Fran Tarkenton “embarrassed” by Vikings’ passing game


Hall of Fame former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton has developed a reputation as a grumpy old man who always has something critical to say about his former team. Now he’s telling Christian Ponder to get off his lawn.

After first praising Adrian Peterson as the best running back since Jim Brown, Tarkenton told the Pioneer Press that the Vikings’ passing attack is a bad joke.

“I’m watching the passing game, and I’m embarrassed,” Tarkenton said. “Because we’re not trying anything. We’re playing with a kindergarten-type passing attack. We’ve got to take a risk. We’ve got a chance to make the playoffs. If we cannot throw the ball, if we’re going to throw for 90 yards and be defensive in the passing game, we’re not going to make the playoffs. Playoffs? And we’re not going to do anything if we got there.”

Tarkenton may be a little too blunt for some, but he does have a point about the passing game. One of the truly remarkable things about Peterson’s recent run, in which he had gained 1,313 yards over the last eight games, is that Ponder has just 1,093 yards over the same eight games. Peterson is beating opposing defenses even when they’re not showing the Vikings’ passing game any more respect than Tarkenton does.

38 responses to “Fran Tarkenton “embarrassed” by Vikings’ passing game

  1. I used to be a big fan of Tarkenton. But in his old age, he is starting to become more than a little annoying. Fran, everyone knows the Vikings passing game is not as good as it could or should be, but what is the point in you getting on your bully pulpit and stating the obvious? It just puts more undue pressure on “your” team. Instead of almost always criticizing, it would be nice if you sometimes had some positive reinforcement. Why not come around the facility and spend a little time with Ponder? Give him some pointers. After all he, like you were, is an undersized QB that has a little bit of mobility. Maybe your years of experience might help him a little bit. Oh, that’s right. You like to stay in Georgia & complain and rarely will make any appearance in conjunction with your old team. If you want to continue to get the media attention, as it seems you crave, try doing it in a positive manner by helping your old team, not trashing them.

  2. Please … someone shut this bitter old dude up. He’s making a fool of himself. We get it … you were great. Not like these kids nowdays … they got no respect … get off my lawn !!!

  3. Why does this guy continue to think we care what he says? Yes, the Vikings have a poor passing game. Do I need Fran Tarkenton to tell me its bad? No. Go away, Fran.

  4. He is not saying anything that any other fan isn’t saying. I was shocked when they burned a draft pick on Ponder. He is about as good now as he was in college. The most embarrassing part is that they stick with him like he will suddenly learn how to play the position. I was hoping they’d take Dalton. Time to end this experiment.

  5. considering the great teams he played on, he should be more embarrassed by his playoff performances and lack of a championship title…

  6. Way to go Fran for telling it like it is. Even if the Vikings make the playoffs, they aren’tgoing anywhere but home after a one and done. Good teams aren’t one dimensional. Rge Viking passing game is totally embarassing.

  7. just because he was a record setting qb who played years in NFL does not mean he knows what he is talking about or should be saying anything about the game. that is reserved for the ”experts” here at pft who know everything there is to know about the game seeing as how they all so much nfl experience being former players or having worked for teams and.. oh wait a min. but still he is just a grumpy old man right?

  8. might as well just said this Fran, at least its positive……”Hey did you guys know that Adrian Peterson is really good at running the football”

  9. Tarkenton’s poor performance in three Super Bowls and his inability to win a championship ring in 18 seasons prevents some people from considering him as great as other quarterbacks.

  10. Well Fran, if it means anything to you..most longtime Vikes fans were quite embarrassed when you went on to co-host “That’s Incredible”

  11. Did you hear what Tarkenton said about Peterson having more rushing yards than Ponder has passing yards the last few games?

    “That’s incredible!”

  12. Go search his earlier articles in the paper and you will find he was on the Ponder bandwagon earlier in the year. No credibility at all.

  13. Francis Tarkenton gets on my nerves but he is absolutely right about this. Ponder is the worst QB in the league and it’s not even close. In today’s game when 300 yard passing games are commonplace, he is lucky to reach 100. No arm strength, no awareness, no pocket presence, no ability to read defenses, no accuracy, and worst of all no heart.
    Say what you will about the man named Francis but at least he got to championship games. I can’t see Ponder EVER doing that.

  14. he might be grumpy old man but he is calling it as it is… they wont make the play offs with that kind of passing game and even if they do, they would be 1 and done…

  15. joeyashwi says:
    Dec 21, 2012 11:13 AM

    Say what you will about the man named Francis but at least he got to championship games. I can’t see Ponder EVER doing that

    If you are judging good QB’s by getting to a championship game, let me remind you that Rich Gannon made it to a championship game….I think your logic is a little flawed.

  16. Weren’t viking fans ripping on Packer fans for trashing on their former QB during the whole “Favre Wars” ?

    Now the viking fans are treating Fran “I took your friggin team to 4 superbowls!” Tarkenton like he’s crap …. smh.

  17. Fran has every right to speak out about this. If anyone of you commenting would have ever saw him play, you’d know where he is coming from.

    The Vikings are Professional team, and this is what they come up with for QB play after almost 2 years with Ponder?

    I will challenge anyone of you who commented above to look at the Passing stats for over 40 yards, they are pretty good, now look how many attempts they’ve made. They need to grow a pair and either have him take risks or bench him, it’s that easy.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!