GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Adrian Peterson was the best player for the Minnesota Vikings all season. There is no debating that. But as great as the team's star running back was, he needed some help from quarterback Christian Ponder in order to get the Vikings into the playoffs.
Throughout most of the season, Peterson didn't get that help. In his second NFL season, Ponder mostly struggled and, at many points, looked like the type of quarterback who wouldn't last long as a starter.
But following a horrendous performance from Ponder in Green Bay on Dec. 2 that dropped Minnesota to a 6-6 record, he slowly started to get the hang of things. That rapid improvement was capped off with a victory over the Packers in Week 17 in which Ponder had a season-high three touchdown passes and did not throw an interception.
"He played a lot better," Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "He played a very efficient game. He did a nice job. We know he's a very mobile guy. He can make plays on the move ...