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Continued: Hartman: Free agent Morneau will look for a winner

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 18, 2013 - 6:52 AM

With Ponder at quarterback, the Vikings finished 10-6 in the 2012 regular season and made the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Freeman under center, finished 7-9 and didn’t make the playoffs.

They have also both started 19 games over the past two seasons and in that time Freeman has thrown for 4,636 yards, completing 349 of 652 passes (53.5 percent) with 29 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Ponder has thrown for 3,626 yards, completing 359 of 583 passes (61.6 percent) with 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

While Ponder has thrown for 1,010 fewer yards and nine fewer touchdowns, he was about as effective a quarterback as Freeman, posting a 78.6 quarterback rating to Freeman’s 78.4.

One thing to remember: If the Vikings defense would have stopped the Bears in Week 2 and the Browns in Week 3 from scoring with under a minute left in each game, Ponder would still be the starting quarterback.


• Headline in the New York Post: “Monday night misery: Giants-Vikings combine for 1-10.” … ESPN owned the rights to the Giants-Vikings game and WCCO bought the local rights to carry the game. … One reason the Giants are 0-6 is they have 23 turnovers in six games, compared to 22 all last season. … The Giants are 24th in total defense (391.3 yards allowed per game) and the Vikings are 31st (418). However, four of the Giants’ six games have been on the road.

• One surprising thing about the Vikings’ loss to the Panthers on Sunday was that Joe Webb, the former quarterback now lining up at wide receiver, saw more snaps than first-round draft pick Cordarrelle Patterson.

• The Gophers men’s basketball team hosted alumni players at a scrimmage last week. Present was DeLaSalle recruit Reid Travis with his entire family. The fact that Gophers assistant coach Ben Johnson was a former DeLaSalle star might help the Gophers in recruiting Travis.

• St. Louis Park native and great New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently won the Senior Club Championship at Cypress Point Golf Club in Pebble Beach, Calif.

• Former Vikings coach Brad Childress is back working with Andy Reid as a spread game analyst and has helped the Kansas City Chiefs get off to a 6-0 start. They are one of only two unbeaten teams left in the NFL, along with the Broncos.


Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m.

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