Minnesota Vikings: How Many Poor Performances Will Christian Ponder Last in 2013?


Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

It is pretty safe to say that the Minnesota Vikings won games in 2012 in spite of quarterback Christian Ponder. Running back Adrian Peterson carried the team on his back all season long en route to a 2,000 yard season.

At this point already, I know there are plenty of ignorant Vikings fans ready to jump down my throat. It’s okay though, I’m about to prove to you why Ponder is a terrible quarterback — and believe me, it doesn’t take much.

In 2013, the Vikings now have Matt Cassel in competition with Ponder of course, and I’m wondering just how many games head coach Leslie Frazier will last until he makes a change.

In Ponder’s first six games in 2012, he threw for roughly half of his total yardage on the season. In those same games, he threw for under 200 yards twice. 

In his final 10 games, Ponder tossed 10 touchdowns compared to the eight he threw in his first six games. It’s no wonder in week six that Ponder was one of the top-5 rated quarterbacks in the NFL and after that point, well, it wasn’t pretty.

In seven of his final 10 games, Ponder threw for under 200 yards seven times, including three dismal performances in which he finished under 100 passing yards — 58, 63 and 91.

How in the world has Peterson put up with this? Ponder is going to end the future Hall of Famer’s career early at this rate because they’re going to depend solely on the running game sooner or later in 2013 — and beyond, if Ponder stays the starter.

This upcoming season will be a sure disappointment for Minnesota if they don’t seriously consider starting Cassel. He’s not even a good quarterback, but he’s the best option they have.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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  • jamed

    I think Ponder will be on ESPN with his highlights cause he’s gunna be a monster without Harvin there I seem to remember his last game against the Packers the last regular season game he threw up some good numbers in a time we needed to win.. I think that’s why players in Minnesota never pan out to be what they should cause everybody in Minnesota is so negative its sick.. How about show the guy some positive things instead of negative it might just help not saying it will but it can’t hurt!! I’m on ur side Ponder don’t listen to these negative idiots that have no hope for anything use it to fuel yourself.. Skol..

    • Farva55

      If you think Ponder is the man…you are hilariously mistaken. Ponder blows.

  • disqus_mzcW0qkSbN

    I find it amazing that when writers seek to disparage Christian Ponder almost universally the first half and middle of the season is mentioned, but the last 4 games are conveniently omitted. If we are to abide by the logic espoused here, we can assume that you are one of the worlds greatest sports columnists because surely you have never written a sub par piece in your entire career.

    • Farva55

      Writers seek to disparage Ponder because he sucks….badly.

      • jamed

        And so do you…

        • Farva55


          Your references are off the chain, someone should hire you.

  • Guest

    The kid played his best ball the last time we saw him on the field. Not to mention the guy made strides in nearly every relevant statistical category from yr 1 to 2. Hell if you look at his stats which so many pundits like highlight, not only was he not even close to being one of the worst QB’s in the league his 2nd yr number are almost identical to Eli Mannings 2nd year. Tom Brady’s was not far off as well, but he played fewer games.

  • disqus_mzcW0qkSbN

    The kid played his best ball the last time we saw him on the field. Not to mention the guy made strides in nearly every relevant statistical category from yr 1 to 2. Hell if you look at his stats, which so many pundits like highlight, not only was he not even close to being one of the worst QB’s in the league, his 2nd yr number are almost identical to Eli Mannings 2nd year. Tom Brady’s was not far off as well, but he played fewer games.

    • Farva55

      LOL @vikngs fans.

  • Anton

    Not a Viking fan but a huge AP fan, gotta dispute this guy. Is it Ponder or the play calling? Yes he had some bad games but he also had some excellent games too, he was the last QB to throw an INT last year, then he threw two in a row. It is his third year, everyone knows that is the make or break year for a QB, atleast give him that chance. Steve Young was a nobody in Tampa, Brett Favre was a lost cause in Atlanta, Kurt Warner was nothing until Green was injured, etc. Now Ponder is no Farve, Young or Warner, atleast not yet, but he too deserves that chance. When I read these stories and writers it makes me pull for the guy so they can eat their words, Ponder is an easy target but the Vikes threw 52% and ran 48% last year. Let Ponder play this year before you write him off….

  • disqus_kcyawCuon1

    Explain to me how yards have anything
    to do with performance? That’s the most idiotic analysis of QB play I’ve ever
    heard. They stacked 9 men in the box every single play and the vikings just
    said, hit em again. He ran for 6 yards a carry against 9 men in the box, you’d
    have to be an idiot to pass the ball when you can get guaranteed first down
    after first down running.

    agree, Christian ponder was pretty bad in weeks 9, 11 and 12. This is when
    Harvin went down. Now I encourage you to go look at some game film and try to
    find an open receiver, there were none.

    yard performance, he threw the ball 17 times, not effectively but guess what
    the vikings won, and the game wasn’t ever close.

    yard game was his worst performance, it was the game percy got hurt and they
    had no backup plan for a passing game because the receivers were horrible. He
    only threw 20 times

    yard performance, another vikings win against the bears. He only threw 17

    lets look at when he performed “well” and recognize that a strong performance
    in yards/passer rating is directly correlated to the vikings losing. Like I
    said, when no one can stop the running game, you don’t stop running. When the
    vikings did stop running and gave ponder even close to as many attempts as
    other QBs get, the vikings typically lost.

    1: 20/27, 270 yards, 0 TD 0 INT. Vikings narrowly win in OT

    2: 27/35, 245 yards, 2 TDs 0 INT. Vikings lose

    6: 35/52, 352 yards, 2 TD 2 INT. Vikings lose

    8: 19/35 251 yards, 1 TD 1 INT. Vikings lose

    the ball out of APs hands and you don’t do as well. plain and simple.

    threw for over 200 yards in 7 games The Vikings went 4-3 (with one win being in

    threw for under 150 yards 6 games. The vikings record in those games was 4-2

    threw for under 100 yards in 3 games. The vikings record in those games was 2-1

    150 and 200 they were 2-1.

    should be obvious at this point to you that more yards for ponder, means less
    carries for AP, which means less success for the vikings. What exactly are you
    criticizing him for by attacking how many yards he threw for? He had 3 terrible
    games when harvin went out, but was the reason the vikings made the playoffs in
    the last 4 game stretch. To criticize yardage by a QB on a team that ran for
    2350 yards from scrimmage (2600 yards if you include ponder) because he only
    threw for 3000 yards is pretty stupid. It’s called a balanced
    offense, and 5 of the 7 teams that ran more than the Vikings made the playoffs.

    passing game is middle of the road in pretty much every single category of
    analysis, except passing attempts/game where they rank 28th, like I’ve been
    saying. Christian Ponders “inconsistent” play is directly
    attributable to the inconsistencies in how many times he dropped back to pass
    from game to game. If he was given 35 passes per game (the average in the NFL)
    he consistently threw for 250 yards.

    you give a guy 17 throws, completing 10 of them is 60% completion rating (2%
    below ponders average). The vikings averaged around 9 yards per completion
    because they ran a west coast offense, and ran 1st and 2nd down, setting
    themselves occasionally for a 3rd down with 3 yards to go where they would
    throw a short pass 50% of the time and run 50% of the time. Ponder basically
    only received the ball to throw on 3rd down, and it was usually a short 3rd
    down. To then criticize him for only throwing for 90 yards is pretty naive. Not
    to mention when you throw the ball only 17 times the variability of your stats
    is insane. The Vikings put the ball in ponders hands on 3rd
    down pretty much exclusively and he delivered pretty consistently.

    Analyzing a qb by yards thrown is like analyzing percy harvin’s season stats
    last year against other WRs full season stats, it’s just stupid and doesn’t
    mean anything.

    I’m not saying ponder was amazing, I’m saying he was average in his first full
    season as the starter. Now he is at the point where you can analyze his play
    and say okay this is what he can give us, last year was not.

    Ponders stats last year in his first full season as the starter:

    2935 yards 62.1% completion rating 18 TD and 12 INT

    QBR= 53.8 (17th in the league)

    Passer Rating= 81.2 (21st in the league)

    These ratings in his first full season, he just hit the number of starts
    analysts say it takes to develop in the last game of last season (where he was
    playing his best football). Despite this 2012 being his first full season as
    the starter he is statistically better than about half the league and you idiot
    analysts want to sit here and talk like he’s the worst in the game because he
    threw for under 100 yards in 3 games even though he only threw it 17 times and
    they won 2 of the 3 games.

  • Guest

    You didnt even answer the question that is the title of the article. How many? You looked up one stat on espn.com and then concluded saying cassels no good but ponder is worse. I dont understand why the media is comparing him to qb’s that make 25 million a year. he doesnt. i wouldnt expect him to be as good. im sure if there was a better option out there the vikings would have picked up on it and taken it, because its their job to know things like that better than you. dont come off so arrogant, youre writing for rantsports,com.