Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder’s 2013 season did not get off to a good start as he turned the ball over four time on the way to a 34-24 loss to the Lions last Sunday.
That performance has given fuel to the fire built by those who don’t feel Ponder’s good enough to be the quarterback of a consistent winner, but that group does not include head coach Leslie Frazier. While Frazier admitted that the team needs consistently good play from the quarterback, he said he didn’t think it “would be wise” to say that things can’t work after just one game and that the team knows that Ponder isn’t the only player who has to improve on his performance against the Lions.
“On Sunday, it was not all about Christian,” Frazier said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He had his mistakes. But the fact is the quarterback position is much more magnified. He just happens to play the position with the most scrutiny. We had other guys, trust me, that when we watched the tape, the scrutiny that needed to be had in those moments, they are well aware that they have to play better. They’re not looking only at our quarterback and saying, ‘If he had done this or that, we would have won that ballgame.’ We need to play better across the board.”
The quarterback position is certainly the most magnified in all of football and Ponder’s game against the Lions is a perfect illustration of why that’s the case. The Lions scored 14 points off of two Ponder turnovers and would have had another touchdown if defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh hadn’t thrown a $100,000 illegal block at the knees of Vikings center John Sullivan. Those kinds of performances have happened too often for Ponder over the years for the Vikings to keep changing the subject if things don’t improve in the coming weeks.
Ponder faces the Bears this weekend, against whom he has never played well in four career starts.