The 2012 NFL season for the Minnesota Vikings resulted in something most didn’t expect, a playoff appearance. Relying heavily on Adrian Peterson, the Vikings were able to finish with a 10-6 record and go on to suffer a playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Vikings are hoping for more than just a playoff appearance in the 2013 season.
Quarterback Christian Ponder and the coaching staff do have high hopes for this season, but it could also be a disastrous season for the ball club.
Looking for a repeat performance, Peterson will try to make another run at the NFL single-season rushing record. Peterson came up only nine yards short of breaking the record in 2012. The Vikings say they want to take a little bit of the pressure off of Peterson and let Ponder throw the ball more, but don’t be fooled; Peterson is their star, and they will rely on him heavily again this season.
The talk about an increased number of pass attempts for Ponder from coach Leslie Frazier is enticing for the young quarterback, and he will try and take full advantage of the situation. For the Vikings, they are hoping Ponder has his breakout year and will be the one to carry them into the playoffs. If they do make it to the playoffs on the arm of Ponder, they will have a real shot at making a deep run into the playoffs.
That new style of offensive play from the Vikings could prove to be a great decision if they stick with it, but it could also result in a different scenario — total destruction.
In Ponder’s short career, he has so far thrown for 4,788 yards with 31 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. Those aren’t the numbers that jump out and say this is your go-to guy. With the increased workload, the Vikings could have more turnovers than ever and Ponder may get discouraged and question his throws. A lack in confidence is the worst thing you want to see from your quarterback, and the Vikings are hoping this scenario doesn’t play out for Ponder.
The addition of Greg Jennings provides Ponder with a viable throwing option. When Jennings was with the Packers he had tremendous success on the field catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. The problem with Jennings is that staying on the field has been challenging. In the past two seasons, Jennings has missed a total of 11 games. Putting Jennings on the bench with an injury or the IR list leaves Ponder with little at the receiving position to pass to and could set the Vikings back a notch in the hopes for another playoff appearance.
The Vikings could have yet another successful season, finding themselves in the playoffs back-to-back years or they could end up at the bottom of the NFC North standings. The latter is the option the Vikings are hoping to avoid whereas celebrating and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season is their best case scenario.