The Vikings are a surprising 5-2 after yesterday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals. A team that was expected to only win four or five games all season, has reached that win total not even half way through. Some wins have been impressive (See 49ers and Titans) and some not so much (See Jaguars and Cardinals). Despite the exciting and surprising record, however, many fans can focus on one thing and only one thing today–the poor play of QB Christian Ponder.
Ponder completed 8 of 17 throws for 58 yards. He also threw two interceptions, one of which Arizona converted into 7 points a few plays later. The other INT was almost three more points right before half, but the kick sailed wide. As ESPN’s Kevin Sefert reports, “Only one other time in Vikings history has a quarterback thrown at least 17 passes, completed fewer than nine and grossed as little as 58 yards, as Ponder did Sunday. (Gary Cuozzo, 5-21-52 in 1970, also in victory.)” Not the type of records the Vikings young QB wants to be setting. The good thing is that at least Ponder knows it.
“I’m trying to do too many things. I’m getting out of the pocket and trying to force it to happen,” Ponder said to Ben Goessling of the Pioneer Press. “I have to be a lot smarter and make better decisions for sure.”
We can hear the scoffing now from Vikings fans that think this is the understatement of the year. Let us remind you, however, that this Arizona Cardinals defense made Tom Brady look terrible. They are far from pedestrian. Yes, it was a terrible performance by Ponder–arguably his third in a row–but the young quarterback seems to have his finger on at least some of the problem.
The coaching staff and the team are 100% behind Ponder. The fans should be too.