Christian Ponder Is Doing the Vikings More Harm Than Good & More NFC North News

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 25:  Nate Collins #93 of the Chicago Bears hits Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 28-10.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Christian Ponder put the blame for the loss on himself. He's right and even if you're frustrated with him handing the game to the Packers not once but twice, you have to respect taking the responsibility when so many people in the world duck responsibility.

It's the sort of thing that gets your team in your corner as a starting quarterback, and the Vikings have definitely been behind Ponder.

Of course, as Tom Pelissero points out at 1500 ESPN Radio, they don't have much choice in the matter.

It's clear, as Pelissero points out, that the organization doesn't believe in Joe Webb. If it did, it probably wouldn't have drafted Ponder at No. 12 in 2011. And there is nobody else on the roster.

So if they don't have another player on the roster who can play quarterback—and who the coaching staff and ownership believe in—the players really have to back Ponder.

The question then becomes, is he the solution long term?

I've defended Ponder frequently this season, with good reason. Aside from Percy Harvin, the receivers are a debacle. The Vikings kept having him try to force the ball down the field when they (and perhaps he) didn't have the tools to do it. They have a tremendous running back who they often don't lean on as much as they should at key moments.

However, at some point you have to start looking at what he isn't doing right.

Ponder's decision-making has been terrible the past month and this week resulted in the destruction of two great drives, throwing one interception in the end zone after a huge Adrian Peterson run to start the third quarter.

It's a learning process, as much for the staff as it is for Ponder. And what the staff has to learn is whether Ponder can overcome the bad habits he seems to be stuck in right now.

There's more at work here than "he has nobody to throw to." The staff has to figure out whether those problems can be fixed, and soon.

The support of the veterans is nice, but too many more days like Sunday and that's going to evaporate like the momentum did when Ponder turned the ball over twice.

On to rest of the NFC North.


Chicago Bears

The Tribune's David Haugh says the Bears didn't step up the way a team with Super Bowl aspirations should.

Mark Potash of the Sun-Times gives his grades for the loss to the Seahawks.

Over at ESPN Chicago, Jeff Dickerson gives you five things we learned from the Bears-Seahawks game.


Detroit Lions

It's another Monday, so we've got another opponent angry with Ndamukong Suh, according to Justin Rodgers of

Dave Birkett has grades for the loss to the Colts over at the Free Press.

Last year, the Lions held leads and won close games. This year, that isn't the case according to the Detroit News' John Niyo.


Green Bay Packers

As with every morning after a Packers game, Max Ginsberg is back at with his recap, this time with what he saw during the Vikings game.

Tom Silverstein of the Journal-Sentinel breaks down what he sees as the most critical drive of the game—an 18-play, 73-yard, 11-minute drive in the fourth quarter.

The Packers did a great job in taking advantage of the Vikings' mistakes, according to Pete Dougherty at the Press-Gazette.


Minnesota Vikings

Bob McGinn of the Journal-Sentinel talks about how the Packers shut down the Vikings wide receiver, including that the Vikings were unable to complete a pass to a wide receiver for a stunning 57 minutes.

Dan Wiederer, Mark Craig and Jim Souhan have an Access Vikings video up at the Star-Tribune discussing the Vikings' playoff hopes, Adrian Peterson and whether the Vikings should have benched Christian Ponder.

Like me, Christopher Gates at is having to rethink his support of Christian Ponder.


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