FanPost

REMOVING PONDER'S TRAINING WHEELS

The first two weeks of the season have been a disappointment to say the least. While the entire team has not played particularly well, most of the criticism has and will continue to fall on Christian Ponder. Through the first couple weeks we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly (see 2nd quarter interception week 1) from Ponder. With so many fans and critics calling for him to step up or step aside, it's only fair expect more opportunities for the young quarterback to prove himself a playmaker.

Through the first two weeks, Ponder ranks 27th in the league with only 58 passing attempts. That's fewer attempts than rookies EJ Emmanuel and Geno Smith. This number is understandable when you consider the reigning league MVP waiting in the back field. However, a closer look shows that outside of one long run in each game, Peterson has been contained for the most part, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. The Vikings have shown a commitment to running with Peterson which is good, however timing of the runs appears to be problematic and predictable. Against Chicago, Minnesota first down plays and results looked like this:

A.Peterson right guard to MIN 17 for -3 yards

A.Peterson left guard to MIN 39 for 4 yards

A.Peterson right tackle to MIN 35 for 3 yards

A.Peterson left guard to MIN 23 for 3 yards

A.Peterson right tackle to MIN 35 for 3 yards

A.Peterson left guard to MIN 6 for no gain

C.Ponder pass deep middle to J.Wright to MIN 40 for 21 yards

C.Ponder pass incomplete short middle to Z.Line

C.Ponder pass incomplete short right to J.Simpson

Ponder pass short right intended for J.Simpson INTERCEPTED by T.Jennings at MIN 44

C.Ponder pass short left to G.Jennings to MIN 34 for 9 yards

A.Peterson right guard pushed ob at CHI 22 for 36 yards

A.Peterson right tackle to MIN 38 for 4 yards

A.Peterson left guard to MIN 47 for 2 yards FUM

C.Ponder pass short left to C.Patterson to MIN 23 for 14 yards

A.Peterson right guard to MIN 29 for 6 yards

C.Ponder pass short middle to A.Peterson to MIN 41 for 7 yards

C.Ponder pass short middle to T.Gerhart to MIN 49 for 3 yards

A.Peterson right guard to CHI 10 for 4 yards

A.Peterson left guard to MIN 16 for 4 yards

C.Ponder scrambles left guard to CHI 38 for 5 yards

C.Ponder pass short right to K.Rudolph to CHI 19 for 8 yards

A.Peterson right end to CHI 27 for -13 yards

C.Ponder pass short right to J.Simpson to CHI 35 for 12 yards

A.Peterson right guard to CHI 35 for no gain

A.Peterson left tackle to CHI 4 for 2 yards

Minnesota ran the ball on about 57% of first down plays. Not an overwhelming number, but these plays gained only around 3.4 yards per play. 11 drop backs gained around 7.2 yards per play. Both Peterson and Ponder had a first down turnover. More often than not Peterson runs have put the team in 2nd or 3rd and longs due to facing 7 or 8 man fronts where as passing on first down has seemed to put the offense in a more manageable down and distance. I am not saying we should expect Aaron Rogers from Christian Ponder on first down but putting the ball in Ponders hands when Peterson is struggling may put the offense in a better spot and open more running lanes for the all-world running back. Believe it or not, Ponder has proven to be more willing to throw the ball down field. He is 12th in the league with 7.98 yards per attempt and tied for 6th with 9 completions of 20 yards or more. Ponder should be given more opportunities to throw the ball down field in order to help Adrian find his early down success again.

Is Christian Ponder the Vikings quarterback of the future? I have no idea. The only way we can be sure is to take off the training wheels of Christian Ponder and allow him to make plays with his arm and feet. We are 0-2 and history shows that...and here's the shocker... it's not a good thing. Its time the coaching staff lets Ponder become the reason the vikings win rather than not letting him be the reason they lose. He has the weapons, and entering his third year, the coaching staff should stop trying to hide Christian Ponder. As great as Peterson is he cannot carry the team alone. The NFL is a passing league, and with Adrian Peterson struggling early on, Minnesota must let Christian Ponder pass. It is the only way both the coaching staff and the fan base will know what to make of this enigma at the quarterback position.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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