While it seems absurd, Christian Ponder actually gives the Minnesota Vikings a reasonable shot at contending with the Green Bay Packers this weekend. Not only does Ponder give the Vikings a better shot this weekend than Josh Freeman would, but based on his past performances there is actually a chance Ponder plays well this weekend.
Ponder made his first ever NFL start against the Packers, and given his inexperience it went quite well as the then-rookie Ponder threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. That wasn’t the only success Ponder had against the Packers before this season as he led the Vikings to a win over their rival in the last regular season game last year by throwing for 234 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-34 Vikings victory.
Although Ponder failed to continue playing at that high level once this season began, after being benched for both Freeman and Matt Cassel this season, he finally has the motivation to make the most of each start. It only makes sense that Ponder starts against the Packers this weekend given he has faced them four times in the last two years and is the best prepared Vikings quarterback to square-off against a tough division foe.
The Packers have struggled mightily in pass coverage this season, and given it is the first time Greg Jennings will face his former team, Ponder should look his way throughout the game as the veteran receiver has been the Vikings’ most reliable player all season. The Packers have also been one of the worst pass rushing teams in the league this year, and although the Vikings’ offensive line is one of the most inconsistent in the NFL, things are shaping up for Ponder to excel Sunday night. Don’t be surprised if the Vikings contend with the Packers Sunday night.