Christian Ponder–the 25 year old starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings–reached his season of reckoning. Although the highly scrutinized QB remains a formidable force within the friendly confines of the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN, his record on the road remains something to be desired. During the 2012-2013 NFL season, Ponder helped guide the Vikings to a 7-1 home record and into a Wild Card slot. On the flip side, the Vikings were only able to muster a 3-5 record on the road, many of those losses by double digits.
The Vikings kicked off their 2013 season on the road against the Detroit Lions and to the dismay of Vikings fans across the Twin Cities, Christian Ponder’s season started with him mimicking his antics from last season. In a 34-24 loss, Ponder turned the ball over four times. Vikings fans are becoming accustomed to Ponder throwing interceptions. Many justify Ponder being on the field by saying he is an adequate compliment to MVP running back Adrian Peterson.
Any QB worth their weight in salt should be able to take a snap from center and safely place the ball into their respective RB’s arms, right? Unfortunately, Ponder is finding ways to foul up these routine exchanges now too, as depicted in their loss to the Lions when he clumsily stumbled during one crucial exchange with A.P. Since the Vikings season opener, Ponder has rendered just two total passing touchdowns on the season versus five interceptions, en route to an abysmal 65.9 QB rating, per NFL.com statistics. FYI : Vikings backup QB Matt Cassel’s QB rating is currently at 123.4 with two touchdowns and zero interceptions at time of publication.
It is no secret that when the ball is in A.P’s grasp the Vikings win. Since Christian Ponder remains too inept to read or understand secondary coverage, he will never be an elite passer in the NFL. So, the one part of his game that must remain flawless for the Vikings to be successful in the future are his ball exchanges with A.P. Given A.P’s explosive ability and tendencies to score at any point during a drive, fumbling the ball during any exchange with him is far worse than throwing an interception. In addition to lost scoring opportunities, such fumbles likely played a significant role during A.P’s bid last season to break the single season rushing record. Just one more rushing attempt and A.P. would have (likely) gained the eight or nine yards needed to achieve the record. FYI: Ponder fumbled five times last season…