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The Minnesota Vikings 2012 season was an unexpected success and with it came a lot of back-slapping and congratulating. Going from the dismal 3-13 2011 season to a 10-win year with a playoff appearance was surprising and it raises the bar for expectations heading into 2013.
The Vikings owners hedged their bet a little bit when they didn't extend head coach Leslie Frazier's contract. They simply exercised their one-year option on him.
The Minnesota brass may have to do the same thing with quarterback Christian Ponder.
While Ponder showed signs of improvement late in 2012, he hasn't shown the overall progress you'd want from a starting NFL quarterback. He's a work in progress and the truth is that nobody knows yet if he has what it takes to be a quality starter.
What the Vikings should know after the debacle in the playoffs is that Joe Webb is not a viable backup quarterback. It was a horrible situation for Webb to be dropped into, but he just doesn't have the throwing accuracy to play quarterback in the NFL.
Beyond Ponder, the biggest question in the Vikings quarterback mix is McLeod Bethel-Thompson. If the Vikings feel like he's ready to play in games beginning in 2013, they can stand pat with what they have, or draft another quarterback in the later rounds.
If Bethel-Thompson is nowhere near ready to play, then the Vikings have to sign a viable backup. Ponder is still a question mark and every starting quarterback is one play away from injury.
It would be shocking if the Vikings brought in somebody as expensive as the Dolphins' Matt Moore will probably be. If Moore does leave Miami, he'll want to sign somewhere where he has the opportunity to start, and that's not going to happen in Minnesota.
Vikings GM Rick Spielman and coach Leslie Frazier have gone all in on Ponder and all of their futures may be tied to how Ponder performs.
It's obviously great to have Adrian Peterson on your side, but an NFL football team can only go as far as their quarterback can take them.