Lessons Learned: The Vikings Can Win With Ponder
Christian Ponder had a rough patch prior to Sunday’s beat down of the Lions at the Metrodome, but he answered those critics that thought he was a lost cause that would doom the Vikings from here on out.
Ponder was feeling so smitten after his 221 yard performance that he took the time during his postgame comments to throw a jab or two back at Vikings fans that were having fun with his newly public love life.
Ponder completed 24 of 32 passes in the matchup and scored two touchdowns, one to Jarius Wright and one to Kyle Rudolph. He was accurate on the majority of his deep balls, remained pretty calm in the pocket, and even successfully completed a pass while rolling to his right (a rarity this season).
Every time the Lions looked to be getting back into the game, the Vikings offense was able to answer, which was especially impressive down the stretch. The only other game in which the Lions were outscored was the previous week, after jumping ahead of the Jaguars by 24 points and going into prevent mode.
Ponder deserves credit for bouncing back in the face of adversity in a big divisional game that needed to be won, and I think it is safe to say that we can now all agree: The Vikings Can Win Game With Christian Ponder.
I honestly believe that, with Ponder at the helm, the Vikings can win any game on any given Sunday. He has proven to be capable of taking care of the football and doing just enough to keep his team in the ball game multiple times this season.
What I am still not convinced of, however, is that Ponder has the ability to carry this team on his back and will them to victory when the chips are stacked against them. This is an immeasurable trait that just simply exists in the NFL’s great quarterbacks of past and present, and I have yet to see that attribute surface in Ponder’s play.
The warning signs were not completely absent on Sunday. Despite an all star performance from Adrian Peterson the Vikings still only managed a 25% touchdown rate in the red zone and 26% on third down.
Ponder’s offense didn’t turn over the ball, however, and controlled the play clock for nearly 10 minutes more than the Lions.
A game manager capable of winning.
For now, we will take that.