After being the only team to miss out on the playoffs last season, the Minnesota Vikings turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of 2012 after earning the final playoff spot in the NFC with a win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The argument can be made that Adrian Peterson single-handedly led the Vikings to the playoffs after falling just nine yards short of the single season record for rushing yards with 2,097, but the Vikings wouldn’t have been able to win their regular season finale if it wasn’t for Christian Ponder.
Ponder arguably displayed his best performance of the regular season against the Packers after completing 16 of 28 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns during Minnesota’s 37-34 win. The second-year quarterback has received plenty of criticism throughout the 2012 season and the fact that he threw just three touchdowns over his last five games didn’t help his case, but Ponder came up big for his teammates when it mattered the most with playoffs on the line.
All the Vikings had to do on Sunday to clinch a playoff birth was win against the Packers and now that they’ve earned a trip to Lambeau Field next weekend–they should be a team to keep an eye on. Ponder proved what he’s capable of doing on Sunday and if he can manage to display another steller performance in the first round of the playoffs–Minnesota could manage to pull off the upset on the road against their division rivals.
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