Through two games this season, Christian Ponder -- statistically -- looks to be doing everything the Vikings want him to be doing. He's No. 7 in passer rating in the entire NFL at 110.6, including first in the QB-rich NFC North.

He has completed 75.8 percent of his passes, the highest mark in the NFL. He has not thrown any interceptions. He is on pace for 4,128 yards passing, less than 100 yards away from what the ol' Gunslinger had in 2009. And he has rallied the Vikings in different ways each of the past two weeks, resulting on one win and one loss.

But when you look at Ponder, how much true progress do you really see? That is the question before you today.

How much of the numbers are maturation, and how much are circumstance -- for example, the generous tipped ball TD that could have been an INT yesterday and Percy Harvin's 1 million yards after the catch (or something like that).

We see a QB who doesn't flee the pocket at the first sign of trouble anymore (just four rushes in two games). We see a QB who is improving with decision-making, but who still does have two turnovers (both fumbles) this year.

Most of all, we still see a QB who wouldn't really scare us if we were an opposing defensive coordinator. That's quite possibly still a function of his age and his targets (hurry back, Jerome Simpson). But we do see progress, even if it's not quite as stark as those small-sample numbers above would suggest. If he and the Vikings can move the ball against the 49ers next week, we might reach the next stage of belief.

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