Most Vikings' fans have by now accepted the reality that Christian Ponder is not a starting-caliber NFL quarterback. The Vikings and their media minions are another matter, however. No matter the statements on Ponder, everyone in the Vikings' organization and most media members continue, at a minimum, to trot out the notion that "Ponder has shown stretches of greatness."
As has been noted here numerous times, nothing could be further from the truth. Yet, it is this sense of things that permits Vikings' head coach Leslie Frazier and General Manager Rick Spielman to continue to turn a blind eye to the team's greatest weakness. In the interest of addressing this attempt at historical revisionism on Ponder's play, I, again, address this institutional, wishful myopia.
The Claim: Christian Ponder has shown substantial stretches of strong play meriting further evaluation of his ability to be the long-term solution at quarterback for the Vikings.
Basis for Claim: The claim stems from reminiscences of Ponder's final five games in 2012.
Reality: Christian Ponder had one strong game among the final five games of 2012 with four poor performances.
The Statistics and Context: In weeks 13-16, Ponder threw two touchdowns and three interceptions and averaged 125 yards passing. In week 17, against a lousy Green Bay defense attempting to stop a wildly running Adrian Peterson, Ponder threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns.
At best, it can be argued that Ponder's final game in 2012 represented the type of competent game that the Vikings expect of Ponder every week as the team relies on Peterson, first, and Ponder somewhere down the line.
At worst, it can be argued that the final five games of Ponder's 2012 season are a microcosm of both his NFL career and his long-term NFL trajectory--one competent game buttressed by poor performances.
Up Next: Where Ponder Founders, Others Prosper.