When the Vikings get to camp in July they hope to begin a journey to the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. The pressure is on more than ever for third year quarterback, Christian Ponder to produce a passing game which can take some pressure off the legs of possibly the best running back or perhaps the best player ever. Ponder does realize the implications this season has on his legacy as a Minnesota Viking. The Florida State QB has been scrutinized since the team surprisingly drafted him 12th overall. A road that has been both up and down for Ponder looks to be evening out. He looks to build on his early and late season success last year.
The Vikings began the 2012 season with not much credit. They had a rehabbing all pro running back, an inconsistent quarterback, a defense getting old, and a receiving core that couldn’t catch a cold. How can they succeed?
The team crushed the negative ideas about them. An astonishing 4-1 start which included; the biggest upset of the season up to this point against the 49ers. This was all compacted down to one team who believed they had the right people in their locker room to be successful. In that 4-1 span Christian Ponder threw for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. Most importantly, a 69 percent completion percentage and only two interceptions. For those who thought Adrian Peterson was the only play-maker on the team, he only had one 100+ yard game in those five games.
Just as things were looking up the team would lose four of their next six games. Ponder couldn’t get his passer rating consistently over 75 and he struggled to get the offense moving.
Most fans gave up on the quarterback and thought he was ruining the season. As things began to get ugly Christian Ponder and the Vikings offense got fired up and made and outstanding push for the playoffs sitting at 6-6. They needed to win out if they even wanted a chance to make the big dance. They did just that. Ponder threw for 630 yards and four touchdowns including one interception. Peterson played perfect and Ponder understood what it was going to take to get the offense going. Managing the game became the number one priority for the QB. His best performance came in the biggest game of the season, week 17 at home with the Green Bay Packers. He engineered a game winning drive and had the team believing in him and his arm.
Unfortunately an injury sidelined him in the NFC Wildcard rematch against the Packers where Joe Webb stunk it up. It’s hard not to believe if Ponder played the way he did in the last quarter of the season in that game there is no telling how that game could have turned out. That’s what excites me the most going into this season, the potential for greatness. Now the team helped him out and grabbed Cordarrelle Patterson in the draft and patched up the offensive line. They also gave him a solid backup which helps him compete every day in practice. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Joe Webb catching touchdown passes from Christian Ponder in 2013? As most Vikings fans will agree, if it wins ball games then it doesn’t matter who passes that goal line. Just know that the team will stay behind their starting quarterback and will do whatever it takes to win.
After 27 starts, Christian Ponder is walking into this season on a clean slate. It can only go up or down. He will either manage the team to victories or be the goat. This is the show-me year. What will the future hold for Christian and the Vikings? We will wait in anticipation.