To my intrigue, I sorta got a little "C'mon Man", in the comment section, when I stated that I'd trust Ponder with the ball in his hands with the game on the long, moreso than 15 and prehaps 20 other quarterbacks in this league. But, but, Ponder sucks, and even if what you say is true, that's only reflecting that he's nothing but a Tim Tebow. Ahh, my friends, wait and behold.
Depending on your perception of "clutch", these results may vary in opinion. In my opinion, clutch is a quarterback who can Convert third and fourth downs, perform well in the Redzone, and also in the 4th quarter.
Below is a chart outlining qualified quarterbacks, conversion rates on 3rd downs.
|Rk||QB||3D Pass||Avg To Go||Exp. Conv Rate||Exp Conv||1D||1D Rate||1D Ov Exp||1D Rt Ov Exp||NY/A|
|23||Robert Griffin III||126||8.52||34.3%||43.2||41||32.5%||-2.2||-1.7%||4.67|
Long in behold, not one, but two 2013 Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks are smack down in the middle of the list, and really the upper half of the list, if you consider all 39 spots. Mr. Ponder converted 3rd downs moreso than the likes of Andy Dalton, Eli Manning, Jake Locker, Alex Smith, Carlson Palmer, Cam Newton, Phillip Rivers, just to name a few. All this chart tells you is that, on 3rd down, hey Chrisitan fairs pretty well with the league in converting them, even moreso than certain QBs who were in the "Elite" conversation.
Oh and just in case you forgot, Ponder, in the most crucial game of his young career, converted the biggest 3rd down in Ponderdom(History of Ponder), when he connected with Michael Jenkins in the 4th quarter with the game on the line in Week 17 against the Packers last year. Don't believe me? Just watch: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-fantasy/0ap2000000120339/QB-Ponder-to-WR-Jenkins-25-yd-pass
On fourth down in 2012, the Ponder-led Vikings aslo converted on 4th down 63.6% of the time, putting the Vikings as 7th in the league based on percentage last year. Granted the Vikings only attempted to go on 4th downs 11 times last year. Even so, the lesser attempts you take, the more likely your percentage would be low, because of the small sample size, so the Vikings were quite good converting 4th downs. And Don't for a second think AP was responsible for all of the 4th Down Conversions, because a couple Ponder to Rudolph connections, one from which off the top of my head, went for a TD against SF, should refresh your memory.
In addition to this, it is fairly known that Christian Ponder is a pretty darn Good Redzone QB. Don't believe me? In 2011, Christian's rookie campaign, I remind you, Mr. Ponder was the, yes THE, number 1 rated Quarterback in the redzone. And he didn't even have the 2012 version of AP, or a 1k yard running back. And as for his 2nd season? Well, just read this nefty MINN Scout Article. http://min.scout.com/2/1303929.html.
I attempted To search for a more detailed chart, but this is all I have for 4th Quarter QB ratings from last year:
QB Rating, 4th Quarter
|15||Robert Griffin III||Was||86.1|
P.S. the list just stopped at 20, and look who's name is on it?
Hey look who's number 1. Ha. Anywho, for a guy who was simply asked(perhaps because of his limitations?) to game manage for the majority of the season, finishing as an average QB in the league last year in the 4th quarter, a handful where the game was yet to be decided, is a pretty good thing. And to be ahead of Matthew Stafford, and possibly plenty more QBs who qualified for this stat, is also encouraging. Although, one could sway one way another that Ponder may have played at an even high level in the 4th quarter, after noticing that Andrew Luck isn't even listed.
I admit, last year I bashed Christian, even though most of the time I felt I was justified too, but now my perception has changed. I've come to the realization that every single team WANTS an elite Quarterback, but that just will not happen. I also realize, there's a heck of a lot more quarterbacks the Vikings could be wasting their time with, that hasn't shown nearly the efficiency in specific areas, as Christian. I remember reading an article a few years back, where Brett Favre said he didn't fully figure out how to read defenses, until like his 6th year. And this is only Ponder's 3rd and he has already somewhat exhibit certain traits you just can't coach. Redzone Efficiency, and the ability to Convert 3rd downs. No he's not Perfect, and yes even for me this is his make it or break it year, but one things certain, Mr. Ponder can and has made plays when it counts the most. If he can do it consistently is the biggest issue and that will be My biggest outlook and concern going into 2013 with Christian as our Quarterback.