Minnesota Vikings – Player Watch 27 Sep 11

QB Donovan McNabb needs to make more plays when teams crowd the line of scrimmage to take Adrian Peterson out of the game. Especially on third downs, where McNabb is 9-for-24 passing (37.5) with a 66.5 passer rating.

WR Bernard Berrian is invisible. The team’s designated deep threat is stuck on one catch for 17 yards. His ability to separate from defenders appears to be diminishing.

RB Adrian Peterson said some of his longest runs come against eight- and nine-man fronts. His 43-yard run on Sunday came against a nine-man front. He found a crease and ran past most of Detroit’s defenders within five yards of the line of scrimmage.

QB Christian Ponder, the rookie first-round draft pick, admits he’s heard the fans calling for him to replace veteran Donovan McNabb in what has become just the fourth 0-3 start in the Vikings’ 51-year history. Although Ponder obviously would love to join his many draft classmates on the field, he’s not lobbying for the job behind McNabb’s back. “The second-string QB is always the favorite player on the team,” he said. “It’s definitely not deserving. Donovan is playing well. It’s the whole team that needs to figure it out. The quarterback position is definitely not the problem.”

OT Charlie Johnson has struggled against speed rushers this season. Although the Vikings aren’t expected to make a move on the line anytime soon, they did bring in free agent Max Starks for a workout.

WR Michael Jenkins is the only receiver who is establishing a high comfort level with QB Donovan McNabb. Jenkins caught nine passes Sunday to take over the team lead with 15.