In the interest of continuity, I want to continue the third down stat analysis I had going with Donovan McNabb to see if there would be some marked improvement from Christian Ponder. Yeah I know it's only two games, but I can't help myself.
Note: This is only counting his two starts, not garbage time against the Bears.
vs. Green Bay
3-7-GB44 (4:25) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass incomplete short right to L.Booker.
3-4-MIN11 (:35) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass incomplete short right to P.Harvin (C.Woodson).
3-3-GB32 (13:43) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short left to P.Harvin ran ob at GB 26 for 6 yards.
3-6-MIN24 (4:12) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short left to V.Shiancoe to MIN 33 for 9 yards (D.Bishop).
3-8-MIN35 (2:20) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short right to P.Harvin to MIN 44 for 9 yards (T.Williams).
3-12-GB34 (1:04) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass incomplete short right to D.Aromashodu.
3-5-MIN25 (13:27) (Shotgun) C.Ponder sacked at MIN 25 for 0 yards (B.Raji).
3-4-MIN40 (8:07) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short right intended for V.Shiancoe INTERCEPTED by C.Woodson at MIN 46. C.Woodson to MIN 45 for 1 yard.
3-12-GB28 (13:59) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass incomplete deep right to M.Jenkins.
3-6-MIN11 (11:20) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short left to V.Shiancoe to MIN 33 for 22 yards (M.Burnett).
(8:23) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short middle to G.Camarillo to GB 39 for 16 yards (D.Bishop). PENALTY on GB-C.Matthews, Roughing the Passer, 15 yards, enforced at GB 39.
3-7-MIN5 (4:49) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short right to V.Shiancoe to MIN 17 for 12 yards (E.Walden).
3-10-MIN36 (2:42) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass incomplete deep left to V.Shiancoe.
6 first downs on 13 attempts. 6 completions on 12 pass attempts for 74 yards, 1 INT, 1 sack. 10 short passes, 2 deep.
1st quarter, 3-10-CAR27(14:09) (Shotgun) C.Ponder sacked at CAR 27 for 0 yards (T.McClain).
1st quarter, 3-15-MIN6 (5:58) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short middle to A.Peterson to MIN 28 for 22 yards (J.Anderson, S.Martin). Shuttle pass
1st quarter, 3-8-MIN43 (3:26) (Shotgun) C.Ponder sacked at MIN 42 for -1 yards (C.Munnerlyn).
2nd quarter, 3-8-MIN22
(12:33) (Shotgun) C.Ponder scrambles right tackle to MIN 27 for 5 yards (G.Hardy). PENALTY on MIN-P.Harvin, Personal Foul, 13 yards, enforced between downs. (Penalty came after the play.)
2nd quarter, 3-9-MIN 21 *** play under review *** (Not listed officially on the play-by-play for some reason, but this was a 12 yard completion to Shiancoe for a first down.)
2nd quarter, 3-6-CAR39 (7:24) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short left to K.Rudolph to CAR 26 for 13 yards (C.Godfrey).
2nd quarter, 3-11-CAR17(4:47) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short middle to P.Harvin to CAR 5 for 12 yards (C.Munnerlyn). FUMBLES (C.Munnerlyn), RECOVERED by CAR-C.Munnerlyn at CAR 5. C.Munnerlyn to CAR 5 for no gain (P.Harvin). Minnesota challenged the fumble ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1 at 04:37.)
3rd quarter, 3-13-MIN17(9:56) C.Ponder pass short left to D.Aromashodu to MIN 22 for 5 yards (R.Stanford; C.Munnerlyn).
3rd quarter, 3-10-CAR42(4:29) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short middle to V.Shiancoe to CAR 30 for 12 yards (O.Gaither).
4th quarter, 3-10-MIN26(14:36) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short left to V.Shiancoe to MIN 39 for 13 yards (C.Godfrey, J.Anderson).
4th quarter, 3-11-CAR48(11:38) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass incomplete short left to K.Rudolph.
4th quarter, 3-7-MIN18(8:42) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short right to P.Harvin to MIN 29 for 11 yards (O.Gaither).
4th quarter, 3-5-CAR16(3:04) (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass short middle to A.Peterson to CAR 13 for 3 yards (C.Godfrey). shuttle pass
7 first downs on 13 attempts. 9 completions on 10 pass attempts for 108 yards, 2 sacks, 1 run for 5 yards.
COMBINED TOTALS THROUGH 2 GAMES:
13 first downs on 26 attempts (50%). 15 completions on 22 pass attempts for 182 yards (8.2 yards-per-attempt), 1 INT, 3 sacks. 1 scramble for 5 yards, 0 fumbles.
Here's McNabb's again for comparison, through 6 games:
18 first downs on 60 attempts (30%, bottom 5 in the NFL), 21 completions on 49 attempts (42.8%) for 194 yards (4.0 yards-per-attempt), 4 scrambles for 35 yards (1 rushing TD), 2 TDs, 1 INT, 0 fumbles, 6 sacks.
So yeah, I'd call a 20% jump an improvement, to say the least. And a 100% improvement on the yards-per-attempt is nice. Hard to do worse than 4 YPA but still. Some things worth noting however...
- The Vikings seem intent on creating as many third-and-longs as possible. It's really strange. It hasn't bothered Ponder though, as most of his 3rd down completions are to receivers that are at or beyond the sticks.
- Notice the yardage lost on Ponder's 3 sacks: 0 yards, 0 yards, -1 yard.
- Am I crazy or has the pass protection been a lot better the past two games? Is it Joe Berger playing for Anthony Herrera? Is it Ponder's mobility? Or is the Packers/Panthers pass rush that uninspiring?
- Speaking of which, yes I'm fully aware that A) the Packers defense isn't that great, and B) the Panthers defense is even worse, as if their statistical incompetency served only to make Ponder look better than he really is. This point always irritates me, because if those defenses are indeed not that good, isn't Ponder SUPPOSED to do well? And he did. So what's the problem?
- Again, only a two game sample, but it's beginning to look like Ponder may never be a high completion percentage guy. He's not a dump-off machine like Joe Flacco or Mark Sanchez. Yes, there will probably be some short passes by design to Peterson and Harvin since they're the only guys on the offense that can make people miss (we saw a couple shuttle passes to Peterson, for example) but other than that, Ponder is going to throw beyond the sticks.
- The only throw that I'd describe as McNabbian was the totally hopeless 5 yard dumpoff to Aromashodu on 3rd and 13. Throws like that seem to be the exception and not the rule, thankfully.