One player that needs to step up big is quarterback Christian Ponder. Ponder, who had a less than stellar first season as a rookie, needs to step up this year and avoid a sophomore slump, not that he could really get much worse. The way he and many Vikings' fans need to view the Ponder situation is that he can only go up from last year. Ponder showed flashes of brilliance, but his total numbers were not great as he threw 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 11 games (ten starts).
According to CBS Sports and Joe Oberle, Ponder is quoted as saying, "Friday's going to be huge, I don't know how much the first-string offense is going to play, but we have to go out and make a statement. Our goal is to score every time we have the ball. Whether it is one drive or three drives, whatever time we have to make sure that we are efficient, make sure things are clicking, that we're more disciplined and we perform."
Ponder's best game, in my opinion was in his victory over the Carolina Panthers in his second start in week eight. Ponder threw one touchdown on 18 of 28 passing with 236 yards. Ponder didn't try to do too much and got his first career win.
Ponder isn't the type of quarterback that needs to be throwing over 300 yards. In case you have forgotten, the Vikings have this guy named Adrian Peterson on their team and he runs pretty darn well.
That is why the Vikings lost the game against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos in week 13. Ponder threw 29 of 47 with career highs in yards with 381 and touchdowns with three. However, he also threw two picks, one that essentially ended the game. If he can average throwing just about 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns a game, that would be efficient enough.
It will be interesting to see how well he performs in the preseason opener against a very stingy 49ers' defense. Everyone in Vikings' territory should be rooting for Ponder, because he is the future.
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