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Vikings rookie report: Week Eight

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By Christian West

The Vikings got their second win of the season Sunday, defeating the Panthers 24-21 in Charlotte. Here's how the team's rookies performed.

QB Christian Ponder  Early in the game, Ponder looked unsettled in the pocket, willing to break the pocket too quickly to scramble because he sensed pressure before it got there. But he started to settle down in the second half, made some good throws on multiple third downs and led the game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. At the end of the day, his numbers were very good: 18-28 for 236 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and a 102.7 QB rating. He has played two good games to start his career.

TE Kyle Rudolph — Rudolph was looked for more in the passing game (five targets) but wasn't able to turn his opportunities into much production, with only two catches for 15 yards. It's been an up-and-down season for Rudolph, but the talent is there. It will be interesting to see what kind of rapport he can develop with Ponder in the second half the season following the bye.

C-OG Brandon Fusco Fusco was active but did not enter the game. He was insurance in case Joe Berger, who started at right guard for the injured Anthony Herrera, had to leave the game.

LB Larry Dean — He had been playing well on special teams, but he committed a costly holding penalty on a third-quarter punt, letting the Panthers start at their own 39-yard line on the ensuing drive.

DB Mistral Raymond and DL Christian Ballard — Both played but did not record any stats.

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