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Christian Ponder sets an unreachable statistical goal for himself

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It’s good to have high goals. But Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has set a statistical goal for himself that there’s no way he’ll reach.

Ponder’s goal is a completion rate of 75 percent this season on first and second downs. That’s a benchmark that even the most accurate quarterback in NFL history can’t match, but that’s what Ponder wants.

We want 75 percent completions on first and second downs,” Ponder told the Star-Tribune. “That’s the number we’re shooting for. Obviously, we were in a lot of third-and-long situations a year ago, and we want to get out of that.”

Last year Ponder had an overall completion rate of 54.3 percent, including 50.9 percent on first down and 56.8 percent on second down. How likely is it that Ponder will complete 75 percent of his passes on first and second down this season? Consider this: Last year Saints quarterback Drew Brees set a new record for the highest completion percentage in NFL history. Brees’s completion rate was 71.2 percent overall, including 73.1 percent on first down and 70.4 percent on second down. Does anyone really believe Ponder is going to be more accurate this year than Brees was last year?

If Ponder’s completion percentage gets above 60 this year that would be a great sign that he’s progressing as a quarterback, and if he gets near 70 it would be amazing. If he reaches 75, he must be sidelined for the season and doing it while playing video games. On an NFL field, Ponder’s goal is not realistic.

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44 Responses to “Christian Ponder sets an unreachable statistical goal for himself”
  1. kcchiefsfandave says: Aug 16, 2012 6:55 AM

    Maybe if the Vikes run two yard dump offs every first and second down…

  2. tlmoon2112 says: Aug 16, 2012 6:56 AM

    He had a dream that he was still playing for Jimbo Fisher. He just forgot to wake up before he said that to the paper.

  3. iluvbears says: Aug 16, 2012 6:57 AM

    At least he is setting goals that make him strive to be the best. I suppose he could hope for 60% – 65% and be average, but I will take a QB who is trying to be the best any day.

  4. sampulls says: Aug 16, 2012 7:00 AM

    Doesn’t sound like he said it is his goal….more like its a team target. There a difference between the 2.

  5. sosuhme says: Aug 16, 2012 7:13 AM

    When I first read the headline I figured Ponder said something like “I’m going to give 110 percent every game.”

  6. piemasteruk says: Aug 16, 2012 7:35 AM

    Meh, what does it matter. If you speak to Pat Shurmer, he’ll probably tell you that the Browns are aiming to win the Superbowl and that isn’t going to happen either. There is no harm in having lofty targets, unless pursuing that target is in conflict with achieving another, more realistic target.

  7. glowingstone says: Aug 16, 2012 7:41 AM

    While I can’t say I’m a Vikings fan (in fact, I really don’t like them), I can’t for the life of me imagine what’s wrong with setting lofty goals. As sampulls said, it sounds like more of a “target” than a “goal.” If you set goals you know you can meet, your goal is mediocrity.

  8. kelvinmchale says: Aug 16, 2012 7:47 AM

    Unreachable and unrealistic are two very different things.

  9. ninefingers9 says: Aug 16, 2012 7:49 AM

    I hear he has been an interception machine in camp this year…so Im kinda nervous. But love this kids attitude!

  10. raneking22 says: Aug 16, 2012 7:50 AM

    I’ll go one better: I too will complete 75% of my passes on first and second downs AND will not drink any more sip sip.

    Sincerely,

    JaMarcus Russell

    P.s. Screwed up the “no more sip sip” part, but definitely 75% on first and second downs!

  11. chuckyd317 says: Aug 16, 2012 8:12 AM

    He needs to run a screen pass on the first play of the season.. if he completes it… IF… then just hand it off to AP all season and call it a success!!!

  12. titogetmesometissue says: Aug 16, 2012 8:21 AM

    This is ridiculous. How about shooting for at least 6 wins.

    Could there be more preposterous statements coming out of Mankato? Ponder’s going to hit 75% comp on 1st down. Hit AD and get cut. this is embarrassing. Where are the coaches? Why are they not controlling this stuff?

  13. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Aug 16, 2012 8:27 AM

    This is almost as good as when Ticey was the coach!

  14. gatordontplay says: Aug 16, 2012 8:36 AM

    Him taking 75% of the snaps is an unrealistic goal with his injury history.. Just let the African favre\tebow in joe webb start and let him make plays like he always does

  15. fground says: Aug 16, 2012 8:59 AM

    I would suggest such a goal is not healthy because it’s entirely unrealistic. As well, it could easily lead to a QB to afraid to pull the trigger on mid to deep plays and endless check downs for 2 yard gains as well as hanging onto the ball too long looking for the wide open option.

    How about setting a goal that is realistic for a second year QB on a bottom of the league team. Target 60-65% at x yds per play for the first say 5 games of the year…get there – set a new higher standard.

  16. discosucs2005 says: Aug 16, 2012 9:11 AM

    Is he planning on throwing around 10 passes?

  17. scottieplongballs says: Aug 16, 2012 9:12 AM

    Still have a webb believer out there eh. Webb doesn have the NFL skill set to ever be an elite qB in this league. And we all know you need one of those to have a fair shot at a super bowl. Not saying Ponder is elite but, at least he has the tools to develope into a very good QB in the future if he strives for it. Webb is like a Poor mans Tebow. That is disgusting!

  18. gatordontplay says: Aug 16, 2012 9:15 AM

    Favre/tebow

  19. suhdidntstompanyone says: Aug 16, 2012 9:26 AM

    I’m still baffled as to why the Vikings considered him worthy of a 12th overall pick

  20. brewdogg says: Aug 16, 2012 10:04 AM

    suhdidntstompanyone says: Aug 16, 2012 9:26 AM

    I’m still baffled as to why the Vikings considered him worthy of a 12th overall pick
    ———————

    Andre Ware

  21. scottieplongballs says: Aug 16, 2012 10:13 AM

    Lol Gator! That is the most rediculous thing i have ever heard! Yup webb is the a future hall of famer because he had incredible passing skills like farve AND he has the heaven blessed tebow aura. Amazing the rest of the league hasnt figured this out. We must be turn down “Hershell Walker” trades left and right! Hahaha

  22. supermariojosh says: Aug 16, 2012 11:08 AM

    I expected the stat to be winning at least 1 Super Bowl. I’m disappointed.

  23. phinfan says: Aug 16, 2012 11:12 AM

    Pennington could

  24. ezwriter69 says: Aug 16, 2012 11:16 AM

    The Viking have no quarterback, by mid-season, Ponder will be on the bench, he flat cannot play… sadly, though, he’s the least of their problems. Two genuine NFL players on the entire roster, and one of them is coming back from complete knee reconstruction, and coming back way too soon, ala Jerry Rice. This will turn out to be the worst team in the league, and it won’t be close. Complete meltdown, but that will help them get to LA a year or too sooner, won’t it…

  25. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 16, 2012 11:25 AM

    He might achieve that if they count all the DB’s he throws to.

  26. fwippel says: Aug 16, 2012 11:39 AM

    Hey, at least Ponder is setting goals from himself. I also hope that one of those goals is a division, conference and Super Bowl championship.

    Ponder is going to need to use his TEs a lot more this year if he hopes to improve on first and second down. Kyle Rudolph, Allen Reisner and John Carlson should help a great deal, IF…

    I still think that perhaps the biggest issue in Minnesota’s offense is the OC. Musgrave must improve his performance this year in strategy and play-calling. I don’t mind a semi-predictable offense if it is successful. I do mind an unpredictable offense which is not successful, and that’s what the Vikings had last year.

  27. hunior21 says: Aug 16, 2012 11:45 AM

    The vikings arent moving to L.A. They got their stadium approved already. c’mon man..

  28. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Aug 16, 2012 11:51 AM

    Shouldn’t the goal be 100%?

  29. vikings28 says: Aug 16, 2012 11:52 AM

    I like the goal! I say aim for the sky otherwise, why play the game. I think Ponder will be just fine this year, especially with OTA’s under his belt and a full camp as starter. The vikings will set him up to be successful.

  30. tombradysponytail says: Aug 16, 2012 11:55 AM

    “Does anyone really believe Ponder is going to be more accurate this year than Brees was last year?”

    Well yeah, but Brees didn’t have Jerome Simpson, Devon Aromashodu, Michael Jenkins, and Manny Arceneaux to throw too….

  31. skittlesareyum says: Aug 16, 2012 11:58 AM

    There’s nothing wrong with lofty goals, but I’d be concerned if he didn’t look up the record first and just thought that 75% sounded good.

  32. mattyjimmy says: Aug 16, 2012 11:59 AM

    I have a couple comments:

    – If Ponder plays league average at the QB position then this isn’t a bad team.

    – The Minnesota state legislature passed a bill that will fund a new stadium for the Vikings. This ensures they will stay in the state of Minnesota. The LA thing is dead.

    – This team isn’t going to win the Super Bowl. They also aren’t without talent. On the defensive side they have Greenway, Allen and Williams who have all made the pro bowl and quite a few others playing near that level. The offense has Harvin, Peterson, Gearhart, Rudolph, Sullivan and many other talented players. They aren’t loaded but this isn’t the worst team in the league.

  33. lordfrza says: Aug 16, 2012 12:10 PM

    What else is he supposed to say, “I want to complete 25% and see how many times I can skip the ball across the field”? Come on.

  34. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Aug 16, 2012 12:23 PM

    In the same article, he said this:

    Ponder was asked if he’d take an 8-8 record right now. “Would I take 8-8 right now? If 8-8 would take us to the playoffs,” he said. “We want to make the playoffs. I don’t know if 8-8 will do it in our division. So obviously the main goal is to go 16-0. So I don’t know. Whatever takes us to the playoffs.”

    Now how about everybody rips him for wanting to go 16-0. The rest of you losers can set the goal of trying to get out of bed in the morning. Christian Ponder has something else in mind.

  35. ajschn06 says: Aug 16, 2012 12:33 PM

    ezwriter69 says:
    Aug 16, 2012 11:16 AM
    The Viking have no quarterback, by mid-season, Ponder will be on the bench, he flat cannot play… sadly, though, he’s the least of their problems. Two genuine NFL players on the entire roster, and one of them is coming back from complete knee reconstruction, and coming back way too soon, ala Jerry Rice. This will turn out to be the worst team in the league, and it won’t be close. Complete meltdown, but that will help them get to LA a year or too sooner, won’t it…

    ————————————————–

    As someone who has seen every snap Ponder has taken in the NFL, I have seen nothing that has shown me that he “flat cannot play”. Not saying he is going to be a star, but he has shown plenty for me to think he can AT LEAST be a competent QB in the NFL. Only time will tell, but at least give him a chance…

  36. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Aug 16, 2012 12:54 PM

    ninefingers9 says:Aug 16, 2012 7:49 AM

    I hear he has been an interception machine in camp this year…so Im kinda nervous. But love this kids attitude!
    _______

    You must be thinking of Joe Webb. Ponder is having a great camp.

  37. pappavike says: Aug 16, 2012 1:01 PM

    Let’s see! If Brees can’t hit 75% that must mean it can’t be done right? Records are meant to be broken! Let the kid have a full season before we cast him aside. Oh! and Webb he just can’t make the progressions, Wild cat Qb at best!

  38. mogogo1 says: Aug 16, 2012 2:07 PM

    I’m not even a Vikings or Ponder fan, but what a hatchet job of an article. First off, he clearly says “we” making it clear this is something the team has discussed, not some crazy number he pulled out of the air by himself.

    And just because that’s their goal doesn’t mean they actually think they’ll achieve it. Every team has the goal of converting 3rd and 1 100% of the time, for example, but obviously you won’t get every single one. They’re using the 75% figure to demonstrate their goal is major improvement.

  39. zygizag says: Aug 16, 2012 4:32 PM

    Focusing on improving. That is good. A while back AP had fumbling problems and he said he was going to work on it and next year only 1 fumble. This means the VIKES are going to try to do a lot of short passes and control offense. (Tommy Kramer again that is OK) It also means that they think their recievers have better hands(outside of Percy & their #1 TE) than what they have shown so far. Maybe 9-10 passes will be to their #1 TE.

  40. heat256 says: Aug 16, 2012 4:42 PM

    Wouldn’t it be great if he got 74% and people still called him a failure for not reaching his goals?

  41. matthewcarlson1 says: Aug 16, 2012 9:44 PM

    Lets give the guy a couple more games before we start declaring he’s no good.

  42. unclebigby says: Aug 17, 2012 12:34 PM

    A quarterback needs 25 starts in the NFL before you know what you have. Ponder will be at that point by the end of this season. From what I’ve seen the kid has every chance to be a serviceable pro QB like Brad Johnson. Let’s be fair, he played behind an awful line last season and had a receiving corps that struggled to get open. This season the line looks much improved, but alas the receiving corps hasn’t taken a leap forward. Will be a long season, Vikes fans, but brighter days are ahead for sure.

  43. Rob Liano says: Aug 17, 2012 1:00 PM

    The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
    ~Michelangelo

  44. joshanderson1 says: Oct 3, 2012 11:26 AM

    Michael, It’s only a 1/4 of the way through the season, but I thought this article should be re-visited. 68. 3% completion is right near amazing, eh?

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