Ponder: Vikings' offense lacking big plays

BY foxsports • September 19, 2012

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has started the 2012 season efficient and has stayed away from the mistakes that plagued his rookie season.

With his team now at 1-1 after last week's loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Ponder knows getting some big plays is the final piece for Minnesota's offense with the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers coming to town this week.

Ponder spoke with the Minnesota media Wednesday for his weekly press conference and here are some of the highlights:

1. How did you grade out your decision-making in the last game?

PONDER:
It was OK. I forced a throw to Percy (Harvin) over the middle that was almost picked. There were some other things. I think outside the pocket, getting rid of the ball instead of taking sacks, I've got to do that. There's some other things I can do better at. But overall it was OK.

2. You've done a good job with completion percentage and the offense has done a good job sustaining drives. Is the next progression you're talking about maybe hitting a few big plays ... down the field?

PONDER: Yeah, that's the one thing we're lacking is big plays, and obviously want to strive to get better at and make those progressions of making those plays. But we're not going to force things downfield. We're just going to continue taking what defenses give us, but we're going to do some things to try and create big plays. That's one area we do need to get better at.

3. Do you have guidelines on what you can and can't do as far as going, obviously there's different play calls, but as far as not necessarily forcing it but taking chances downfield?

PONDER: Yeah, there's always options. On pretty much every play there's options to go downfield. If we get a certain look from a defense, we will take the shot. Right now we're not getting those certain looks.

4. Turnovers are big every week and you want to limit them as much as possible, but even bigger when you're playing an offense (San Francisco) that doesn't turn the ball over hardly at all?

PONDER: Yeah, last year I think they set an NFL record of only 10 turnovers last year, which is pretty unbelievable. Obviously they are very smart with the football in their ball-control offense. They like to have the ball in their hands and their possession. So, we need to make sure we're mistake free and holding on to the ball, and don't give them any chances and opportunities to score. We're just going to keep playing our game and not worry about it, but that is a standard that needs to be set that we don't want any turnovers in any game, regardless of who it is.

5. As you started to go to Percy more and more, do you see defenses shifting their focus onto him?

PONDER:
Yeah, Indianapolis started to double him a little bit. I remember one specific play for a first down. We still got the ball completed, but they tried to double him. I'm sure as teams, especially San Francisco, I wouldn't be surprised if they try to double him. Watching the film against Detroit, they doubled Calvin Johnson most of the game. They'll probably try to take him away.”

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