Ponder’s Splits Refute Critics

Posted by cjsiewert on May 2, 2011 – 7:21 am

As many of you may have heard by now, ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer had some harsh words directed at Vikings 1st-round draft choice Christian Ponder in terms of his value as a #12 overall selection.

“Christian Ponder is Elvis Grbac,” Dilfer said last Friday morning during a radio appearance. “He’s Elvis Grbac. Elvis Grbac was a beautiful thrower. He threw for 4,000 yards. He did a lot of nice things. Every time it got tough, he melted.”

Ponder also received mixed feelings from other draft pundits, as I pointed out last Friday. But as for Dilfer’s comments, it got me wondering why he felt Ponder “melted” in pressure situations. Dilfer also went on to say Ponder “plays with a lot of anxiety. Do you want your quarterback in the NFL to play with a lot of anxiety?”

Ponder’s splits say otherwise.

During his junior and senior seasons at Florida State, Ponder completed 105 of 133 passes (78.9%) for 1,156 yards when the game was tied. When his team was losing by a margin of 1-7, Ponder completed 116 of 180 passes (64.4%) for 1,380 yards with 5 TDs and 1 INT.

Other numbers that indicate his ability to perform in pressure situations would include his 4th quarter performances. In 2009 and 2010, Ponder completed 69 of 112 passes (61.6%) for 779 yards with 5 TDs and 2 INTs. Not to mention his performance against AP ranked teams – 72 for 117 (61.5%), 846 yards, 9 TDs and 3 INTs.

What I like most about Ponder’s splits, though, is how he managed the offense when it reached the opponent’s red zone. His last 2 seasons at FSU saw Ponder complete 45 of 72 attempts for 373 yards with 22 TDs and only 1 INT in the red zone. When faced with 3rd and goal, he converted 8 of 11 attempts for 44 yards with 7 TDs and zero INTs.

How Ponder reacts to pressure situations as an NFL QB is to be determined, but I thought it would beneficial to point out his numbers in said circumstances over his past 2 seasons.

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Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 69 Comments »

69 Responses to “Ponder’s Splits Refute Critics”

  1. By no1vikingsfan on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Will you made some very legitimate points, those are outstanding numbers, Dilfer should know what he can do with his comment.

  2. By Malte on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    When Dilfer also said that Bradford was a 7 on 7 kinda guy, and a catastrophically pick. He said that Ponder was a 7 on 7 kinda guy, so I’m kinda intrigued right now

  3. By Adam on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Mike those are great stats. I was reallly frustrated with the way Trent Dilfer went off on Ponder. It’s great to see somebody with the opposite opinion and with the stats to back it up. Unlike Dilfer who just seemed to dislike Ponder from the get go for whatever reason. I am not saying that Ponder is a sure fire Hall of Famer, but the kid does have talent. Whether or not that translates to the NFL or not is yet to be seen, but what has he done to make anybody think otherwise? He is the Vikes QB now and I will support him and believe in him as our QB. He deserves our support….untill shown otherwise.

  4. By Mike on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Why is trent dilfer judging any QB he didn’t impress anyone while playing for the Browns he sucked but yet he always has something bad to say about these young QB’s. Trent what did you accomplish in the Nfl your stats were horrible you never won under pressure so let a person with rights do the judging, I didn’t like the Ponder pick but I would take him over Dilfer any day and in two seasons he’ll have your career stats with more wins less interceptions and more touchdowns..

  5. By PAPA_SNOPS on May 2, 2011 | Reply


  6. By Woodboat on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Playing Devil’s advocate for a sec, Mike W. (and the rest of us Vikes fans) have a vested interest in Ponder. We want to seek out stats to prove that he’s going to be a success. As far as I know, Dilfer doesn’t have anything against the kid personally, and he doesn’t care if the Vikes are successful or not. I took his comments as a blast against the Vikes staff for not doing their due diligence and watching the tape on the kid.

    Dilfer wasn’t a great talent as an NFL QB, that’s true Mike. I have to admit that 9 times out of 10, I agree with the guy. He has a very good head on his shoulders when it comes to analyzing the game. I hope he’s wrong about our new quarterback.

  7. By Woodboat on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    @ Papa… yeah, our quarterback has lots of “weapons”. But if we want to extend the Gladiator analogy, our QB has very little “armor”. Our O-Line can’t protect him, if they play like they have the last 2 years.

  8. By Danno on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    I agree these are great stats and that it was difficult to understand that pick at that moment. But after studying Ponder and watching his interviews I felt confident that this is our guy. He may not be the most popular or talented QB in the draft class but I believe that he is the right fit for the Vikings. He is Very intellegent,accurate,ball control,move the chains QB.
    The Sports Science Show(check it out) did a test on him and he was lights out accurate and his arm strength was very good.
    There was no gaurantee that he would be there later in the 1st round,they reached but he was our guy andf i believe that him along with drafting Rudy(TE) will be a great combo for years to come!

  9. By Frederick Jones on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Perhaps what Dilfer is reacting to is the Vikings.

  10. By Frederick Jones on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    People need to start recognizing the value of the offensive line. It is really the line that makes the RB, QB, TE, or WR look good.

    So Dilfer feels that he can safely make his prediction that Ponder will fail.

  11. By vikesfan29 on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Trent is the same guy who when he took the field Ray Lewis would say to him dont let them score!!

  12. By Mike B on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    @Fred maybe you should explain your position on the OL and why you are so keen on why our OL is so bad. I think there is a lot of emotion about McKinnie and him having an attitude problem during the 09 probowl. He was playing overwieght last year and said he was going to get down to his playing wieght this year. I want to take him at his word that he is removitated. Hutch is always giving 100 percent even with injuries. Sullivan was hurt last year, but played adequate as a rookie in 09. He should be ready to have a good year this year. Loadholt didn’t have a bad rookie year, but there needs to be some improvement in his game. RG is still done by committee and that needs to be resolved. TE Kliensasser and Dugan are our blocking TE with Shank and the new kid as receiving TE. I would point out we had the toughest schedule in the NFL last year, so we were going to lose some games. The packers won the superbowl with a 10-6 regular season record. There you are Fred explain the OL to us all. have a nice day.

  13. By PAPA_SNOPS on May 2, 2011 | Reply


  14. By Shut up on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    HOMER HOMER HOMER HOMER. Who do you work for again?

  15. By Ekolu on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Hows those red zone numbers 22-1, don’t worry about Trent “Duck” Dilfer. He was the recipient of a defense that was one of the best ever, period. Plus his coach was an offensive genius. So don’t even give the Duck any play. He reminds me of Sean Salisbury, another idiot.

  16. By Ponder is ROY on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Trent Dilfer just hates the Vikings. Anyone that has payed attention to his cake hole over the years knows this.

  17. By FSU Fan on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Take into consideration that Ponder did this with no marquee wideouts. In fact his wideouts typically ran the wrong routes and his backs were young and did not grasp FSU’s zone blocking. The Vikings took what the board game them. Ponder is a solid starter. He is smart and given the right weapons he will be an above average starter. With AD and a mobile quarterback that has amazing short to intermediate accuracy I see the vikings moving the chains a lot in the future. Be patient with Ponder. He is an amazing athelete and a great competitor. Had he been given average wideouts and backs that could block I think he would have gone higher than 12.

  18. By Tom on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Trent Dilfer should know all about Melting when the game is on the line. Maybe he should take a look at his own situational stats before judging others:

  19. By Bigfan1 on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    I am so sick and tired of hearing “analysts” talk negative about great college football players, it seems for whatever reason some “professional” media announcers and some former football players have issues with certain people whether its a personality thing or based on trends I have no idea. Dilfer never set the league on fire so I don’t know how he can say anything negative about any college player that was drafted, but of course I know it’s their job to say nothing. I like what one analyst said on NFL Network talking to three other analysts to paraphrase “everything we’ve said so far means nothing because you can’t tell how a college player will do in the NFL.” Dilfer can say what he wants but Ponder out played Locker and Dalton in the Senior Bowl. Period.

  20. By JD24 on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Dalton and Dilfer have use the same agency for representation. That may have had something to do with why he was high on Dalton and not on Ponder. It’s nice to see that our coaching staff and draft team don’t listen to these idiotic “talking heads” on ESPN and NFL Network!

  21. By dannyboy on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    I wouldnt pay too much attention to Dilfer anyway he was a terrible QB and has no room to talk If he can win a super bowl then Ponder has a great shot. But I really like ponder and if we had traded down and someone else picked him and we ended up not getting one of the top QB’s they would be ripping us for that. Musgrave did wonders with Matt Ryan and said he saw alot of those same thimgs in Ponder.

  22. By JOSH on May 2, 2011 | Reply




  23. By Bigfan1 on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Right on!

  24. By Stoney on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    I think Ponder had a better shot at being a good NFL QB then Newton.

  25. By fiesta11 on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Well my pridiction is that Ponder is going to be the best Qb in the draft by far and i think were going to do well ……. go vikings

  26. By PAPA_SNOPS on May 2, 2011 | Reply


  27. By Ted on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Dilfer should be an expert on melting. He sucked as a pro. If he could have hit the broad side of a barn the Ravens would have beat the Giants by 50 in the super bowl. The Ravens thought so little of him they didnt even bring him back the season following the Super Bowl win. Name one other QB that won a super bowl that wasnt welcomed back with open arms the next season?

  28. By Rick on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Biggest thing that sticks out: TD/INT ratio is 22/1
    This means Ponder more times than not, makes the right decision when it counts.

  29. By Rick on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    TD/INT ratio IN THE RED ZONE I should have specified

  30. By Jesse on May 2, 2011 | Reply


    I hate to tell you but Dilfer does have vested interest in this topic. Did you notice he kept talking up Dalton over Ponder? Did you happen to notice that Dilfer advised Dalton during the Draft process because they shared the same representation? Very dishonest of him not to mention that. He also said Clausen would be better than Bradford before last year’s draft. WRONG! Do you know why he said that. You guessed it, they share representation.

    He also should not be blasting the Vikings for their due diligence. The Vikings watched the tape, the saw him live in the Senior bowl and met with him on multiple occasions (Senior Bowl, Combine, Private workout). Did Dilfer do all of this? NO. He does care if the Vikings are successful and he does have something against Ponder. He is also wrong 9 out of 10 times, so if you are agreeing with him, you should re-evaluate where you get your football info from.

  31. By Matt on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Trent Dilfer, even I could have won a super bowl with that defense in Baltimore.

  32. By fred on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    wonder how dilfer felt about aaron rodgers and alex smith when they were drafted 1st and 25th (i think).
    nobody is drafted too high or too low until they succeed or fail in the league. we’ll all have to wait and see but i hope elvis grbac punches dilfer in the throat. and then tells the world how bad dilfer sucked and compares him to steve dils.

  33. By animal26 on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    everyone, it’s true that we may have not drafted many offensive linemen, but we haven’t had free agency yet. I’m confident the Vikings will bring in some linemen to give McKinney and Loadholt some fiery competition and make them work for their starting jobs. as for the interior linemen, we do have Chris Degree, who showed a lot of potential of being an excellent left guard for many years to come for the Vikings, when Hutch calls it a career. DeMarcus Love has tons of potential and skill to be an excellent right tackle or guard at the NFL level. Love will also give Anthony Herrera and Loadholt a real run for their money and could beat either one for a starting job. I think the Vikings are on the right path of strengthening the offensive line. In next years draft. The talent of left tackles is a lot deeper anyway, so we can look for a left tackle next year. In the mean time, we have to try and find some good left tackle prospects or another veteran to light a fire under McKinney and make him compete for his starting job. again, we have got to trust in Frazier and companies judgment. SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!!

  34. By sandiamond on May 2, 2011 | Reply gurus gave the vikings high regards in selection of the draft. USA Today paper poor grade out today

  35. By Aceviking on May 2, 2011 | Reply


  36. By Aceviking on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Ps. Fredrick Jones, just stop about the offensive lineman. The Vikings’ brass knows what they are doing. That is why they have the job and you don’t. Plus, the Vikes drafted offensive lineman… get over it.

  37. By BleedingPurple on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Trent Dilfer was such a great success in the NFL that we should hang on his every word. NOT.

    If Ponder turns out as lame as Dilfer, then I’ll consider him a failure.

  38. By Shiloh19p on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Dilfer hates anything FSU. Casey Weldon, an ex FSU qb clocked his azz in a fist fight when they were playing golf once. The game has been on ever since.

    I am a longtime booster and season ticket holder at FSU and know the facts.

    Dilfer is a douche. He has no grounds to critique any qb. He had more interceptions that td’s in his NFL career. His team won the Super Bowl inspite of him, not because of him. He just happened to come along when his team had a all world defense.

  39. By no1vikingsfan on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Its very funny that Dilfer would have anything at all to say about Ponder being drafted 12 overall. Dilfer was drafted 6 overall in 1994 by the Buccaneers.
    Dilfer in his career would play for 5 teams, would have 3, 172 pass attempts and complete 1,759 for a % of 55.5, a TD/INT 113-129 passing yards of 20,518 yards and a QB rating of 70.2, he made 1 trip to the pro-bowl in 1997 and went to the Super Bowl once as back for the Ravens, he has tons of room to say anything about Ponder.

  40. By sylvesterd on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    whats interesting is that diler was ever on that high horse.the one superbowl he has ray lewis was the qb and he was along for the ride..i would have taken elvis over trent anyday

  41. By no1vikingsfan on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Dilfer you 6th overall pick bust, hahaha!! LOSER!!

  42. By no1vikingsfan on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Dilder are you mad, because the Vikings drafted Todd Steussie instead of you? hahaha

  43. By paul on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Sometimes hearing the truth hurts..

  44. By joshK on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    you can find any good stats for a player usually(if you leave out the bad ones). like Vince Young. people just say how many games he won. but he had bad numbers.

    fingers crossed could be a fun season

  45. By MikeyN on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    hahahaha….I find it hilarious he mentioned Elvis Grbac, since Elvis was his replacement when Baltimore cut him. Elvis roasted him in the press as well, I wonder how long he’s been waiting to take a shot at him.

    People haven’t forgotten Trent. And yeah, he just seems to have a problem with the purple and gold I’ve noticed.

  46. By John f on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    What article were you reading? Dilfer was wrong on all points with stats proving it, just like he was wrong about Sam Bradford. Differ is most times wrong in his analysis.

  47. By John f on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Look at the stats d-bag!

  48. By John f on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    He also trashed Charlie ward back in the day too.

  49. By ripteflon on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    ponder horrible pick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. By ripteflon on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    picks like this is the reason we have no rings

  51. By Sully on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Trent Dilfer had a career passing% of 55.5 Trent never threw for over 2,960 yrds in 14 years. The Superbowl win with the Ravens…. Dilfer’s game stats were 12 completions for 153 yards and 1 TD in a 34-7 routing so it wasn’t him winning the game.
    In 14 years his stats:
    Pass attempts 3,172
    Pass completions 1,759
    Percentage 55.5
    TD-INT 113-129
    Passing yards 20,518
    QB Rating 70.2

    Yet Grbac’s best season statistically: 2000 4,169 yards and 28 touchdowns with a passer rating of 89.9 best for trent ever
    Large of Trent to talk about someone to whom his stats were never as good as. LOL
    In 9 years his stats:
    Pass Attempts 2,445
    Pass Completions 1,446
    Percentage 59.1 (3.6 Better)
    TD-INT 99-81 (more TD’s Then Int’s)
    Yards 16,769 (in only 9)
    QB Rating 79.65 (7.45 Better)

  52. By Brownicus on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    The more I read and see about Ponder the more excited I get about his and the Viking’s potential. Already looking forward to next season.

  53. By WACKY on May 3, 2011 | Reply


  54. By no1vikingsfan on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    @ ripteflon: OK genious! Vikings went to the Super bowl in 1969, 1975, 1976 and in 197

  55. By no1vikingsfan on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    @ ripteflon: OK genius! Vikings went to the Super bowl in 1969, 1973, 1974 and in 1976, please do inform us on the draft picks like Ponder that prevented us from winning any of these games, or to make it easier on you any picks during this time frame that prevented the Vikings from winning any of those bowl games, because I happen to know during the Vikings era of making bowl trips the team was as talented as you could ask for, so once again big mouth, back up what you say with facts.

  56. By FavreFetched on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    Trent Dilfer is a hack. He threw 4 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 1995 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 1996 he threw 19 ints.

  57. By FSU Viking on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    7 of the 11 starters on the 2009 UNC defense were taken in this draft (despite 5 of them not even seeing the field in 2010!) Ponder was 33 of 40 for 395 yds, 3 TDs against that D. He shredded them and single handily won that game in the final minutes for FSU.

    People who dont follow Florida State dont realize how BAD our defense was in 2009. Bottom 2% out of 116 Div 1a teams. He and Fisher carried us through that terrible season that was unfortunately cut short for Ponder when he decided to drive his shoulder into an all American safety at full speed.

    This is a fantastic pick.

  58. By Vikings4life on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    Yea i love how trent diflfer is convinced he can be a GM or something if he doesnt like ponder its like an endorsement from a good QB so i like that he is iffy on him the only only only thing that has scared me is that people try to compare ponder to sanchez as if its a good thing (its not) sanchez is not an elite qb nor will he ever be but he is a good qb just never feel he will be elite enough to cary his team. Im excited to have Kyle rudolph this kid is only 21 and he is so talented with his hands

  59. By WalkingViking on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    The more I see Ponder the better this year looks go PURPLE

  60. By shaferfinancial on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    The stats invalidate everything Dilfer said. As a FSU fan, I loved it when Ponder had the ball in his hands at the end of games because you always knew he gave us a great shot at scoring.

  61. By prinzcharlez on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    Viking fans, please let’s give QB Ponder our support, you’ve got to admit he’s going to be much better in time than TJACK, I also want to point out that Mark Sanchez was not regarded much as a right away starter for the JETS and I think Ponder have the skills. I’m just looking forward to some Viking football and remember it takes 2 to 3 yrs to know if this year draft class fails or succeed. GO VIKINGS !

  62. By prinzcharlez on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    On Trent Dilfer, he wouldn’t even be around if he had not been a part of a Super bowl winning team in which Defense was priority one, he was just behind center not to make mistakes…Stay in your lane Trent, really.

  63. By Thatoneguy on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    Haha! Dilfer? Really? He’s criticizing a quarterback? I might be concerned if it was a good quarterback. Heck, Even an okay one, But Dilfer was always terrible. He has no Idea what he’s talking about. He probably thought Tavaris Jackson was going to be the best ever.

  64. By Michael Scott on May 3, 2011 | Reply

    That’s what she said!

  65. By jeff on May 4, 2011 | Reply

    just because he won a superbowl or made it to one, he thinks he is god of all qb’s, hahahahaha. Dilfer sucked then and still sucks, if it wasn’t for a good defense, and kind of a good ground game, they would of never won the superbowl. dilfer himself wasn’t very good. He just likes to rag on guys that got picked in the first round, because he didn’t.

  66. By jeff on May 4, 2011 | Reply

    please update your page with all the players names and get chilldress’s name off of it. thank you

  67. By ponderfan on May 4, 2011 | Reply

    VIkings fans….I am a diehard FSU fan and I have been saying since last year that CP7 is too hard of a worker to fail. I think he went to the perfect team and I think he will be a great fit for your organization. Keep in my there is more to a draft pick than talent alone (which he has a lot of). He is a tireless worker, he is loved by his teammates, he is a captain on the field. He also has NFL bloodlines from his dad and the kid is mature and professional beyond his years. I am a Panthers fan and would have loved to trade out of #1 and picked lower in the draft to get CP7! You guys have a new fan in me!! Cant wait!

  68. By 4eversteve on May 4, 2011 | Reply

    Trent Dilfer wasn’t that good of a quarterback and was able to secure a Super Bowl ring by riding on Ray Lewis and Ravens defense coattails. He by definition was nothing more than an all pro 7 on 7 quarterback over his career. To my knowledge there are no all pro 7 on 7 quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame.

  69. By grizz on May 5, 2011 | Reply

    Who is dilfer that anyone should listen to him. Take a good look at his career, if anyone choked in critical situations he did. Oh I forgot he won a super bowl, but as I recall that was in spite of him rather than because of him. As I recall after the ravens won that super bowl he was let go not long after. Save the anaysis of ponder for his on field performance coming up. Give the kid a chance and be thankful he is not dilfer.4eversteve is right on. Dilfer was a coach killer he showed enough ability to keep a coach hanging on and then pulled some really dunb plays, that pretty much summed up his career.

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