No, this isn’t an article about the Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and his lovely wife, Samantha. Instead, we’ll take a look at how Christian played like two different quarterbacks in the week 2 game against the Chicago Bears.
First, let’s talk about what happened before his interception that was returned for a touchdown. Ponder opened the game completing only 4 of his first 12 passes for 52 yards and one pick-6. By this time, many Vikings fans were most likely frustrated with him and calling for his replacement.
But something happened after that interception. Things seemed to click for the third year quarterback out of Florida State. He responded to that poor initial performance by finishing strong. He was 12 for 18 with one touchdown for the remainder of the game.
What changed? Well, according to Ponder and head coach Leslie Frazier, nothing. Frazier spoke with Ponder following that pick-6 and here is what happened in that conversation:
“I was really encouraged when I talked with him, he was really focused. He told me, ‘Coach I put that behind me. I’ll be ready to go next series.’ The way he said it, the way he looked me in the eye when he said it, the conviction that he had, I was assured that he’s alright. He’s going to be OK. He went on and played well.” -Leslie Frazier
Frazier continued to answer questions about Ponder’s play after the game.
“Now we’ve got to build on that. Even though you could write a column about a guy’s performance, I could say things to him about his performance, but at the end of the day he’s got to recognize some of those things too and say, ‘you know what? I can do this a little bit better.’ And to Christian’s credit, he played much better in the second half.” -Leslie Frazier
Hopefully, Ponder doesn’t always have to make a mistake in a game to rebound and play well. He’ll get a chance to play well on Sunday against a tough Browns defense this week.