Vikings Three-and-Out: Ponder thought he might be cut

  • Updated: November 27, 2013 - 7:36 PM
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Christian Ponder is happier “now I’m back out there playing.”

As news of three player arrests in three weeks dominates nearly all conversations about the Vikings, we’ll use this Three-and-Out segment to discuss some under-the-radar topics. Here goes:

 

1 Ponder thought about pink slip

Believe it or not, people aren’t talking about the Vikings’ quarterback situation. Yeah, it took three players getting arrested for that to happen, but how strange is it that only three reporters showed up for Christian Ponder’s weekly news conference on Wednesday?

Ponder, who will make his sixth consecutive start on Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field, said this week doesn’t feel any different to him. But it’s the first time in a while that his status was solidified by coach Leslie Frazier as soon as the previous week’s game had ended.

Even Ponder, however, admits he’s somewhat surprised to still be here after a season that’s already seen him benched twice and pushed aside briefly when the team signed Josh Freeman. With more than a month to reflect on his first benching and the Freeman signing, Ponder was asked what was going through his mind at the time.

“Honestly, I wasn’t sure [what to think],” he said. “I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, if I was going to walk in that next day and have a pink slip in my locker or what. It was an interesting time and I was able to stay focused on what I had to do and, fortunately, was able to swing back and now I’m back out there playing.”

In his first outing against the Bears this season, Ponder completed 53.3 percent of his passes (16 of 30) for 227 yards, one touchdown and an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

 

2 Teams adjusting to Ponder’s legs

In his first five games this season, Ponder rushed for 143 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries. That’s a 6.0-yard average per carry.

In Ponder’s last three games, he has rushed for 8 yards and no touchdowns on 10 carries. That’s a 0.8-yard average.

So, Christian, what gives? You trying to stay in the pocket longer to make plays with your arm, or what?

“I’m trying to stay in the pocket more, but I think also defenses — I thought Green Bay did a great job of dropping a D-lineman out to spy on me and take [my running] away,” Ponder said. “I think defenses are making adjustments to it.”

Against Seattle on Nov. 17, Ponder ran five times for zero yards with a long of 4. Against the Packers on Sunday, he ran three times for minus-5 yards with a long of 3.

One wouldn’t expect him to have a big day rushing against the Bears. They held him to 18 yards on six carries, with a long of 5 in Chicago’s 31-30 victory at Soldier Field in Week 2.

 

3 Bears weak against the run

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St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: J. Zimmermann 3
Toronto - WP: M. Buehrle 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 0
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 5
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 4
Minnesota - LP: K. Correia 4 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: B. Chen 5
Cincinnati - LP: T. Cingrani 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: E. Jackson 8
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 4
Milwaukee - WP: J. Henderson 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Grilli 7
Atlanta - WP: E. Santana 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 5
NY Yankees - LP: I. Nova 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 16
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 7
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 6
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 1 FINAL
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Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 8
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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