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Christian Ponder has completed 69 percent (109 of 158) of his passes for 1,082 yards and a 6-2 touchdown to interception ratio.
Teams cannot win in today's NFL without a reliable quarterback, which is what the Minnesota Vikings didn't have in 2011 but appear to have in 2012.
Christian Ponder started this season with far more questions than answers about what type of quarterback he'd become. Plenty of questions still remain, but he's showing that he can be a reliable decision-maker who's able to march an offense down the field.
It took Ponder 145 pass attempts to throw his first interception of the season, although a handful of those first 145 passes weren't intercepted because of bad defense.
But the point is this: Ponder actually looks comfortable as a passer this season and has shown the ability to work through his progressions.
On the season, he's thrown for six touchdowns compared to two interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes (109 of 158).
He has the 10th-best passer rating (95.5) and second-best completion percentage (one-tenth behind Washington's Robert Griffin III).
He doesn't appear comfortable throwing the ball much further than 15-20 yards downfield, but the long ball doesn't come naturally to everyone. He has shown the arm strength to sling it down field, but the accuracy is lacking. That will come with experience.
Bottom line: Minnesota wouldn't be atop the NFC North without the improved Ponder.
Cases can also be made for: Kyle Rudolph, Erin Henderson, Mistral Raymond, Jasper Brinkley, Charlie Johnson