Ponder’s Debut Brings Hope for the Vikings’ Future
Tucked inside the disappointment of the Vikings 33-27 loss to the Green Bay Packers is one definite silver lining. Sunday marked the first start in rookie quarterback Christian Ponder’s career, and what a time to make that start -- against the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Ponder didn’t disappoint either, hooking up with Michael Jenkins for a 72 yard reception on the first play of the game and then later hitting Visante Shiancoe for a 2 yard touchdown.
Ponder did experience some growing pains during the 3rd quarter, throwing 2 interceptions that led to points for Green Bay. But Ponder nearly led the Vikings to a victory in the 4th quarter, finding Jenkins for a late touchdown to pull the Vikings within 6 points.
Overall, Ponder’s final numbers looked like this: 13-32 for 219 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
One would certainly expect these numbers to get better as the season progresses. And with arguably his toughest opponent in the Packers being played again in 2 weeks, I expect that after that game his numbers will start to level out. His completion percentage will improve, as a handful of his passes were drops or thrown away to avoid pressure.
Ponder also showed great poise on third down, something that we hadn’t seen from Donovan McNabb.
Another thing we hadn’t seen were crisp passes that got to receivers while they were in stride, allowing them to gain more yards and not having to dive for the balls McNabb would throw.
Ponder also has a great security blanket in Adrian Peterson, which will help take some of the focus off of him.
Granted, one game is too early to anoint Ponder as this team’s savior, but I have to say that I like what I saw on Sunday, and hope to see more of it for the rest of the season.