August 10, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) throws the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Vikings Preseason Game 1: Christian Ponder Solid, Gets No Help from Receivers

After multiple reports of training camp struggles, Christian Ponder came out in the first preseason game and looked pretty darn solid. His highlight by far was a 52-yard completion to Stephen Burton on the first drive. Ponder stepped up in the pocket and confidently delivered the deep ball to the second-year receiver who was starting at flanker in place of Percy Harvin. Ponder’s other positive plays went to Kyle Rudolph, who displayed his usual sure-handedness.

Speaking of sure-handedness…Ponder could’ve used some from his receivers. Big free-agent acquisition Jerome Simpson had one in the opening drive, Stephen Burton had one, and Michael Jenkins had one in the red zone that killed a scoring chance. Those drops plus a couple of throwaways hurt Ponder’s percentage, but stats aren’t important. Ponder looked like he was in command of what he was doing. Decide for yourself how much that matters in a preseason game with a vanilla offensive game plan in action. It was against the first-team 49ers defense.

You might be wondering how Matt Kalil looked. Well, he did have one glaring whiff allowing a pass rusher to get in Ponder’s face, forcing a throwaway. Otherwise Kalil seemed to hold his own. The Vikings did find some success running the ball to the right with John Sullivan doing his best Matt Birk impression as a pulling center. Toby Gerhart had the big running highlight of the first team portion, rumbling and pounding his way for 16.

Blair Walsh looked good too, sticking a pair of field goals and booming one kick-off deep into the end zone. As for the defense…eeeeeeuuuuh.

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Tags: Christian Ponder Jerome Simpson Matt Kalil Michael Jenkins Minnesota Vikings

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