Simpson: 'I was terrible' three drops, one receiving yard)

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 25, 2012 - 10:33 PM

The wide receiver's dismal day made for an even more forgettable first season with the Vikings.

hide

Michael Jenkins tried to console fellow Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson as the clock ran out in the fourth quarter. Simpson has only 12 receptions this season with no touchdowns.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

CHICAGO - Yes, Christian Ponder had another bad outing in a game the Vikings lost.

Yes, he talked -- again -- about his tendency to "hold the ball too long" and how his latest interception -- his ninth of the season -- is a reminder that he needs to learn "not to force the ball downfield."

And, yes, he also talked about having thick skin; being his own worst critic; needing to stay in the pocket; not making enough plays and, of course, "not giving the fans much to cheer about."

But Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field goes beyond Ponder's 51.2 completion percentage, 159 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a miserable 58.2 passer rating that was his third-worst mark of the season.

Ponder needed more help. He needed receivers not to drop the ball.

That's essentially what sullen receiver Jerome Simpson said barely above a whisper in the losing locker room.

"It wasn't the offense, it was me," said Simpson, who had three of what was at least five dropped passes by the Vikings on Sunday. "I was terrible. I didn't make the plays I was supposed to. I just let the team down."

Simpson's first drop came on third-and-4 at the Chicago 22-yard line with 12 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first quarter. The Vikings had just taken possession of the ball at the Bears 28 when linebacker Chad Greenway recovered a Matt Forte fumble on Chicago's first offensive snap.

Ponder threw the perfect slant pass, but it went through Simpson's hands and fell incomplete.

"I'm pretty sure it could have been a different game if I catch that ball," Simpson said. "You're trying to get first downs, so it makes a difference."

Simpson would have gotten at least a first down. At best, he could have scored. Instead, the Vikings settled for a 40-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead after moving the ball only 6 yards in three plays.

Simpson's other drops came late in the third quarter on a drive that ended on downs at the Chicago 8 early in the fourth quarter. Overall, Simpson caught just one of five balls thrown his way for 1 yard.

That's hardly the help Ponder was expecting when the Vikings signed Simpson to a one-year free-agent deal this past offseason. Simpson came in as a potential No. 1 receiver with tremendous upside. Now, with just 12 catches for 138 yards, no touchdowns, three games missed because of a suspension and another missed because of a leg injury, he could be looking at the final five weeks of his Vikings career.

Ponder tried to take the blame for the drops, which also included one by tight end John Carlson and one by receiver Stephen Burton. He also said he's not ready to give up on Simpson.

"Jerome is a heck of a player," Ponder said. "Obviously, we've seen him do tremendous things. I have to keep trying to get the ball to him and let him make plays. He is going to have a huge impact on this team, and we're going to keep coming to him."

Simpson said he's not giving up either.

"I'm frustrated because we lost and the game that I had," he said. "I don't think I've ever had this many drops in a game before. I just got to focus. I always find a way to refocus."

Clearly, coach Leslie Frazier expects Simpson to refocus ASAP.

"That's why you're a wide receiver in the NFL," he said. "You've got to catch the ball."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
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 Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close