Vikings’ Peterson has confidence in Ponder

Updated: November 20, 2013, 9:49 AM ET


By
Ben Goessling | ESPN.com


The first time Adrian Peterson offered a spirited defense of Christian Ponder, the Minnesota Vikings‘ quarterback had just thrown two interceptions deep in Green Bay Packers territory — including one in the end zone — as the Vikings lost a crucial game at Lambeau Field last December.

Almost a year later, the Vikings are prepared to return to Lambeau Field. They’re coming off a loss to the Seattle Seahawks where Ponder threw two interceptions deep in the Vikings’ own territory — including one that was returned for a touchdown. And Peterson is backing Ponder again.

Asked to respond to Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson‘s comments to the (St. Paul) Pioneer Press that Peterson “really needs a quarterback,” he said in an interview with FoxSports.com on Tuesday that “I actually have confidence in Christian Ponder,” that the Vikings’ problems on offense run deeper than their struggles at quarterback and that Ponder still gives Minnesota a better chance to win than Matt Cassel or Josh Freeman because he’s been in the team’s system the longest.

“I don’t feel like last week I was as consistent as I needed to be, but it doesn’t show up as much because I’m not throwing the ball 30 times,” Peterson said. “When you’re inconsistent at quarterback and you get it picked off that stuff gets highlighted. As a running back, when you miss a hole it gets overlooked at times. I’m not as critical of the quarterback position because I know how much comes with it and I know how much scrutiny comes with it and how they are viewed in the public eye.”

Ponder played one of his best games of the season on Nov. 7 against the Washington Redskins, completing 17 of his 21 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception when he dislocated his left shoulder trying to stretch for the end zone on a 13-yard run. He continued to play well in the first half on Sunday against the Seahawks, connecting on nine of his 13 passes for 114 yards and lofting a 38-yard touchdown to Jarius Wright. But in the second half, he hit just four of his nine passes, for 15 yards and the two interceptions.

“You can’t base it off of last game,” Peterson said. “I think he responded well when he came back and helped us get a win against Washington. He went out in that game with a dislocated shoulder and I’m on the sideline like, ‘Hey man, shoot, pop it in and get back in there.’ Guys were trying to get him back in there. It’s one of those thing like when you’re doing good everyone is with you and when you’re doing bad they’re against you. That’s just how it goes, unfortunately.”

The Vikings are 2-8 this season after going 10-6 and reaching the playoffs in 2012, but Peterson said coach Leslie Frazier still has the players’ confidence.

“One thing that hasn’t been lost is the will to win,” Peterson said. “Even though we don’t have a lot of W’s, guys are out there and we’re playing football. We’re out there competing and we believe in what Coach Frazier has to say.”

  • Previously covered Vikings for St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • Also covered Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild and Washington Nationals
  • Twin Cities native and University of Minnesota graduate

Leave a comment

300-101   400-101   300-320   300-070   300-206   200-310   300-135   300-208   810-403   400-050   640-916   642-997   300-209   400-201   200-355   352-001   642-999   350-080   MB2-712   400-051   C2150-606   1Z0-434   1Z0-146   C2090-919   C9560-655   642-647   100-101   CQE_Exam   CSSLP