Hartman: Other receiver stats show Harvin's value

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 2, 2012 - 7:53 PM

A look at statistics shows that his presence helps the other wideouts and that they do poorly without him.


Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

When Percy Harvin went down against the Seattle Seahawks because of an ankle sprain, sidelining him for four weeks so far and forcing him to miss the Vikings' past three games, it did more than take away the team's primary option at wide receiver. It also showcased how his productivity was the main reason other Vikings wide receivers were able to accumulate any stats at all, and their failure might account for the team's 23-14 loss to the Packers on Sunday and their loss in Chicago last week.

Harvin was responsible for more than 50 percent of receptions by Vikings wide receivers when he went down, with 62 receptions for 677 yards and three touchdowns.

And if you take a look at the numbers for the rest of the team's wide receivers in their past three games without Harvin, it becomes painfully apparent how important he was to getting the rest of the receivers going -- especially in the cases of Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu, the Vikings' two leading wide receivers behind Harvin when he went down.

Jenkins had 26 receptions for 295 yards and a touchdown when Harvin was injured; since then he has four receptions for 29 yards with no touchdowns in three games.

Aromashodu had 10 receptions for 151 yards when Harvin went down; since then, one reception for 31 yards.

The one wide receiver whose production hasn't risen and fallen depending on Harvin's participation has been Jerome Simpson, who has been disappointing. He had eight receptions for 84 yards in five games before Harvin went down and has six receptions for 54 yards in the past three without him.

The Vikings' leading wide receiver since Harvin went out is Jarius Wright, a rookie who only got a shot to play because Harvin was injured. Perhaps because the other receivers have been so locked down by opponents' top cornerbacks, Wright has 11 receptions for 127 yards and one touchdown in the past three games -- the first three games of his career.

But the team's wide receiver corps might have finally bottomed out against Green Bay on Sunday. It was so bad that late in the game the Fox announcers pointed out that the Vikings were on the verge of doing something that hadn't been accomplished in 10 years in the NFL -- going an entire game without having a wide receiver catch a pass. The last time it happened was Dec. 8, 2002, when the expansion Houston Texans defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-6 with three defensive touchdowns. With under three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Simpson finally caught a pass for the wide receivers, but that doesn't take away from how ugly the receiving game has gotten without Harvin.

Had great receivers

When the Vikings had receivers such as Cris Carter, Jake Reed and Randy Moss, they won a lot of games.

When they had Sidney Rice, Harvin and Bernard Berrian in 2009 they nearly won the NFC championship.

But it's a different story now. The Vikings wound up catching three more passes following the Simpson catch in the fourth quarter, but like last week, when Simpson dropped three passes and other wide receivers couldn't make plays, the position remains a big problem for the Vikings.

Interceptions hurt

Sure, you have to give quarterback Christian Ponder blame for missing receivers on some throws and, most important, for the two interceptions that led to scores for the Packers.

After the Packers' second-half kickoff went out of bounds and the Vikings started play at their own 40-yard line, Adrian Peterson took a handoff 48 yards to the Packers 12-yard line, but after another Peterson run that made it second-and-6, the Vikings had Ponder throw a pass, and it was intercepted by Morgan Burnett in the end zone. The score could have been 21-10 if the Vikings had scored. Instead the Packers drove and kicked a field goal, making it 14-13.

The Packers and Burnett got Ponder again when the Vikings were in good field position at the Green Bay 25 late in the third quarter with the score 20-14, picking off a pass intended for Kyle Rudolph. The Packers took the ball and drove 73 yards on 18 plays over 11 minutes and kicked a field goal. If the Vikings hadn't turned the ball over and allowed the Packers to score those six points, it's a much different game.

But like the TV announcers, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, said, the Vikings lost the game because of the lack of capable receivers and because of turnovers.

Rice wins for Seattle

It was interesting that while the Vikings receivers were doing nothing, Rice, the former Vikings wide receiver who was great in 2009 when they reached the NFC Championship Game, caught the winning touchdown pass in overtime in Seattle's win over the Bears.

Peterson dynamic

From a rushing point, Peterson had another great day with a 82-yard touchdown run, the fourth-longest in Vikings history, and he accounted for 210 of the Vikings' 240 yards -- his third 200-yard rushing game in his amazing career, and first since his rookie season.

Speaking of rushing, the Packers chalked up their first rushing touchdown in almost two months when James Starks scored to help seal their sixth consecutive victory over the Vikings.

Yes, it's hard to understand the NFL and what transpires week to week.

Last week Packers MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a quarterback rating of 81.9, completed 14 of 25 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown and one interception while getting sacked five times and losing 27 yards in the Packers' 38-10 loss to the Giants. But on Sunday Rodgers had a quarterback rating of 98.0, completed 27 of 35 passes for 286 yards, was sacked twice for only 3 yards lost and again had one interception.

A week ago the Packers gave up 390 yards. This week the Vikings gained 240 just in rushing but totaled only 359 even though they should have been able to throw against a weak Packers secondary that was allowing 244 yards per game.

There's no question that the Vikings will never be in a better position to beat the Packers, who had their two best defensive players in Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews out of the game and who lost their second-best receiver, Jordy Nelson, and starting right tackle, T.J. Lang, in the first half. Lang's absence left the Packers to play undrafted rookie Don Barclay much of the game.

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. • shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



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




question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question