No one’s giving the Vikings much of a chance Sunday against San Francisco’s defense.
And if they don’t get the ball downfield, they might have no chance.
Only one of Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder’s 35 pass attempts against the Colts was completed for 20 yards or more, something they’re definitely looking to change this week.
“I think he had three out of his 70 plays in which we would want him to do something different decision-making (wise),” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said, via Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com. “That is a good percentage. To his credit, they were taking away some of our chunk plays down the field.
“Rather than forcing them, which young and old quarterbacks do at times, he found some completions at a definite high rate. He was doing what the play called for, and to his credit, he battled back and got his team back to a tie with 30 seconds left.”
Ponder’s being careful not to make mistakes, and there were a few chances to go deep that he didn’t see. Asked if there were open receivers downfield, and Musgrave took the blame.
“They weren’t, and that’s not on Christian. That’s on myself, the play-caller, and us as a staff designing plays,” Musgrave said. “We definitely want to have more chunks going forward. We didn’t get a chance for them to materialize against Indianapolis, and that really hurt us. It hurt us in the long run.”
Running’s going to be hard against the 49ers anytime, so if Ponder can’t find something downfield, it might be a long day for the Vikings.