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article imageNFL: Locker gets the best Ponder in pre-season debut

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By Austin Tyler     Aug 14, 2011 in Sports
Nashville - To first rounder got their chance to show what they got as Minnesota Vikings’ Christian Ponder and Tennessee Titans’ Jake Locker squared off in their pre-season debut. Locker was taken was taken 8th overall, and Ponder was taken 12th overall.
The Tennessee Titans hosted the Minnesota Vikings for both teams’ pre-season debuts. Both teams are looking to break in new quarterbacks with Minnesota acquiring Donovan McNabb from the Washington Redskins, and Tennessee picking up Matt Hasselbeck from the Seattle Seahawks. Last night was rookie night though as both McNabb and Hasselbeck seen limited action.
The Titans started with the ball and moved it just 36-yards before having to punt it away. The Viking had the ball and they could only move the ball 33-yards before having to punt it back to the Titans.
After the first series the Titans put in rookie Jake Locker (7/10, 89 yards, 1 TD) after taking out Hasselbeck who was 5/6 with just 55 yards passing. Locker moved the Titans down the field with some nice passes and a good running game. They got into field-goal range, but Rob Bironas missed a 38-yarder that went wide left.
McNabb (6/11, 40 yards) stayed in a little longer than Hasselbeck, but could not get much done as they were forced to punt the ball away. The Titans could not move the ball as they went three an out after Locker was sacked for a six-yard loss. The Viking then brought in Joe Webb (4/8, 45 yards, 1 Int) to run the offense, but the first series was cut short when Lorenzo Booker fumble on the fourth play from scrimmage.
With a short field Locker took advantage on the first play throwing a 45-yard strike to Yamon Figurs (1 reception, 45 yards, 1 TD). Locker had fumbled the ball first before putting up his first score of the game as Titans took a 7-0 lead. The Vikings was looking to answer on the next drive, but Webb threw a pass that was intercepted by Jordan Babineaux who returned it for 20-yards. Babineaux’s return gave them good field position as they scored their second touchdown in just five-plays when Jamie Harper ran in for a two-yard touchdown.
Webb opened the third quarter for the Vikings as they marched down the field Ryan Longwell knocked in a 37-yard field-goal to make it a 14-3 lead. Christian Ponder came in and played the rest of the game going 8/13 for 84 yards, but no touchdowns. Ponder had the best QB rating out of all the Vikings qb’s at 80.3.
It was good to see former USC Trojan running back Stafon Johnson running the ball after hurting himself last year in a pre-season game. Johnson only ran for 19-yards on 5 carries, but he had a long run on nine-yards.
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