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.


Go Figure: Christian Ponder currently NFL's best QB (in one category)

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Lions, NFC, Packers, Super Bowl, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: September 18, 2012 - 10:42 AM

As the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s Week 3 game with San Francisco at Mall of America Field, here’s a look at a handful of eye-opening figures and facts.

75.8

Christian Ponder’s completion percentage through his first two games, tops of all NFL quarterbacks. Ponder is 47-for-62 for 515 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions so far. His quarterback rating of 110.6 ranks sixth in the NFL. Now he’ll face a sturdy San Francisco defense that’s allowing 310 total yards per game and has held Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford to a combined 87.2 passer rating.

33.9

Percentage of Christian Ponder’s passes this season that have gone toward Percy Harvin. Harvin has caught 18 of the 21 balls thrown his way and currently ranks second in the NFL in catches and 10th in receiving yards (188). Ten of Harvin’s receptions have gone for first downs. Tight end Kyle Rudolph has had the second most passes thrown his way, targeted 12 times in two games.

0

Catches made by John Carlson through the first two weeks of the season. Carlson wasn’t even targeted in Sunday’s loss in Indianapolis and had just one pass thrown his way in the season opener against Jacksonville. Said coach Leslie Frazier: “We do want to make him a little more of a focal point. We have some things. [The Colts] took them away from him but we'll keep exploring. We think he has potential to really be an explosive player for us in the offense.”

5

Catches made by Randy Moss through the first two weeks. Moss’ biggest highlight was the 14-yard touchdown catch he had in a 30-22 season opening win over Green Bay. Against Detroit in Week 2, he had just one grab for 14 yards. The last time Moss had more than 100 receiving yards in a game was in Week 10 of 2009 when he had nine catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns while with New England. In his 25 games since, with four different teams, he has averaged 2.3 catches and 33.1 yards per outing.

13

Points scored by the Vikings in the first half of their first two games. They’ve had nine full possessions – not counting Sunday’s kneel down with 7 seconds before halftime – and those have resulted in just one touchdown, two field goals, five punts and a fumble. The Vikings’ average first-half drive has been for six plays and 25 yards.

33

Points scored by the Vikings after halftime in the first two games. They’ve had 13 possessions and those have resulted in three touchdowns, four field goals, four punts, a fumble and Sunday’s game-ending drive. The Vikings’ average second-half drive has been for six plays and 34 yards.

127

Rushing yards per game allowed by the 49ers in their first two wins over Green Bay and Detroit, sixth best in the NFL. The Packers and Lions combined to average 3.2 yards per attempt. The Vikings meanwhile are averaging 109 rushing yards per game and 4.0 yards per attempt.

167

Rushing yards per game gained by the 49ers in Weeks 1 and 2, tops in the NFC and third best in the NFL. Eighth-year veteran Frank Gore is averaging 6.1 yards per attempt and has totaled 201 rushing yards so far. The Vikings currently rank 12.5 in the NFL against the run with opponents averaging 98.5 yards per game.

18-22

The 49ers’ record in the 40 games that Mike Singletary was their head coach, from early in 2008 until late in 2010. San Francisco’s patience really began to wear thin with Singletary following an 0-5 start at the beginning of the 2010 season

17-4

The 49ers’ record, including postseason, since Singletary was fired. Jim Harbaugh was hired as San Francisco’s new head coach on Jan. 7, 2011. In his first season, he led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and an NFC West division title, added a thrilling playoff victory over New Orleans and had San Francisco within a whisker of going to the Super Bowl, before they fell 20-17 in overtime to the Giants.

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