Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Ponder's goal: 75 percent completion percentage on first and second down

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin Updated: August 15, 2012 - 5:41 PM

MANKATO -- In completing only 3 of 6 passes on first and second down in Friday night's preseason-opening loss at San Francisco, quarterback Christian Ponder and the first-team offense -- sans Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson -- fell short of a key goal that Ponder says the team is shooting for in 2012.

"We want 75 percent completions on first and second downs," Ponder said today after the Vikings' last practice in Mankato this year. "That's the number we're shooting for. Obviously, we were in a lot of third-and-long situations a year ago, and we want to get out of that."

Ponder completed three of his first four attempts on first and second down in Friday's 17-6 loss. They went for 72 yards and three first downs and helped the Vikings kick a pair of field goals. He said it's a tough balance trying to be efficient yet explosive on first and second down. His first pass on one of those downs on Friday was a 52-yard deep ball to Stephen Burton.

"You want to make big plays and sometimes you have to take risks," Ponder said. "But you don't want to take too big a risk. You have to be efficient with the ball. We still need to force the ball downfield. If you don't throw the ball downfield, you're not going to get the shorter routes open. You have to find a balance somehow."

Good-bye Mankato: Ponder was asked what he learned about the team during its 15 practices over 21 days in Mankato. The Vikings have a walk-through Thursday morning before returning to the Twin Cities. Thursday's walk-through isn't open to the public.

"I think we're going to be a hard-nosed football team," he said. "We can run the ball, but we're also working on our no-huddle stuff. So we can jump into our no-huddle and pick up the pace. But we want to keep the ball in our hands and eat up as much clock as possible. I think this whole offense is very versatile. We can do a lot of different things. That's the exciting part."

Would you take 8-8?: Ponder was asked if he'd take an 8-8 record right now. "Would I take 8-8 right now? If 8-8 would take us to the playoffs," he said. "We want to make the playoffs. I don't know if 8-8 will do it in our division. So obviously the main goal is to go 16-0. So I don't know. Whatever takes us to the playoffs."

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 FINAL
Seattle 4
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 FINAL
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 FINAL
Colorado 3
Univ of Minnesota 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Minnesota 2
New York 37 2nd Qtr 2:27
Indiana 56
Phoenix 40 2nd Qtr 0:32
Orlando 52
Cleveland 28 1st Qtr 0:04
Toronto 25
Utah 19 2nd Qtr
Boston 18
Charlotte 35 1st Qtr 0:34
Brooklyn 15
Denver 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Detroit 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Miami
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Memphis 7:00 PM
Houston
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 1 1st Prd 10:22
Winnipeg 0
NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Detroit
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 63 2nd Half 1:03
UNC-Asheville 73
Ohio State 70 2nd Half 2:11
Penn State 60
Maine 25 2nd Half 20:00
Albany 46
Duquesne 38 2nd Half
Fordham 35
George Washington 29 2nd Half
George Mason 32
Tennessee 38 2nd Half 16:53
LSU 38
Notre Dame 42 2nd Half 17:55
Louisville 35
SE Missouri St 42 2nd Half 16:16
Morehead State 42
St Francis-PA 29 2nd Half
Mount St Marys 24
Hartford 23 2nd Half
New Hampshire 32
Wagner 28 2nd Half
Robert Morris 39
Long Island 27 2nd Half 18:10
St Francis-NY 38
La Salle 23 2nd Half
Saint Josephs 24
Providence 29 2nd Half
Seton Hall 37
UCF 23 2nd Half
South Florida 43
Binghamton 25 2nd Half 18:43
Stony Brook 25
UMBC 16 2nd Half
Vermont 32
Sacred Heart 38 2nd Half
Bryant 30
Richmond 27 1st Half 4:55
Massachusetts 21
Wake Forest 7:00 PM
Duke
Purdue 7:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
St Bonaventure 7:00 PM
Saint Louis
New Mexico St 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Houston 2 1st Half 18:25
Tulane 0
Howard 7:00 PM
NJIT
SIU Edwardsville 8:00 PM
Eastern Ill
St Johns 8:00 PM
Marquette
TCU 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Cincinnati 8:00 PM
Tulsa
USC 8:00 PM
UCLA
Miss State 8:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Air Force 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nebraska 9:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:00 PM
San Jose St
San Diego St 10:00 PM
UNLV
Oregon 10:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Santa Barbara 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 55 FINAL
St Bonaventure 49
Auburn 71 FINAL
Florida 49
Penn State 63 FINAL
Indiana 68
Clemson 44 2nd Half 8:32
Georgia Tech 59
Davidson 35 2nd Half 15:15
La Salle 44
Loyola-Maryland 25 2nd Half 19:22
Lafayette 29
Boston U 28 2nd Half 16:18
Colgate 32
Coll of Charleston 32 2nd Half
James Madison 58
Delaware 37 2nd Half
Elon 32
Drexel 29 2nd Half 16:39
Northeastern 22
Hofstra 36 2nd Half
UNC-Wilmington 38
Towson 28 2nd Half 18:13
William & Mary 40
Miami-Ohio 30 2nd Half 20:00
Akron 36
Ball State 37 2nd Half
Central Michigan 32
Buffalo 22 2nd Half
Bowling Green 22
Western Mich 27 2nd Half
Eastern Michigan 32
Ohio U 34 2nd Half 19:37
Kent State 24
Youngstown St 42 2nd Half 19:08
Cleveland State 34
Illinois-Chicago 15 2nd Half 20:00
Wright State 44
Alabama 11 1st Half 10:00
Vanderbilt 22
Detroit 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Purdue 7:25 PM
Wisconsin
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT