Biggest External Factors for Christian Ponder

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Biggest External Factors for Christian Ponder
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that 2013 will be the most important season of Christian Ponder's career. If he can show he can handle the responsibilities consistently, not only will his critics quiet down, but the Vikings could be legitimate contenders.

A lot was done this offseason to make Ponder's life on the field easier. Not only does he have MVPeterson running behind him, but the group of receivers has drastically improved from a year ago.

There will be no more excuses. 

The Vikings even brought in a veteran to back him up in Matt Cassel. Cassel has starting experience, albeit with mixed results, so if Ponder struggles then the veteran can fill in.

This season's success is on Ponder's shoulders. The team is betting on his development and improvement. And while his success is greatly dependent on himself, there are some important outside factors. 

*All stats from NFL.com

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