EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder came through with the best game of his two-year career Sunday with his team needing a win to advance to the playoffs.
Ponder's play has progressed since walking off Lambeau Field on Dec. 2, when he threw two costly interceptions, and has given Minnesota's offense the balance needed to make a run to the postseason. In the season's waning weeks, the embattled Ponder and the Vikings' much-maligned receiving corps helped rescue each other in time to keep Minnesota's season afloat.
With leading receiver Percy Harvin missing the season's final seven games, Ponder and the Vikings were left with a group of receivers who didn't scare opposing defenses. The names Michael Jenkins, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright and others were left to fill the void left by the playmaking Harvin. Predictably, the passing game struggled without its top target.
Then, with the season on the line, Ponder and Jenkins, Simpson a...