as they did in the season finale against the Packers.

When producing a 100-100, Minnesota is 46-2 (.958) having won its last 24 games in a row. Only the 1999 Chiefs and 1963 Colts were able to overcome such an offensive outpouring and defeat the Vikings.

Achieving a double-100 allows quarterbacks with even the thinnest of resumes to appear invincible. Playing at the top of their game, Sean Salisbury (109.7; 1992), Todd Bouman (131.5; 2001) and Brooks Bollinger (133.3; 2007) all tasted victory when their efforts went hand-in-hand with 100-yard afternoons from Terry Allen, Michael Bennett and Peterson, respectively.

Defensively, giving up a double-100 invites defeat. Teams went 4-43-1 (.094) when doing so this season.

The Packers should have gotten the message in the opener. Frank Gore hustled his way to 112 yards rushing, and Alex Smith was on target with a rating of 125.6 as San Francisco rolled 30-22.

That, apparently, wasnít enough. Getting bested by Peterson and Ponder cost Green Bay a bye and a higher seed in the playoffs.

Ponder played especially well on third down in earning his first win against the Packers. He was 8-of-11 for 87 yards and a touchdown, and his rating (125.9) far exceeded what he had done (55.6) on that down in three previous games against Green Bay.

He wasnít bad in the fourth quarter, either. There he completed 3 of 5 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Peterson, in his quest to break Eric Dickersonís single-season rushing record, was intense. He accounted for all 10 of Minnesotaís rushing first downs and likely became the first player to record four runs of 20 or more yards in a game against the Packers.

He ran hard early, and he ran hard late. By quarter, his rushing totals were 68, 23, 56 and 52 yards.

For as successful as Minnesota has been when producing double-100s, Green Bay has been just as vulnerable when allowing them. The team is 2-45-1 when doing so.

The teamís only victories came against the Eagles in the 2010 opener and in 1990 in Arizona.

Double-100s occur when both phases of a teamís offense are clicking. Peterson, in the midst of a monster season, is a good bet to again gain 100 yards rushing. That leaves Ponder as the one Green Bay needs to defend better if it hopes to avoid surrendering a third 100-100 this season.

Postseason series

Overall and at Lambeau Field: Vikings lead 1-0.

Starting QBs

Packers: Aaron Rodgers (4-2 overall; 0-0 vs. Minnesota).

Vikings: Christian Ponder (first playoff start).

Once a Viking, now a Packer

Linebacker Robert Francois signed with the Vikings in May 2009 and was waived that August.

Once a Packer, now a Viking

There are no former Packers on the Vikingsí roster.

Eric Goska is a Press-Gazette Media correspondent, a Packers historian and the author of ďGreen Bay Packers: A Measure of Greatness,Ē a statistical history of the Packers. Email him at

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1278 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports


Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports