This week’s Monday morning aftermath doesn’t contain discussion about a Vikings victory. But it does contain the next best thing – discussion that the Vikings may have found a QB of the future.
Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and defensive end Jared Allen refused to describe Sunday’s 6-point loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers as a “moral victory,” but there’s no question the overall morale of the fan base is much higher now than it has been in nearly 20 months. And it’s all because of how rookie QB Christian Ponder performed in his first career NFL start on Sunday.
Ponder’s stat line will not wow you – he was 13 of 32 for 219 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs – but anyone who watched the Vikings performance also watched a young QB who seems to have a bright future. Ponder did many of the hard things the QB position at the NFL level requires one to do, such as stand in the pocket and deliver a throw knowing you’re going to be hit hard, tuck the ball and scramble ahead when the plays breaks down, and convert key 3rd-down throws late in the game. And he did those things in his first career start.
Ponder got the party going early, hitting WR Michael Jenkins on the game’s very first play for a 73-yard TD that was eventually overturned to a 72-yard gain. Two plays later, Ponder found TE Visanthe Shiancoe for the TD. Ponder led another TD drive in the 2nd quarter, and at halftime he had the Vikings staked to a 7-point lead.
A rough 3rd quarter that included 2 INTs and 20 unanswered points by the Packers didn’t discourage the rookie. Ponder bounced back in the 4th quarter to lead a TD drive that put the Vikings in position to mount a comeback. After the Vikings defense held on the Packers ensuing drive, Ponder looked poised to lead a game-winning drive.
The game-winning drive wasn’t in the cards for this week. But at least now it looks like the Vikings have a franchise QB in their deck.
Tags: Christian Ponder
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