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.