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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Vikings welcome receivers back to the NFL

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Lions, NFC, Packers, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin Updated: October 28, 2011 - 8:56 AM

Even without Percy Harvin (ribs) for half the game and Bernard Berrian (arrogance) for the entire game, the Vikings' wide receivers were targeted 19 times, catching eight passes for 174 yards, a 21.8-yard average and a touchdown in last week's loss to the Packers.

Michael Jenkins' 100-yard game also left the Buccaneers and Browns as the only teams in the league without a 100-yard receiver this season.

In other words, now that Christian Ponder is starting, it's apparently time to welcome the wide receivers -- as thin as they are -- back to the NFL. In one game, Ponder's yardage to receivers and average per completion were better than anything Donovan McNabb did in the five games that he played all four quarters. And Ponder's 9.2 average per attempt was second to McNabb's 9.5 in the win over the Cardinals.

How do the wide receiver numbers under Ponder compare overall to the numbers posted in the four games that Donovan McNabb played all four quarters? Glad you asked.

Ponder's passing stats to the wide receivers:

  • Packers: 19 targets, 8 catches, 174 yards, 21.8 average per completion, 9.2 per attempt, 1 TD.

McNabb's passing stats to the wide receivers:

  • Chargers: 9 targets, 5 catches, 33 yards, 6.6 average per completion, 3.7 per attempt, 1 TD.
  • Bucs: 17 targets, 11 catches, 122 yards, 11.1 average per completion, 7.1 per attempt, 0 TD.
  • Lions: 22 targets, 13 catches, 140 yards, 10.8 average per completion, 6.4 per attempt, 0 TD.
  • Chiefs: 16 targets, 8 catches, 97 yards, 12.1 average per completion, 6.1 per attempt, 2 TDs.
  • Cardinals: 13 targets, 7 catches, 124 yards, 17.7 average per completion, 9.5 per attempt, 0 TDs.




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