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.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. The Vikings can win with Christian Ponder at quarterback, they could also win with JBT, Webb, or 30 other FA QB’s. I don’t think Ponder looked that great, he looked like a starting quarterback yeah but that is it. I think a top 12 pick should look like that in most games and shouldn’t be overly praised for a slightly above average game. Now I don’t want to be a downer so I will say there is a glimpse of hope that Ponder can continue to develop and I hope he can. But we shouldn’t be judging him after every game; once he strings 4 or more games together where he looks solid, then people should start talking about him being for real but after one slightly above average performance… come on.

    1. ponder was a reach. we could’ve gotten him lower, maybe much lower, but the vikes thought that he was worth it at 12 and now mgmt. has to give him his chance. hopefully he can fill those shoes

  2. Everything you say is correct, Skol. Not a game-ball type of game – simply an effort you would expect out of your QB. But I think cart’s also right that for him to maintain his poise and confidence through that funk is notable, at least. My son pointed out something during the game – Ponder is just now starting the equivalent of his second season, and without the benefit of having any sort of player-mentor helping his development. I don’t know if he’s gonna “make it” or not, but we are not as far into his career as we might be thinking.

    1. what? did your son get in another fight and get thrown out again? was he drinking? did he remember it this time?

      1. No… I mean last time, no he wasn’t… well I’m not sure… no, wait, of course I’m sure he didn’t…I mean yes, well no, he wasn’t there but he must remember… well, of course he was there, but at that other game, not this one… and why wouldn’t he remember since he told me, and why wouldn’t I believe what he tol…….

        Do you have information I need to have, Cal?

  3. Good read Adam. Agree on all points.
    It was just an average game Skol, and you make a good point. Lets not get too exited over this, that’s how he should be playing. I was very critical of him after last week, he was awful.
    But he stepped up and played a damn good game when we needed it. Agree with Adam, the kid deserves credit for playing well in a big game for our Vikes at this time. That showed guts, and guts is enough.

  4. Ponder is serviceable but far from great at this time. For the sake of the franchise I hope he can take the next step.

  5. That’s the big question Johnny; Can he take the next step and, like Adam said, can he carry this team on his back and will them to victory? Is he our franchise QB?

    I sure hope so but still have my doubts. . .

    1. Well Fran we just as well flip a coin at this point and time. I dont know what the odds are that Ponder can be the man.

    2. Fran: “I sure hope so but still have my doubts.”

      That pretty much sums up the rest of the year.