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Ponder Sparks Improvement On 3rd Down

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 25, 2011 – 3:01 pm

The Vikings came out on the wrong end of a 33-27 decision in last Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, but rookie QB Christian Ponder’s performance in the loss suggests the Vikings are moving in the right direction.

One area in particular that improved was offensive production on 3rd down. Heading into the Packers game, the Vikings were converting 36.0% of their 3rd downs, a number that included Ponder’s time filling in for McNabb in the 4th quarter against Chicago. If you take away Ponder’s production against the Bears, the Vikings were just 25 of 71 (35.2%) on 3rd downs and they picked up 52 first downs through the air, which averages out to 8.7 per game.

With Ponder as the starter against Green Bay, though, the Vikings were 9 of 16 (56.2%) on 3rd downs and they picked up 12 first downs through the air. In fact, of Ponder’s 13 completions against the Packers, 12 of them were for TDs or 1st downs; he was 7 of 13 for 93 yards with no TDs and an INT on 3rd down.

“The third down numbers were impressive,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday. “When you are able to complete I think 56 percent conversion rate against one of the top defenses in the National Football League the way our offense did, Christian had a major part in that third down conversion rate but also just seeing some of the throws that he made on the run, his pocket presence, his ability to just be able to function in some tough situations.”

Another reason to be encouraged by Ponder’s performance against Green Bay was his ability to bounce back from a poor 3rd quarter. Ponder threw 2 INTs to Packers CB Charles Woodson in the 3rd quarter, but he bounced back in the 4th quarter to lead the Vikings to 10 points, including a 24-yard TD strike to WR Michael Jenkins with Woodson in coverage.

“To bounce back and play with the confidence he played with and not to seem as if things are falling apart around [him],” Frazier said. “He continued to play hard and play with confidence and not be shaken by some of the adversity faced in the third quarter. That gives you a lot of hope as we go forward.”


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70 Responses to “Ponder Sparks Improvement On 3rd Down”

  1. By Carl K on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    I think it is time to start Fusco at center, and rotate D Love in at RG.

    AP could run to the right all day!

  2. By Carl K on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    A good running game helps that 3 down production!

  3. By rye on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    It’s nice to see Frazier is cleaning house! He is restoring my faith in him. I think he will turn this ship around next season after he addresses the secondary, OL, and gets one more good WR.

    Ponder was a pleasant surprize against Green Bay. I truly think he is the vikings QB of the future and if he is, the vikings should be able to address their other issues via free agency and the draft next year.

    Vikings will be back on top next year.

  4. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    I think the team should change their name to the minnesota nut kickers much more fitting for a team of this caliber.

  5. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Or better yet the domestic assaulters that would work as well.

  6. By Shawn on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    nut kickers is still better than Packers …. your mascott is a moving guy. Feared by nobody. Weilding packaging tape.

  7. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Bunch of wife beating nut kickers how pathetic.

  8. By Shawn on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Assaulters would be another one better than the packers … violent name for a violent sport.

  9. By Shawn on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    At least were not wearing cheese on our heads like a stadium full of “special” people. How many short buses does it take to fill your stadium?

  10. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    But hey thlnk of the bright side you do have 1 whole win so far this season.

  11. By Shawn on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    It was a nice win thanx drowsapp … dont you have some coloring to do? or is it nap time?

  12. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    And by the way,when are the nut kickers ever going to win a super bowl?

  13. By Shawn on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    dont know go to nutkickers . com and ask

  14. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    You freaks must want to see what a Vince Lombardi trophy looks like some day dont you?

  15. By Shawn on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Who doesnt ?

  16. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Drive on over to Greenbay,you can see 4 of them.

  17. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Drive on over to Greenbay Wisconsin you can see 4 of them.

  18. By Shawn on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Nah … I dont have the patience to deal with “special” people , I might be to insensitve

  19. By Shawn on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    You must be in advanced special ed to be able to type … just dont drool on the keyboard

  20. By Viking Joe on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hey GB, your team stunk in the 70.s and 80’s, so you are good now, were you their fan then?

  21. By Viking Joe on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    70’s, whoops !

  22. By jp on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    @dr0wssap
    those with the biggest vacuums (holes w/in themselves) have the loudest voices. youre like a drum b/c you fear what we are becoming. just look at the intense, “OMG”, faces of your Packers on the last drive. that says it all!

  23. By VegasVike on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    The fan base is quite dismal at packers.com, this guy is probably just alone and scared.

  24. By Twoodsnvikes on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    @dr0wssap: Robison tried getting your guy in the nuts, but he forgot that all from GB are sackless

  25. By ponderfan7 on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    ponder gives us a future and i see Burton becoming ponders #3 target ponder brings something we have not seen sense Tarkenton hes mobile athletic only got sacked once in mcnabbs first game he got sacked 3times cant wait too see the draft this year and next year when we take over the nfc north again and watch the packer fans just go we are F*****

  26. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    No I think hris Cooks girl friend is the one who is alone and scared…… Report from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office:

    The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office submitted a formal complaint Tuesday against Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook, one that paints a tawdry scene at his home Saturday morning. A female identified as Cook’s girlfriend was found sitting on the living room floor, her nose bleeding and with physical characteristics — including marks on her neck and hemorrhaging in an eye — that are consistent with strangulation. The Vikings have had six player arrests in the past nine months.

    WHAT A BUNCH OF CRIMINALS… DISGUSTING.

  27. By Twoodsnvikes on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/06/05/packers-interviewed-in-sexual-assault-case/

    Yeah green bay is soooo classy

  28. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    A few key words for you Viking fans to keep in mind before the foam from your mouths shorts out your keyboards: …”alleged” … “interviewed and released” … “not believed to have been involved.” BIG difference between that write up and a official report about Chris Cook from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

  29. By Skol_Vikes98 on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    To Dr0…. or from now on, Troll #4, you may have seen the nut kick which was bad, but I also saw the replay where your man kicked my guy when he was down. Did he overreact? Yes. But don’t pretend like he wasn’t provoked. I also seem to remember, what’s his name. Jolly? He’s such a class act off the field.

  30. By Amish Viking on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder is part Tarkenton and Gannon.

  31. By Twoodsnvikes on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    How much did they pay to only be alleged? Almost as much as you pay for your h00kers??

  32. By PAUL M. on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    PONDER IS PART MONTANA & PART YOUNG.

    THE KID’S GOT THE RIGHT STUFF.

  33. By PAUL M. on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    NOW IMMEDIATELY BUILD AN OFFENSIVE LINE HE CAN GROW WITH FOR MANY SEASONS TO COME.

  34. By Twoodsnvikes on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Whats the deal with ryan harris???? Anyone know?

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_19182285?source=most_viewed

  35. By PAUL M. on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!! GO VIKINGS!

  36. By Titus on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    DrOWsap– get outta here and stop wasting precious blog space. I don’t want to read your immature 2nd grader taunts. Get a life and do something good for humanity. Volunteer at Salvation Army if you are so high and mighty — a lot of good you are doing feeding your depressed and insecure ego on the opposing team’s website. Nothing to do, huh? GET OUTTA HERE!

  37. By Titus on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder is the new Tom Brady. If he stays healthy and we build a good O line and get some receivers– in one to three years we will be the cream de la crop– the whole division will be straining for years to look up at us.

  38. By Dr0wssap on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Meanies

  39. By coach cal on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Come on people! cant compare to Young, Montana or Brady until he wins a playoff game at the least. He has the tools to be as good as those mentioned but management has to build a team for his abilities to flourish. If ponder can learn one thing from Rodgers it is take them shots when there and take what the defense gives you when they are not.He gives us all hope because we finally have a franchise QB who looks better then anything we seen since Fran the man. At least as a rookie.. The best QBs in this league have a go to guy or two at the reciever spot. Ponder will be what we need and will learn quickly from mistakes which vodes welll for Viking fans. Cant wait to see him in his prime! all the bad drafts we have had , I think we struck gold on the first four picks of this last draft. I want to see more thrown at Rudolph and see that connection begin! GO VIKES!!!!!!!

  40. By DelawareDan on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    I agree coach cal.

    Ponder has played one game, and many of you are comparing him with HOF QB’s.

    I’ll bet Randy Wright had at least one good game, and all he did was lead the green slim with 2 -12 records in the 80’s. :)

  41. By GM on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    When I feel sad, I like to imagine Chris Farley (rest his soul) portraying Clay Matthews doing that hair flip thing to cheer me up.

  42. By DelawareDan on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    That would be green slime !!

  43. By Titus on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    It is healthy to dream a little– the kid looks good– no one is anointing him into the hall of fame– we understand it was one game. Why not enjoy the moment? Looks like a winner–

  44. By GM on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    We had a pretty good one in Daunte until his knee blew. Culpepper ranks 14th all-time in NFL career passer rating (87.8) and holds the sixth best single-season passer rating from his 2004 season (110.9). Too bad he never really rebounded.

  45. By coach cal on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Next year playoffs!

  46. By coach cal on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Good point to dream Titus, Minnesota needs a winner!

  47. By coach cal on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    loserville sucks, way to go Lynx for showing the fact that things can change in a hurry!

  48. By Twoodsnvikes on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder will put up his first 300 yard game against the Panthers, 3 tds 0 int

  49. By Frederick Jones on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Our college hockey team appears to be a winner. The Gophers basketball team is looking good. The LYNX won the championship.

    Perhaps the Vikings will win some games this year!

  50. By Ponders a joke on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Gophers, Vikings and Losers, oh my!!

  51. By Titus on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    I have a good feeling about the game at Lambeau. Ponder has now had a game against the cheeseheads and will play better next outing. I cannot wait. Vikings beat the Packers at Lambeau in three weeks. You heard it here first.

  52. By Pounder This on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    ‘Some optimism’ about the rest of this season. I have to agree for me our season starts right now with Pounder leading our team to many wins an Play offs looking at the long hall because when its all said an done im in it with this team for the long hall We were so close with Farve even noing it was a short term thats old news…Atleast with this guy our future looks brighter and will last and every year after this one we will be reconised. and that my friend is good enough for me…

  53. By Pounder This on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Go Vikes

  54. By mnsoldier on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    I dont care if we dont win any more this year, get the highest pick possible, use it to trade for picks or players to build a secondary that has had good players but lets them go because the coaches didnt like the players. You dont have to like the player to coach them. Look at Irvin, he is a jack hole but he was coachable to 3 superbowls.

  55. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    Depending on were the Vikings end up drafting they should trade back a pick the most technical tackle Riley Rieff. Then later on depending on how far he drops pick up Andrew Datko. If not for his shoulder injury he would likely be the 4th tackle taken in the 1st round.

  56. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    B-Rob had every right to kick Lang in the testicles. I mean he tosses him onto the ground then continues to walk over him when he is trying to get up. Lang was the D-Bag not Robison.

  57. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    I think Ryan Harris played for the Broncos last year and signed with the Eagles this year. Not sure if they released him. He is pretty good but has been injuried alot. Which could be why he may have been released.

  58. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    Meant trade back and pick Riley Rieff not trade back a pick. Andrew Datko is frickin awesome last year he only allowed one sack on Ponder.

  59. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    Meant trade back and pick Riley Rieff not trade back a pick. Andrew Datko is frickin awesome last year he only allowed one sack on Ponder. Both Rieff and Datko can play almost any position on the OLine except Center but Fusco can do that. Get both and the OLine will be solid for the next decade.

  60. By purpleman527 on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    Personally, I think the vikes first round pick needs to be the best defensive player on the board.

  61. By Mike B. on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    I watched the nut kicking incident. BRob was on his back defending himself and looks as if he was kicking and not necessarily looking where he was kicking. I would not say that’s a dirty play. He appologized for it and will probably pay a fine enough of this issue.

  62. By Rocksalt on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    While Ponder looked good, let’s not compare him to Brady just yet….give him some time to prove himself.
    BTW- I think Ponder should have started 3 games ago……

  63. By Mike B. on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry to hear about Chris Cook the Team showed real class to suspend him until the legal issues are resolved. We can not condone domestic violence and suspension was a great move. This is unfortunate as Chris was showing us how good he could be on the field.

  64. By Mike B. on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Rocksalt Hind sight is a great thing and I agree when we were 0-3 he should have been put in. I think we would be only 1 win more but we would be better.

  65. By DRS on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    If ponder would have been #1 QB at the start of the game we would have been 4-3 at this time.

    #1 QB = Ponder
    #2 QB = Webb
    #3 QB = Mc Nabb

    have to go, have a great day, Go Vikings, 10-6, a dream maybe.

  66. By DRS on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    Oops season, not game. Sorry.

    later.

  67. By 61vikings on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    The key to this blog is Ponder sparks!! He has given us hope for now and the future!! By the end of the year we will be saying that we have the QB of the future and we can focus our draft on OL,DB,WR and Safety!! Need to hit the free agency market on a middle linebacker and a cornerback!!

  68. By Anthony on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    Man Im a Vikings fan and embarrassed by some of my fellow vikings fans! You guys are comparing Ponder to Brady and Montana. That is crazy rediculous and you should stop. He play 1 game, barely threw for 200 yards, and thew 2 pics. I don’t see how that is Brady or Montana like??? He only played one game and his performance was ok. You sound uneducated when you speak so highly of him. Also our main concern should be defense. The Packers are going to be on top for many years to come. The only way to beat them is to have a good defense because Aaron Rogers is lights out!!!

  69. By rwf1984 on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    He is more like Steve Young than Brady or Montana. But will he have success like him, hopefully. Remember Young didn’t start out great and Ponder has! I know he barely threw for 200 yds and 2 INT’s, but if you watched the game he seemed to do better than what his stats showed PERIOD! Just like the article stated the Vikings are able to convert on more 3rd downs than with McNabb and you can’t blame us Vikings fans for being excited an yes it maybe exaggerated a little bit, but don’t be a negative Nancy and rain on or parade by either coming to a Vikings website or saying your embarrassed to be a Vikings fan when all we are is basically excited! Anthony = Negative Nancy and you could figure out who is the Packer fan! Anthony also = up to be horrible fan even though he maybe a Packer fan. Doesn’t matter what team he likes, he is not a good fan!

  70. By paul on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

    rwf1984 give Ponder a little wiggle room before comparing him to some of the games, all time greats.

    He only started 1-game at home with A.P. going off for 173 yds.

    Now opposing defenses have some game tape on him and will set-up to stop him.
    The kid looked good and should get better but its a long season with road games and weather conditions to deal with. Good health Mr. Ponder..

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