Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin (12) celebrates his touchdown during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Scoring the Offense: Analyzing the Vikings Week 5 Win over the Titans

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POSITION GRADES

Offensive Line

Grade: A

  • sacks allowed – 1 sack, 0 yards

It was a dominating performance by the Vikings all around, and it started in the trenches. Christian Ponder had plenty of time to survey the field and find the open receiver. The Titans defense doesn’t have much to brag about, but their best asset is the defensive line, and the Vikings offensive line made them look incompetent.

  • Rushing yards gained – 175 yards on 31 carries (5.6 yards/carry)

A team rushing total of 175 yards is a season high for the Vikings. Adrian was stuffed a few times early on in the game, but later gashed the Titans in 20+ yard clips. Even Toby Gerhart got in on the action late in the game to the tune of 6.8 yards per carry.

 

Wide Receiver

Grade: A

Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin (12) celebrates his touchdown during the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

  • Percy Harvin – 8 rec, 108 yards (10 targets), 1 TD, 2 carries, 8 yards, 1 TD

It’s amazing how one guy can pretty much hide how incompetent the rest of the guys around him are, huh?

Does Jerome Simpson have bilateral leg weakness!?!? Apparently the one lake that supplied water to both Joe Mauer and Jerome Simpson is contaminated!! Good thing there’s not that many lakes in Minnesota, we should find it rather quickly..

The Jerome Simpson replacement duo. They did serviceable enough, got open, made the catches they should have made and didn’t make any glaring mistakes. All-in-all, good enough, but when’s Jerome back?

 

Tight End

Grade: D+

Rudolph had a very poor game considering Jerome Simpson was out and he had 3 receptions for eight yards until a late fourth-quarter drive where Christian Ponder threw a jump ball to Rudolph in double coverage in the end zone. That’s too bad games in a row for Rudolph.

The rookie’s role is growing because he is a competent blocker. He won’t see too many looks, but he will soon be passing John Carlson on the depth chart, if he hasn’t already.

I bet you didn’t think it could get much worse for John Carlson? Well, it did. He had a Vikings career game against the Titans with season highs in yards and catches. Sadly, I’m not being sarcastic. And now rookie Rhett Ellison is getting into the mix with two catches for 35 yards.

 

Running Back

Grade: B

  • Adrian Peterson – 17 carries, 88 yards, 5.2 yds/carry, 3 rec, 15 yards (3 targets)

Adrian hurt his ankle early in the game and struggled a bit out of the gate with six of his 17 carries going for a loss or no gain, but he hit his stride later in the game and the holes started opening up against a bludgeoned Titans defense.  It was a feast or famine day for Adrian, though, with runs of 10, 17, 22 and 34 yards.

When Toby Gerhart gets in on the action like this, you know it was a great day to be a Vikings fan. Toby gashed the Titans for runs of 7, 11, 22 yards.

 

Quarterback

Grade: B-

  • Christian Ponder – 25 for 35, 258 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, QB-Rating: 87.6 , 3 carries, 31 yards

The back -to-back interceptions were a little concerning, but it’s nothing new. Eventually this season, Ponder’s poor throws/bad decisions were going to catch up with him. More importantly, he responded well after his two picks and came out firing once again, leading the Vikings on a 69-yard drive. Overall, Ponder was quite efficient, but his performance would certainly look much worse without the presence of Percy Harvin.

The Vikings are still having trouble finishing drives in the end zone. Had it not been for Percy Harvin’s ridiculousness and that close-your-eyes-and-heave-it-up-to-Kyle-Rudolph play at the end of the game, the Vikings would have been without an offensive touchdown for two straight games. Instead, Harvin makes 37 people miss on his 10-yard scamper into the end zone and Kyle Rudolph outjumped two Titans for Ponder’s lob pass, but this trend is alarming. If we really think we can compete in this division, we are going to have to start scoring touchdowns more routinely. Blair Walsh can’t lead us to a Super Bowl.

 

Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) throws during the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

PonderWatch

Ponder’s first and second down completion percentage goal75%

Weekly first and second down completion percentage:

  • Week 1 vs. Jacksonville: 17-20, 85%
  • Week 2 at Indianapolis: 17-22, 77%
  • Week 3 vs. San Francisco: 14-24, 58%
  • Week 4 at Detroit: 9-16, 56%
  • Week 5 vs. Tennessee: 21-28, 75%

YTD first and second down completion percentage: 78-110, 71%

 

WEEK 5 OFFENSIVE MVP

Percy Harvin

If there was ever a non-quarterback who had a real chance at winning league MVP nowadays, it’s Percy Harvin. Rick Spielman is going to have to write this guy a blank check in the offseason to keep him here, but will that even be enough?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the new home of the Minnesota Vikings, Harvin Stadium!!

Hey, it’s better than “Target Stadium.” No offense, Pohlads.

OFFENSIVE PLAY OF THE GAME

Percy Harvin’s 10-yard TD catch

Percy Harvin is a video game.

No.

Percy Harvin is better than a video game.

 

ROOKIE WATCH

Matt Kalil

Through five games, he has yet to allow a sack.

Blair Walsh

Another solid day, 3-3 on field goals and five touchbacks.

Rhett Ellison

He caught his first two NFL passes and turned one into a 29-yard gain. I’ve already thought of his nickname, Percy Harvin 2.0.

Matt Asiata

Got some cleanup work with the backups. Finished with four yards per carry…on two carries.

 

YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME?!

“It’s not good, but it is good to get that interception thing out of the way. The good thing was they weren’t bad decisions. They were poor throws.”    – Christian Ponder

I’m not going to analyze whether or not they were good or bad decisions, but can it ever be called a “good thing” when it’s a poor throw? I don’t care how it happened that the other team got the ball, it still happened, and it’s not a good thing.

 

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