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Ponder-iffic or Ponder-errible? the 2013 Pre-Season Debate.
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SteelKing728


Joined: 23 Aug 2008
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Location: Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

disaacs wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
but if he's already calling him a career backup, before the two biggest busts in NFL History were even considered backups/cut from the league, wouldn't that technically make him the worst of all time?




What you said there makes absolutely no sense. Maybe I'm not connecting the dots. Because last I checked, Ryan Leaf has been out of the league for years...and he's unquestionably the biggest bust of all-time. And even then that doesn't make him the worst QB of all-time...that could go to Spergon Wynn.

There's no doubt about that you took what he wrote to say something that he did not state.


I asked a question. I didn't really say anything.

but it looks like I already have my answer...
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twslhs20


Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelKing728 wrote:
I asked a question. I didn't really say anything.

but it looks like I already have my answer...


What is the difference between wort of all time and career back up? Nothing. They both don't achieve the ultimate goal, and that's winning a championship. The difference is simply in degree.
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milanb


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelKing728 wrote:


but if he's already calling him a career backup, before the two biggest busts in NFL History were even considered backups/cut from the league, wouldn't that technically make him the worst of all time?


You misunderstand me.

There's a difference between saying "Ponder is the worst of all time" and saying "Ponder doesn't have the talent you need to be a long-term starter at the NFL level".

I agree that two years into a QB's career is generally too soon to be calling a guy a "bust", providing the arm and the mental toughness are basically there. But in this case they're not.

Ponder was only 7/34 on pass attempts over 20 air yards last year, and from what I could see watching the games the vast majority of those incomplete passes were not close. He wasn't missing by inches, he was missing by yards, and almost everything was badly underthrown.
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SteelKing728


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay, I won't disagree about the downfield passing, because, regardless of who he's throwing to, he still needs to get the ball to those guys. Point blank, if he doesn't improve on this part of his game, at best he'll never be considered anything more than average. The great ones are able to get the ball all over the field, wherever that may be. Ponder has yet to prove this.

but I won't put all the blame on him, allthough he plays a critical part to this problem. Better receivers help out their QBs tremendously, who can adjust to poorly thrown passes. Harvin, Jenkins and Aromashadu? Eh, not so much.

And then consider the Oline. Matt Kalil was a rookie LT who played very good, but still had his troubles, Charlie Johnson moved back to his natural LG spot, but still is just average, and Brandon Fusco was splitting time with Schwartz at RG. Although our Oline wasn't bad last year, there were still plenty of times where you could see it just breaking apart. With everyone now a full year under the belts starting together, I'd expect to see much improved Oline play.

and coaching does play a role in this. Over the last few games, our offense really started to click, and you could see that Ponder just looked more comfortable in the game and was making all the neccesary throws and then some. Musgrave needs to continue to grow as a coach and put his players in a good position.

This year, there isn't an excuse for Ponder. If he doesn't show up, and we have games where Peterson is dominating, and Ponder can barely make a 10 yard completion like the Seattle game, then yes, we should worry. However, I feel like the pieces are there for him to succeed. He just needs to take the next step and deliver. We have a strong playoff caliber team. He needs to take us there though, and not rely purely on his Runningback so much.
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twslhs20


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelKing728 wrote:
And then consider the Oline. Matt Kalil was a rookie LT who played very good, but still had his trouble


what troubles were those?
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SteelKing728


Joined: 23 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twslhs20 wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
And then consider the Oline. Matt Kalil was a rookie LT who played very good, but still had his trouble


what troubles were those?


There were quite a few times he got beat last year, but Ponder was able to avoid the pressure and either move out of the pocket or scramble.

But I mean, that happens to every LT. Point is, he was a rookie last year, and he definitely had his moments.
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PaulWall_23


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelKing728 wrote:
twslhs20 wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
And then consider the Oline. Matt Kalil was a rookie LT who played very good, but still had his trouble


what troubles were those?


There were quite a few times he got beat last year, but Ponder was able to avoid the pressure and either move out of the pocket or scramble.

But I mean, that happens to every LT. Point is, he was a rookie last year, and he definitely had his moments.


Lol your kidding right? You could argue after last season that Kalil was a top 5 LT.
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french t0ast


Joined: 20 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulWall_23 wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
twslhs20 wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
And then consider the Oline. Matt Kalil was a rookie LT who played very good, but still had his trouble


what troubles were those?


There were quite a few times he got beat last year, but Ponder was able to avoid the pressure and either move out of the pocket or scramble.

But I mean, that happens to every LT. Point is, he was a rookie last year, and he definitely had his moments.


Lol your kidding right? You could argue after last season that Kalil was a top 5 LT.


He was definitly a top 5 LT, the man allowed only 23 pressures on his 583 pass block attempts!
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twslhs20


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelKing728 wrote:
twslhs20 wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
And then consider the Oline. Matt Kalil was a rookie LT who played very good, but still had his trouble


what troubles were those?


There were quite a few times he got beat last year, but Ponder was able to avoid the pressure and either move out of the pocket or scramble.

But I mean, that happens to every LT. Point is, he was a rookie last year, and he definitely had his moments.



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Krauser


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

milanb wrote:
Krauser wrote:


Again, the Vikings 50/50 run/pass balance meant they had the 5th highest percentage of running plays in the league and 5th fewest passing plays in the league. Balanced, but run-heavy compared to the modern NFL.

Yes, Ponder's YPA was brutal, and the downfield passing attack was anemic, but they were 31st in the league in part because they didn't throw as much as most other teams.


Are you arguing that the Vikings running game somehow hurt the Vikings downfield passing attack?

Because that sounds like what you're saying.


I meant they were 31st in the league in total passing yards in part because they didn't pass as much as most other teams. Sorry that wasn't clear, they were also 31st in the league in YPA, which is probably what you thought I was referring to.

Running the ball well didn't hurt their downfield passing efficiency (comp %, YPA), that was terrible all by its own self. Much of that is on Ponder; in my opinion, some of it is on the WR corps.

Some of it is also on the situation and the game plan: the Vikings got and maintained big leads in 7-8 of their wins (the home win vs Det was close in the 2nd half but they led wire to wire, vs Jags and vs GB were neck and neck to the wire).

Ponder's YPA and other passing stats dropped off a cliff when the team was leading, as I posted a couple of pages back. He was probably under strict instructions from Musgrave to take the checkdowns and throwaways and play keepaway. It worked: they were never caught (even tied briefly) with a 7+ point lead until Rodgers' 2nd half rally in week 17, picking on Sherels and AJ Jefferson when Winfield went out.

Meanwhile, Ponder's passing efficiency numbers, including YPA, were better when the team was tied (especially) or trailing, in other words when it was worth taking more of a risk in pushing the ball downfield. But that was barely half of the year, because they led so early so often.

The team's injury history also had a noticeable effect on Ponder's numbers. By week 6-7, AP got up to full speed and the team stopped limiting his carries (Gerhart didn't have a multicarry game after the win against the Titans, except for StL and Hou near the end of the year when AP had the abdominal injury). And in week 9, Harvin went down with the ankle injury and ended up on IR.

I'm too lazy to do the whole thing game by game but consider this difference:

weeks 1-8 (with Harvin, with AP often limited): 171 for 262 (65.5%) for 1743 (YPA 6.7), 10/7. PR: 85.8
weeks 9-16 (without Harvin, with AP unstoppable): 129 / 221 (58.4%) for 1192 (YPA 5.4), 8/5, PR 75.8

That's 550 fewer yards on 40 fewer attempts for 2 fewer TDs, a big drop off.

If Ponder had instead maintained the same pace in the second half of the season (which would have meant Harvin not getting injured, and AP having fewer touches -- Peterson had 30% more carries in the 2nd half of the season than the 1st, meaning the offense got more run-heavy late in the year) as he did in the first half of the year, you get these numbers:
342 for 524 (65%) for 3486 (YPA 6.7), 20/14, PR 85.8

That YPA would be 27th, just behind Bradford. Total yards would be 18th, just behind Rivers. Passer rating would be 16th, just behind Newton.

Still hardly a great year, but considerably better.

Yes, a big part of those numbers would have been due to Harvin, particularly his YAC abilities. Double Harvin's numbers in games 1-8 (same hypothetical situation as Ponder above) and you get this eyepopping line: 120 catches on 158 targets for 1334 yards (8.4 YPT), 6 TDs.

But the debate about where Ponder's numbers (total yards or YPA or AY/A or QBR or WTH) fit in with the league in his 2nd year, or with other QBs historically, would look more favorable to him.
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milanb


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must confess that I still don't understand the "fewer pass attempts" argument. If you're 31st in team passing yards and 31st in yards/attempt, then adjusting for the number of pass attempts changes nothing.

I don't disagree that Ponder's stats would have been better if Percy hadn't gotten hurt, but the flip side of that argument is that Percy got hurt on a running play. If, as people keep arguing, Ponder does have this great arm and the downfield receivers were so terrible, why was Ponder's most dangerous receiver getting so many touches on kick returns and gadget plays (where he stood a very good chance of getting hurt) instead of taking advantage of the single coverage created by Adrian Peterson and running a lot more e.g. posts or slant-and-go routes?

The fact of the matter is that Ponder's own coaching staff didn't trust him to throw the ball more than a few yards down the field. The entire offence was designed around the running game of Adrian Peterson and a passing game that asked Ponder to do little more than throw the ball to his playmakers a few yards away and have them generate YAC. And this his borne out statistically:
  • Ponder's splits are the most telling stats because they show graphically how Ponder feasted on a lot of easy underneath passes, but his numbers fell off a cliff on pass attempts longer than 10 yards. He had a passer rating of 93.7 on pass attempts of 10 air yards or less and 49.4 on pass attempts longer than 10 yards.
  • The Vikings led the league in rushing yardage by non-quarterbacks, which means that Ponder got more support from his running game than any other QB in the NFL. The statistics don't even tell the whole story because no other RB draws as much safety help as Adrian Peterson. For a bootleg/play action QB like Ponder it doesn't get better than this. Ever.
  • Ponder also got more YAC support than any other QB in the NFL. He was dead last in the NFL in air yards per attempt (2.7) and he had 55.5% of his passing yardage come in the form of YAC, the highest ratio in the league.

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Last edited by milanb on Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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SteelKing728


Joined: 23 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulWall_23 wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
twslhs20 wrote:
SteelKing728 wrote:
And then consider the Oline. Matt Kalil was a rookie LT who played very good, but still had his trouble


what troubles were those?


There were quite a few times he got beat last year, but Ponder was able to avoid the pressure and either move out of the pocket or scramble.

But I mean, that happens to every LT. Point is, he was a rookie last year, and he definitely had his moments.


Lol your kidding right? You could argue after last season that Kalil was a top 5 LT.


Um, I never said he was a bad player, or anything of that sort. I just said he had his moments, just like every rookie in the league.

but anyways, my point is he should only get better. I'm excited to see how good our Oline can be.

all of which should tremendously help Ponder out.
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CriminalMind


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which is easier to believe?

Coaching staff asked Ponder to not pass +10 yards with a high frequency?
Harvin is a poor pass catcher +10 yards?

I simply didnt understand the Harvin gadget plays around the LOS, when the defense is already stacking the box for AP. Its completely counter-productive. I understand that Harvin is the best when the ball is in his hands, but that doesnt mean you have to force it to him on 0 yard throws quickly like we did.

I lean with the 1st question as being more true (more believable).

The fact that Harvin is not on this team anymore, means that our 0 yard throws should drop dramatically (hopefully), and naturally there should be an increase in the +10 yards passes (irregardless if AP is running like a machine, and we have leads thru a fair amount of the games)
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VikesGuy07


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CriminalMind wrote:
Which is easier to believe?

Coaching staff asked Ponder to not pass +10 yards with a high frequency?
Harvin is a poor pass catcher +10 yards?

I simply didnt understand the Harvin gadget plays around the LOS, when the defense is already stacking the box for AP. Its completely counter-productive. I understand that Harvin is the best when the ball is in his hands, but that doesnt mean you have to force it to him on 0 yard throws quickly like we did.

I lean with the 1st question as being more true (more believable).

The fact that Harvin is not on this team anymore, means that our 0 yard throws should drop dramatically (hopefully), and naturally there should be an increase in the +10 yards passes (irregardless if AP is running like a machine, and we have leads thru a fair amount of the games)


Harvin's never been particularly effective down the field. The only time he was really an intermediate-to-deep threat was as a rookie, with Favre - who, of course, would throw it to him double-covered over the middle, and Percy would come down with it but take a huge hit.

Harvin can make those catches, but he was never really open for them. Which means in order to complete them, you need a QB with A) Fearlessness/recklessness, and B) Pinpoint accuracy. Ponder, for better or worse, has not displayed either of those qualities, so getting the ball to Percy down the field was unlikely to happen.

Honestly, I was most frustrated in 2012 by the lack of an intermediate passing game. All the best QBs can hit a WR 12-15 yards down field, either on some sort of crossing pattern or simply finding a soft spot in a zone defense. And aside from Favre in 2010, the Vikings' offense has been unable to consistently use that part of the field. It's been all 5-7 yard comebacks, quick slants, screens, or bombs down the sideline. Rarely are passes being completed in between.
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vikesnewcoach11


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

twslhs20 wrote:
^^ final 3 games. Not 4. Ponder was a non factor in both Chicago games.


Well when he hits his WR in the hands with a deep ball and he drops it thats on the WR....not Ponder. I feel like you wouldnt be saying he was a non-factor is that was a completion.

I also just noticed that Cutler's QBR was an 81.3 and Staffords was a 79.8. Ponder was an 81.2. He was .1 away from having the second best QBR in this division. I know its tough to look into QBR but many people think Stafford is a good QB because he racks up so many yards. Cutler does the same but funny thing is....they just cant win.

To be honest, I would much rather have a QB that is a game manager and limits his turnovers rather than a guy that throws for a ton of yards but turns the ball over and cant win. Ponder had a better TD:INT ratio than both Cutler and Stafford. You also have to remember that we are a run first team. CHI and DET arent. Thats another reason why they have so many yards.

It really bothers me to see people rip Ponder because everyone is so worried about stats and the numbers he puts up. Ponder doesnt need to throw for 4000 yards and probably never will with 28 in the backfield.

Was he inconsistent at points? Yes but I think consistency will come with better WR's. If people think he's going to light the lamp with numbers....keep dreaming. We dont need him to do that in order to win games.
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