As the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s Week 11 game with Oakland at Mall of America Field, here’s a look at a handful of eye-opening figures and facts.
Christian Ponder’s completion percentage this season. Among starting quarterbacks, Ponder ranks ahead of only: close friend and fellow rookie Blaine Gabbert, who is completing only 47.9 percent of his attempts. Ponder’s quarterback rating for the season: 69.8, a mark that puts him ahead of only Gabbert (63.6), Washington’s Rex Grossman (65.3) and Indianapolis’ Curtis Painter 67.4. Ponder has generated quite a bit of buzz in the month since he was named the Vikings’ starter. But at present, his statistics have been relatively lousy. For comparison sake, Donovan McNabb had a quarterback rating of 82.9 in his six starts and Seattle’s Tarvaris Jackson has a rating of 74.8 this season. That’s not to say either signal caller is better than Ponder. It’s simply a reminder to be cautious stamping Ponder with a “Savior” tag. Everyone around the Twin Cities – fans, players, coaches, front office personnel – must take Monday’s 45-7 loss as a sobering reminder of how steep the climb back to relevance really is.
The Vikings’ margin of defeat in two NFC North road games this season. They lost 39-10 in Chicago in Week 6 before Monday night’s 45-7 embarrassment at Lambeau Field. The Vikings will travel to Detroit to play the Lions on Dec. 11. Over the past two seasons, the Vikings are 1-9 overall in NFC North games.
Between the 2005-2009 seasons, teams that won five games or fewer in a year. Of those squads, only 12 managed to post a winning record the following season. The most notable members of that quick turnaround club: the New Orleans Saints, who went 3-13 in 2005 and 10-6 the following year; the Miami Dolphins, who went 1-15 in 2006 and 11-5 in ‘07; and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13 in ’09 and 10-6 last season). In 2010, six teams finished with five or fewer wins. Of those squads, only Cincinnati (now 6-3 this season) and Buffalo (5-4) are currently above .500.
Games this season in which a Raiders running back has totaled more than 120 yards from scrimmage. Michael Bush had 243 total yards in last week’s 24-17 win at San Diego and also had 129 the previous week in a loss to the Broncos. Darren McFadden had at least 120 yards from scrimmage in each of the first four weeks of the season, including 178 in an upset of the Jets in Week 3. Oakland visits Mall of America field on Sunday afternoon. McFadden’s status is still up in the air as he continues recovering from a sprained foot.
Combined winning percentage of the Vikings’ final seven opponents. The only games remaining against teams currently with a losing record: Dec. 4 against Denver at Mall of America Field and Dec. 24 at Washington. The Broncos are currently 4-5, the Redskins 3-6.