Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Ponder OK with 27th ranking as QB ... for now

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: September 4, 2013 - 12:41 PM

Christian Ponder hasn't seen ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski's NFL quarterback rankings, but the Vikings quarterback didn't object to being ranked 27th out of 32 quarterbacks.

"I think a 27th ranking is probably rightfully so with how I've played," Ponder said today. "The good thing about that is that leaves me a lot of opportunities to improve and move up in the rankings."

Ponder said he's learned over the years not to focus on rankings and other forms of criticism from the media.

"I think in college and stuff I was definitely in tune with what the media says," Ponder said. "I think as I've gone through this whole process and learned more and more, either way, whether it's positive or negative, it's not beneficial. So I really don't pay too much attention to it."

Jaworski ranked Ponder ahead of only Mark Sanchez, Chad Henne, Kevin Kolb, Jake Locker and Matt Flynn. But Jaws was complimentary despite the low ranking.

"Ponder had an uneven 2012 season, but overall I saw gradual and steady improvement," Jaworski said. "The arrow is pointing upward as Ponder begins his third season as the Vikings starter."

Jaworski said he likes Ponder's skillset and believes he can make all the throws. But Jaws wanted to see more consistency from Ponder.

 

At least Ponder hasn't lost his sense of humor. Here's how he opened his press conference with reporters today:

"It's exciting to be back in front of you guys," Ponder said. "This is awesome. I know the whole team is excited, the whole organization is excited for this week. ... I sound like Tim Tebow. I'm excited."

 

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
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Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
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Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
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Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
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Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
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Nov 9 - Bye
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Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
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