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Ponder’s Play Improving As Rematch With Packers Looms

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 26, 2012 – 4:01 pm

The flight to and from Green Bay is the shortest trip of every season for the Vikings. But, given how things unfolded in Week 13, you wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s trip home from Green Bay felt like the longest of the season for Christian Ponder and the Vikings.

The Vikings had their way with Green Bay’s defense as Adrian Peterson pranced around Lambeau Field to the tune of 210 yards through three quarters. The Vikings defense was playing well, too, holding Green Bay’s high-powered offense to just 10 points through halftime and much of the 3rd quarter.

But it was a costly interception thrown by Ponder early in the 3rd quarter that turned out to be the tipping point. Peterson ripped off a 48-yard run on the first play of the 2nd half, setting up the Vikings with a 1st and 10 from the Green Bay 12. The Vikings were poised to go up 21-10 early in the 2nd half, and given the way the Vikings were running the ball and playing defense, that lead would likely have been insurmountable for the Packers.

Two plays after the 48-yard Peterson run, though, Ponder threw an interception that served as a turning point for the game. Rather than being up 21-10, the Vikings lead was cut from 14-10 to 14-13, and Green Bay eventually pulled away for a 23-14 win.

The good news, though, is that Ponder’s play has steadily improved since that game. The Vikings haven’t lost since, and Ponder has been an important part of each win. Against Chicago the next week, he converted several critical 3rd-down throws and in wins over the St. Louis Rams and Houston Texans Ponder was able to capitalize on the opposing defense’s commitment to stopping Peterson.

“A lot of it has to do with Christian just growing as a quarterback,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Wednesday. “He’s gone through some challenges over the course of this season, and he responded extremely well over the last few weeks.

“It was a tough day in a lot of ways in our first game against Green Bay. He bounced back from that with a very efficient game against Chicago, and he’s continued that progression right on through. We worked on some things from that Green Bay game that we wanted to improve on, and we’ve seen some improvement in his play.”

Frazier didn’t stop there in analyzing why Ponder has improved over the last three weeks. He also credited the guys playing around Ponder for their improved play as well.

“It’s just a combination of what our coaches are doing with him and what he’s doing,” Frazier said. “Also, the guys around him. It’s a collective effort. We’ve got a lot of other guys…our receivers are doing a better job in some of the things they’re doing. Christian obviously is doing a better job. Our pass pro (protection) is a little bit better. And what we’re doing schematically has helped us as well.”

Asked if Sunday’s rematch against the Packers would be important in determining where Ponder stands in the organization as the quarterback of the future, Frazier deflected the matter and instead turned the focus to the current team and its objectives.

“The best thing he can do is a lead us to a win,” Frazier said. “That would be huge for our football team. Just do a great job at the quarterback position like he’s done over the last few weeks, and for the most part through the season. Lead us to victory. That would be terrific.

“That being said, we have to have a lot of guys playing well on Sunday against a very good football team. Twelve straight wins in our division, eleven wins this season, they’re a good team. So we need not only Christian playing well, but a lot of other people playing well also.”


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 49 Comments »


49 Responses to “Ponder’s Play Improving As Rematch With Packers Looms”

  1. By Ponder AKA 3 and out on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    if Ponder has another bad day, he will have to compete for his job next year

  2. By Tim S on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Although efficient, He was throwing floaters all day. put some dang zing on the ball ponder!

  3. By Smith22DMVP on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    if thats the case, it better be another young QB with a big upside.

  4. By RichardA1 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    The Dome will be louder than it has ever been this Packer game! Grrrrrr, Vikes going to eat them up like there there favorite cheese! going to start calling Rodgers the Turf, because that’s where he’s going to spend it Sunday afternoon! Might have to rate R or maybe X, so much packer blood, no one is going to want there kids around! Fearsome mean Berserk, hurry up, get here packers so we can turn you into cheese whiz! welcome to where they make “Kick Ass”!

  5. By BlueBird7 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    If Ponder can do this game and help pull off a win against the Packers.

    He might just change what some people think of his “Quaterbacking.”

  6. By vikess86 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    what ever samantha did for ponder for the last game please do it again. he played decent. That on top of getting the ball to AP. and the defense keep playing like they did. Last game. Please repeat it and we will do well.

  7. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I cannot believe some still complain. Aka Ponder– get a sock and chew on it.

  8. By robb on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Lather,rinse,repeat week 16 and it’s all good.Vikings should crush Green Bay at home and again the next week if they have to play them.I am so proud of this team and what is going to be a very historical Vikings season.Yeah history in the making.Credit coach Frazier,coach Williams,and even coach Musgrave.I bet Musgrave was saving some of those Texan’s plays all year.Now we’ll see what he pulls out of the bag week 17.

  9. By 1vikingsfan on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Im with you Titus. Probably they turn out fans of vikings this year because they don’t know how we were the last couple of years. We are talking playoffs after a 3-13 record last year. I don’t know what people still complain. Deal what we have. We are suppose to be better next year just stop complaining. Deal with what we have and dont see what if and would of and all that. Some people here are not real supporters. Enough said.

  10. By RichardA1 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Ponder was awesome, as good as Brady, for the 1st 5 games, then out of gas, he sucked! looks like he’s putting it all together for the last few games, rock on Ponder!!!

  11. By RichardA1 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Ponder is Clocked Locked Ready to Roll, going to clean up this Packer team!

  12. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    The numbers on Ponder only tell a partial story– did anyone hear the announcers call him Houdini as he thwarted Watt’s attempts to sack him? Twice I saw Ponder, his lower body engulfed by Watt and still got a throw in (granted a tad risky that one time, but still– it showed heart and strength). And not to mention some of the runs Ponder had– that one was for about 20 yards. And not to mention winning two weeks in a row– on the road! And against a 12-2 team. Geesh to the naysayers– go somewhere else because your complaining is old. And unwarranted. What a year!

  13. By RichardA1 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I can’t wait to tackle, sack em, score on them. Dominate them in every catagory, time, score. Packers will be stepping into a Lions Den, will be playing in Shark filled waters, Packs of wolfs, forfeit now Packers! the place is going to be insane, inhuman, outrageous, a Viking performance like never before!

  14. By 1vikingsfan on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    So why is no one talking about the pro-bowl?

  15. By Immure on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I’m a supporter of Ponder but I don’t think an open competition for the starting spot next off season is a bad idea. Hopefully he’ll continue to grow and improve and I think a competition well help him move along faster. I believe he’ll continue get to better and show that he deserves to be the starter.

  16. By Immure on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    By 1vikingsfan on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    So why is no one talking about the pro-bowl?
    __________________________________________________________________

    Because our players won’t be in it. They’ll be playing in the Super Bowl (hopefully).

  17. By chris b on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    All i going to say about ponder is he couldnt get much worse,

  18. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I would love to see MBT play– don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Ponder has proven he is the long range answer at quarterback. I am saying he played well at the start and end of the season — enough so that we should root for him and keep the negativity low– this team needs our support right now. They could go all the way, you never know.

  19. By Spencer on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    In the last 3 games, Ponder has totaled 396yds, 2TDs, and a 63% completion percentage.

    Yet hes “improving”?
    Have we lowered our standards that much?
    QB’s get those stats in 1 game!

  20. By Spencer on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

  21. By Ponder AKA 3 and out on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    what about matt K the left guard? he never made the pro bowl?

  22. By Spencer on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Thats what I dont get, Kalil was leading in the Pro Bowl vote for a long time yet got snubbed?

  23. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Last year at this time…There wasn’t a Viking fan out there…That didn’t know our secondary needed a lot of help for this season…If the Vikings were to compete this year…

    Well Spielman and our scouts did a super job…Finding some excellent players…To revamp almost the whole secondary this season…Into a solid group of young players…That will only get better with experience the next few years…

    I think the same will happen next season at the WR position…There is every possibility…Wright may be the only WR coming back next season ???…

    Be it, one reason or another… A rookie 4th round pick this spring, might be our only WR going into the 2013 spring draft…(Maybe Childs if healthy. maybe Harvin ??)…

    This Vikings team is in a playoff hunt…With an aging WR in Jenkins…Aroma and Burton at WR…And a solid rookie in Wright and very good TE…And an AWESOME running back !!!…With a very solid defense…

    This team needs are WR,LB, and young talent at other positions…DT,G and QB…

    Competition breeds success…I think the Vikings do get a QB in this springs draft…They should be looking to develop more talent in that area…And to push healthy competition in those other areas also…

  24. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer you would complain if you were handed a check for 10 million dollars.

  25. By Spencer on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

  26. By Spencer on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    And you would complain if someone misspelled the word “million” on the check..

  27. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    If someone needs help, I am there for him or her.

  28. By Parkway on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    LOL Spencer so true

  29. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Next Parkway will tell us that Super Storm Sandy was created by government scientists to help re-elect Obama.

  30. By Parkway on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Do you think it wasn’t?

  31. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Just read Houston has the second most pro bowl selections, including six on offense– an offense that could only score two TDs at home against the Vikings! Packer fans better be prepared– I know how crazy they get when their team loses.

  32. By Parkway on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

  33. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    HA HA HA == Parkway, tell me with a straight face that it was.

  34. By Parkway on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Tell me with a straight face you think there is a genie that nods his head and creates things (you call him god).

  35. By Spencer on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Next Parkway will tell us that Super Storm Sandy was created by government scientists to help re-elect Obama.
    ————————————————————————————–

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  36. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Spencer, did you read his response?

  37. By Parkway on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Titus were you disappointed when santa didn’t show up?

  38. By ShadySun on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Parkway………..
    Just because you were BAD, and Santa didnt show up at your house, doesnt mean he does not exist. He showed up at my house.

  39. By northwoodsv2 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Just read Houston has the second most pro bowl selections, including six on offense– an offense that could only score two TDs at home against the Vikings!
    ———————————————————————————————————

    Hmmmm…..and here I was thinking they only scored 6 points.

  40. By goldeneagle on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I think Chad Greenway should of been selected as well. He is as good as any LB out there.

  41. By 03 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    I still don’t have a believe in him as our QB, sorry… I would like to to see Webb or MTB. It would be much exciting to watch. I am so sick of this precious Ponder deal. Cheap management!

  42. By BlueBird7 on Dec 26, 2012 | Reply

    Blah Blah, blah, question Ponder, say something about what he hasn’t done,

    tell the truth about him, and you all are bad guys! All we, the Faithful Viking Fans

    ( Our term for us, earned or not) I say again: “Let us see if Ponder can help win”

    The GreenBay game, people might change their view of his quarterbacking”

  43. By BlueBird7 on Dec 27, 2012 | Reply

    Yes, Titus I seen Ponder dancing around, only one small item to add.

    Joe Webb can do the same thing, maybe MBT (If we ever see him play!)

  44. By MuskyFever on Dec 27, 2012 | Reply

    I’m actually a little frusterated that Greenway was not selected. Clearly its not really about talent or even a season. It’s more about what players know more people and are in good with the rest of the NFL. Like take Jared Allen for example. He has had an OK year. Nothing special about 9.5 sacks in 15 games. Sure he gets pressure, and last year he was a beast… but this year he has not been the DOMINANTE wrangler Allen that we all know he can be.

    Then you have Greenway…ummm… WHO IS LEADING THE NFL IN TACKLES!!!!!!! Yet he is not in the pro-bowl. The Pro-bowl is stupid anyway, I dont even know why we have it. IT’s not like the players actually try during this game. It’s a joke IMHO. I like the idea of choosing people for “honors awards (pro-bowl selection) if you will. But the game is just dumb. Get rid of the game. No one watches it anyway.

  45. By Jeffbleedspurple on Dec 27, 2012 | Reply

    Ponder blew the game against the Pack on their turf. I put that lost on no one , but him. This is his chance to redeem himself and believe me you, for those of you that think there been a lot of complaining about Ponder to this point that’s unjustified, he loses this game at home things are going to get very ugly around here for that guy and I will be one among many yelling for his head. Twice against the Pack when we should have beaten them is to much.

  46. By Rush on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    So Harvin is on IR with a sprained ankle from a month ago???? Really there has got to be something behind this story, Heard him an Frazier got into it wonder if that is why he is on IR, Cuz this game here is way to big for him to just be sitting out, that ankle has to be healed by now!!!

  47. By Eggnog on Dec 28, 2012 | Reply

    Coach Leslie would plz find a new QB for the next season . I am so tired of watching Ponder the Boy can’t even throw ! Man I know Brett Farve said on his last Monday night game , Webb is the new Brett Fave give the brother a chance and trade Ponder plz !!!!!!

  48. By Gravy on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    Packers, 45-17.

    Ponder that.

  49. By dennis jorgensen on Dec 29, 2012 | Reply

    i only want to say ‘Play the Game -to win – like The Minnesota Vi -KINGS youall are !! Go the MAXX in the First half ,so you have room in the fourth quarter TO WIN !!! thank you

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