For Vikings, Ponder not the answer

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The Minnesota Vikings have been a fairly surprising team to this point in the season. Even after getting RGIII’d yesterday in the Nation’s Capital, the Vikings are 4-2 and just half a game behind the Chicago Bears for first place in the NFC North.

The reason for the team’s surprising start, other than a weak early schedule, can be attributed to the offense finally using Percy Harvin as much as possible, but a lot of local fans and NFL analysts have been giving a lot of credit to Christian Ponder. If you look at Ponder’s traditional stats (completion percentage, TD:INT ratio, yards, QB rating) he’s having a good season. He’s posted a completion percentage just under 69 percent thus far, has thrown 8 TD and 4 INT, and he’s on pace to throw for more than 3,500 yards. His QB rating is a very respectable 92.8.

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However, those stats are extremely misleading. Stats are very useful, but only if you know what stats to look for. All stats are is a number representing a VERY SPECIFIC part of the football game. What helps Ponder’s completion percentage? Is he throwing the ball downfield less than other quarterbacks? Some fans will INSIST they can determine these things over the course of the season by just watching the team play; these fans are wrong. They might have an idea that Ponder’s arm strength isn’t great; but looking at statistics and how he’s performed will give a better idea on Ponder’s arm than simply watching every game. Nothing is more correct than the stats; as long as we understand that each stat only tells a small part of the story. You need to combine the right statistical analysis to get a real picture of how a player is performing. Read moreā€¦

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