Minnesota Vikings: Why Christian Ponder's Experience Guarantees a Brighter 2012

Nick McAndrews@@NickMcAndrewsCorrespondent IIIDecember 23, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 27:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after tossing a touchdown reception against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 27, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the Indianapolis Colts on a two-game win streak, possibly winning out of the Andrew Luck race, many Vikings fans are vying for Minnesota to make a play for the Stanford QB.

Though Christian Ponder isn't looking like Aaron Rodgers, it is important to remember that he is a rookie and it's not time to jump ship just yet. In fact, Ponder has looked pretty impressive as a starter despite only one win and a few costly turnovers.

The 2-12 record that the Vikings have put up thus far this season is hardly on the sole shoulders of Christian Ponder. A despicable group of wide receivers and an offen-sieve line (yes, that was a play on words) that couldn't block some college pass-rushers have both contributed to the rookie being left out to dry.

It is also important to remember that the Vikings defense hasn't been all that great this season either. Injuries and off-the-field problems have left the secondary in shambles and lack of much-needed depth at linebacker. When the defense can't hold up against opposing offenses, Ponder is constantly forced to play from behind. Though his turnovers haven't helped the situation, the defense is certainly to blame for a good portion of this year's misfortune.

Depending on how the rest of the season goes for the Vikings, they will likely draft Matt Kalil to be their new franchise LT, Justin Blackmon as a great new weapon for Ponder at WR, or Morris Claiborne to be their first shut-down corner since maybe the 1990s. Regardless of who they end up with, a major upgrade at one of these three positions will likely directly affect the number in the win-column for Minnesota.

It's easy to jump off the Ponder bandwagon, but I'm telling you right now, that would be a mistake.

Despite a mere 72.3 passer rating, Ponder has thrown for 13 touchdowns in nine games and certainly has the opportunity and ability to eclipse 2,000 passing yards before the end of the season.

Yes, Ponder's production has been a roller coaster. But if he's given a vote of confidence and enough time to develop into the leader he's shown he can be, he may be able to make games a whole different kind of ride for opponents in 2012.

Above all of the statistics and criticism, Ponder has shown that he's got the intangibles to be this team's franchise quarterback. His ability to defy expectations and surprise fans with unorthodox ways of making plays should be enough to keep Minnesotans aboard the Ponder Express.

He may not be Tim Tebow, but hey, Christians are overrated anyway. No, wait...

Well anyways, I'd like to wish all of you and your families the happiest of holidays. I hope that you've enjoyed my insight and a few lame jokes.


Thanks for reading.

Follow me on Twitter @MCNick92