Minnesota Vikings: 5 Reasons Christian Ponder Will Improve in 2012
Vikings QB Christian Ponder went 2-9 as a starter while throwing 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, which was a poor rookie season. But it was not all bad.
He learned and gained experience, which is why he will be much improved this season.
The Vikings have struggled the past few seasons, but Ponder will help them get back on their feet this season. Do not expect them to be a playoff team in the tough NFC North, but progress is a key.
Progress is what Ponder will be making. Here are five reasons he will be a better quarterback this season.
5. Not so Tough Schedule
Meaning they can have a solid shot to win and compete in each and every game. Ponder should take advantage of the weaker competition and have better production.
The coaching staff will play a big part in helping him do that.
4. Percy Harvin
Percy Harvin is one of the most dangerous threats in the NFL. He has home-run play potential every time he touches the ball.
He will be a huge key to Ponder's success. He caught 87 passes last season and six of them were touchdowns. He was Ponder's No. 1 target last season and expect him to be again.
If Ponder can continue to find him, he will have an easier time gaining yardage.
3. Better Receiving Corps
During the offseason, the Vikings were able to grab some more help for Ponder on the offensive end. They signed five-year veteran tight end John Carlson, and they also signed former Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson.
They also drafted receiver Jarius Wright in the fourth round of the draft. Wright set the school record at Arkansas for most receptions and receiving yards in a season. He will become a solid receiver in the future.
These new weapons will help Ponder grow and give him more options when he drops back.
2. Matt Kalil
The Vikings were able to improve their offensive line in the NFL draft by taking USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the No. 4 pick.
Their offensive line was substantially weak, as it allowed the fifth most sacks in the league last season. Kalil will help sure up the offensive line and protect Ponder so he can actually have time to make accurate passes.
If Ponder can get better protection, he can help move the offense and make less arid throws.
1. Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson suffered a torn ACL and MCL in Week 16, but he is back and ready to return to his dominating form.
Peterson is still one of the top running backs in the league as he as eclipsed 1,000 yards in four of his five seasons. Ponder will become better if Peterson is the workhorse everyone knows him for.
Peterson having a productive season will force defenses to focus on the run game. Ponder can utilize a lot of play-action passes to draw the defense in and free up some receivers. Ponder will improve tremendously if Peterson can continue to be one of the top rushers in the league this season.