Full Week 2 Stat Projections for Minnesota Vikings Offensive Players
While everyone has their own thoughts on how each player will perform, this list of full Week 2 stat projections was based on how the offense looked in Week 1, the strengths and weaknesses of the Bears defense and each individual player's talent and skill set.
Realizing last week's loss was a collective effort on both sides of the ball, with nowhere to go but up, it's time to start the slideshow below and check out the full Week 2 stat projections for the Minnesota Vikings offensive players.
*All stats courtesy of ESPN.com unless noted otherwise.
The most talked about and fiercely debated player on the Vikings roster this past offseason was, of course, none other than starting quarterback Christian Ponder.
Although he struggled last season—according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Ponder graded out as the 34th-ranked QB in the NFL—the general consensus amongst fans was "give the guy a chance to prove himself."
After putting together a shaky preseason, things didn't look any better during the Vikings' Week 1 loss in Detroit.
According to ESPN.com, at 36 percent, Ponder faced the highest-percentage of eight-man fronts in the NFL last week. With Adrian Peterson sitting in the backfield, that isn't a surprising statistic. The surprising part is that despite seeing a ton of single coverage, Ponder managed to throw two interceptions and finished the game with a -2.8 overall QB rating according to Pro Football Focus' grading formula (subscription required).
No matter how you try and sugarcoat it, the fact is Ponder's performance was disheartening for Vikings fans.
That's why until he can prove otherwise, leading into the team's Week 2 matchup against the Chicago Bears, Ponder's projected stats don't look good.
Projection: 231 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 interceptions, 60% completion percentage
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Starting off your 2013-14 season with a 78-yard touchdown run is just classic Adrian Peterson.
Producing three touchdowns on 93 yards rushing and 18 yards receiving, while he was the centerpiece of the Vikings offense, Peterson's stats are a little bit deceiving.
With his first run going for 78 yards, AP struggled to get things going after that. Totaling just 15 yards on his last 17 carries, thanks to an anemic Minnesota offense, Peterson had issues sustaining the elite production we're all used to seeing from him.
Now lining up against a stout Bears run defense—the Bears held the Bengals to just 63 yards rushing and three yards per carry last week—although he possesses unmatched talent, if Christian Ponder can't get the rest of the offense moving, Peterson is going to struggle to find room once again.
With all of that logic and reason said, it's still not smart to bet against Peterson whenever he's out there on the field.
Projection: 22 carries, 120 yards rushing, 1 TD, 5.4 yards per carry / 4 receptions, 25 yards receiving
Registering zero carries in Week 1, it's unclear if Toby Gerhart will see the field again in Week 2. With his only chance of playing happening when Peterson needs a break, even if he does get on the field, Gerhart's impact will be minimal.
Projection: 4 carries, 11 yards rushing, 2.7 yards per carry
Although he managed to see seven targets last week, Greg Jennings ended up with a mere three catches for 33 yards receiving against the Lions. Watching the game, the reasons for his low numbers were Ponder's poor play and the lack of chemistry between the star wide receiver and the third-year QB.
As far as projecting Jennings' stats go for Week 2 against a stingy Bears defense, the targets should be there but odds are unless Jennings plays more on the inside, the production isn't likely to follow suit.
Projection: 4 receptions, 42 yards receiving
One of the highlights of last week's loss to Detroit was the spectacular 2013-14 debut of Jerome Simpson.
Hauling in seven catches for 140 yards on eight targets, Simpson showed off his athletic ability, a willingness to make plays for this offense and most importantly a sense of chemistry between himself and Ponder.
The main problem with Simpson comes down to the guy sitting behind him on the depth chart. Cordarrelle Patterson is a scintillating yet incredibly raw talent. As the season wears on, Patterson should start to consume more snaps, which could result in Simpson seeing less than he's currently accustomed to.
With Sunday's matchup against the Bears now just a few days away, since it's still early, there's no reason to think that Patterson will take a ton of snaps away from Simpson.
Projection: 5 receptions, 63 yards receiving
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), rookie WR Cordarrelle Patterson managed to play just five snaps in Week 1.
As noted in the Jerome Simpson section of this slide, Patterson should see increased snaps as the season continues. While it's hard to predict exactly when and where that will happen, due to his ability to make plays with the football in his hands, there's a good chance Patterson could be worked into the offensive plan a little more this week.
Projection: 3 receptions, 34 yards receiving
Jarius Wright, one of the most talked about players in training camp, didn't register a catch last Sunday. As noted by Pro Football Focus (subscription required), taking just 27 snaps last week, Wright couldn't seem to get anything going.
Because his value to the team hasn't diminished, Wright should start to see some balls thrown his way this week against Chicago.
Projection: 4 receptions, 31 yards receiving
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Coming off a Pro Bowl season, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph had an incredibly quiet Week 1 in Detroit.
Finishing with two catches for 27 yards receiving on just four targets, Rudolph, like Jennings, fell victim to a stagnant Vikings passing attack.
Heading into Week 2 against the Bears, the question becomes will Rudolph be able to secure enough targets to make an impact?
This week, all signs are pointing to Rudolph seeing an uptick in production—especially in the red zone. While the Bears managed to finish last season ranked No. 7 in red-zone defense, they did allow 25 passing touchdowns in that area of the field.
Standing at 6'6", according to Rotoviz.com, Rudolph's best attribute as a tight end is when he's playing in the red zone.
If the Vikings can get the football down there, with the defense focused on Adrian Peterson, there's a good chance Rudolph could end up celebrating his first touchdown of the season.
Projection: 4 receptions, 36 yards receiving, 1 TD