Really, wide receivers were on the field

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 3, 2012 - 6:35 AM

Vikings didn't complete a pass to their pass-catching specialists until the final three minutes.

hide

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder tried — unsuccessfully — to dump a pass to wide receiver Jarius Wright in the third quarter.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

GREEN BAY, WIS. - If you're trying to remember the last time you saw an NFL team go more than 57 minutes without one measly completion to a wide receiver, well, you're not alone.

"I'm nine years in and I've never really seen it," said receiver Michael Jenkins, who was targeted three times but didn't have a catch in Sunday's 23-14 loss at Lambeau Field.

"We have to find a way to fix it. And if we want to make the playoffs, we have to fix it fast."

Fixing it soon most likely depends on Mother Nature's ability to heal Percy Harvin's sprained left ankle in time for Sunday's game against the Bears at Mall of America Field.

Harvin led the NFL in receptions (62) at the time of his injury but missed his third consecutive game on Sunday.

After a feel-good win at home against the Lions, the Vikings have lost consecutive road games against the Bears and Packers. The wide receivers have caught a total of 13 passes for 105 yards in those two games, including three for 38 against Green Bay -- all in the final 2 minutes, 43 seconds.

The Packers played a lot of man coverage, daring second-year quarterback Christian Ponder to throw the ball to his undermanned receiving corps rather than keep handing off to Adrian Peterson, who was gashing Green Bay for 210 yards rushing.

"You'd think you'd be able to do anything you want [in the passing game] with a guy rushing like that week in and week out," Jenkins said. "But it just hasn't materialized for whatever reason. I don't know if we have to narrow down the pass offense or what."

Receivers weren't pointing fingers at Ponder, who had only five completions -- all in one first-half drive -- until less than 3 1/2 minutes remained. But the frustration with the overall lack of production from the wide receivers was evident.

"I mean, I don't want to make it sound bad," said rookie receiver Jarius Wright. "But never in my life have I been part of something like this."

Nearby, receiver Devin Aromashodu was asked how the team can fix the passing game for the receivers.

"I guess you have to do the obvious thing, which is to throw it a little more," said Aromashodu, who was targeted once and didn't catch a pass.

"I guess we maybe should take [advantage] of the opportunities. We tried to get the receivers involved. But it just didn't work out today."

During the first 57 minutes, Ponder targeted wide receivers seven times with no completions.

In the final three minutes, he targeted them six times, completing two for 25 yards to Jerome Simpson and one to Wright for 13 yards on the final play.

None of Ponder's deep passing attempts came close to being completed.

By the end of the game, the Vikings had resorted to sending Peterson and backup running back Toby Gerhart on deep routes. The only positive yardage from that came when Gerhart drew a penalty for unnecessary roughness.

"With all the man [defense the Packers] played, we really felt going into the ballgame that we'd be able to exploit some of the things they were doing," coach Leslie Frazier said.

"Obviously we didn't take advantage. We have to determine why because it'll be the same way next week."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
UNLV 61 FINAL
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
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

 
Close