Musgrave Discusses Key To Ponder’s Improvement

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 28, 2012 – 5:48 am

Christian Ponder completed 21 of 35 passes for 198 yards with 2 TDs in last week’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers. There have been other games during Ponder’s young career when he has completed more passes (twice) and thrown for more yards (six times) and TDs (once).

But from the sounds of it, there may not have been any other game in which Ponders’ coaches were more pleased with his performance.

Both Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave intimated on Thursday that Ponder’s performance against the stingy 49ers defense last weekend was the best they’ve seen their young passer. Frazier discussed the topic during Thursday’s taping of Vikings Live From Winter Park, and Musgrave was asked about it while meeting with reporters on Thursday morning.

Musgrave pointed out that Ponder has had gaudier numbers in the past, but that too frequently those impressive statistics were accompanied by mistakes such as fumbles, INTs, penalties and sacks.

“I would say it is, all in all,” Musgrave said when asked if that’s as well as he’s seen Ponder play. “He played well against Green Bay last year, he threw for 381 yards against the Denver defense last year. But there were those mistakes that made it tough for us to get the victory. The quickest way to lose in this League or at any level is to beat yourself. And last year, we did some good things, but we had some untimely mistakes that caused it to be really tough for us to get the outcome that we want. And we want to keep playing at a high level, but number one, we don’t want to beat ourselves.”

The Vikings did not beat themselves last Sunday, which led to them beating the 49ers instead. Ponder threw no INTs and wasn’t sacked, which made the Vikings just the second team in the 49ers last 19 games to hold them without either an INT or a sack. The Vikings also committed just one offensive penalty (for 10 yards).

To beat a tough Lions team on the road this weekend, the Vikings won’t necessarily need gaudy numbers from Ponder. They just need to not beat themselves.

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Programming Note: “Beyond The Gridiron” Airing At Earlier Time On Saturday

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on September 28, 2012 – 5:17 am

The initial airing of this weekend’s “Beyond The Gridiron,” which typically airs at Noon each Saturday on KARE 11, will air at 6:30 AM this Saturday due to NBC’s coverage of the Ryder Cup.  The show will re-air on Sunday as usual on FSN at 10 AM.

Fans can learn more about the show and watch segments from it here.

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