2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Frazier sticking with Ponder as Vikings QB

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-03 16:48

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - The only passes from Christian Ponder that didn't sail over a receiver's head or bounce harmlessly out of bounds seemed to land in the arms of a Green Bay defender just as the Minnesota Vikings were approaching the end zone.

At one point, the beleaguered quarterback went nearly 39 minutes of game action without completing a pass, rendering moot another breath-taking performance from Adrian Peterson.

Yet through all the struggles, all the poor footwork and all the back-breaking mistakes that allowed a winnable road game against a division opponent to swirl down the drain, coach Leslie Frazier stuck with Ponder. And he sticks by him still.

Frazier said Monday he never considered pulling Ponder against the Packers and believes he is the QB that gives the team the best chance to win against Chicago this week.

``It hasn't come up any time this season where I thought we needed to pull him out of a game,'' Frazier said. ``That hasn't occurred.''

Frazier acknowledged such unwavering support, whether solely his decision or a result of a directive from the front office that drafted Ponder in the first round last season, has the potential to rankle other players in the locker room - players who seem to be held to a different standard of accountability.

``I've thought about that a lot because when you're struggling at a position, the guys know how we talked about everybody doing their jobs and why it's important for us to have our success,'' Frazier said. ``You don't want to send mixed messages at any position.''

The Vikings led the Packers 14-10 at halftime, jumping on Peterson's broad shoulders to move into position for a commanding lead early in the third quarter when Peterson ripped off a 48-yard run to the Green Bay 12-yard line. Ponder was intercepted in the end zone on the next play.

With Percy Harvin missing his third straight game, Ponder didn't complete a pass to a wide receiver until late in the fourth quarter. The putrid air game allowed the Packers to weather a 210-yard day from Peterson and a shaky performance from their own offense to drop the Vikings to 6-6.

Ponder's struggles were so glaring that Frazier was asked repeatedly Monday about his reluctance to play backup Joe Webb in the second half. Webb has provided a spark periodically over the past two seasons, including games at Philadelphia in 2010 and at Washington last year.

Frazier has shown a willingness to rotate players during games at other positions, including safety with Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond, and right guard with Brandon Fusco and Geoff Schwartz. But the coach said Monday he approaches quarterback with a different view, one that values continuity above all else.

``I think there's something there where in my mind you don't want to get into a situation where you're not sure who your No. 1 is,'' Frazier said. ``We believe that Christian is our No. 1. ... That being said, if things get to a point where your No. 1 is really costing you some situations that could preclude winning, you do have to do what's best for the football team.''

It's getting harder for Frazier to argue that Ponder remains the right choice for the Vikings. They started the season 5-2 thanks in part to Ponder's steady play, but have dropped four of the last five while he has crumbled.

Ponder entered the fourth quarter Sunday with just five completions in the game, all on one drive. He finished 12 of 25 for 119 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. In this pass-happy era of the NFL, Ponder has actually thrown for 76 fewer yards than Peterson has rushed for over the last six games.

For a team holding faint hopes for a playoff berth, the imbalance to the offense has been the biggest reason for its recent downfall.

The unwillingness to go to Webb, even temporarily, would seem an indictment on the depth at the position. The Vikings cut veteran Sage Rosenfels in favor of Webb and developmental quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, giving them three young and largely unproven players at the game's most important position.

Frazier said Monday the team is confident Webb would do well if called upon. But he doesn't see the need right now.

``We believe that Christian is going to continue to develop and grow and be the quarterback that we all expect him to be,'' Frazier said. ``That being said, there's a lot riding on this next ballgame for our football team, and I'm sure there are a lot of guys looking and wondering if we can get it done under the current situation. I believe we can. I believe we'll play better, not only at the quarterback position but at other positions as well. We'll need to as a team.''

NOTES: Frazier said DE Jared Allen would get an MRI after having back spasms, but expected him to be ready for the Bears. ... C John Sullivan has bruised ribs that are considered a minor injury, and it's still too early to say if Harvin's sprained left ankle will be ready to go this week.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sammy WatkinsSep 21 08:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) was able to play in Week 3 against the San Diego Chargers, but he was limited to just two receptions and 19 yards. He was targeted eight times.

Tre BostonSep 21 07:52p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Andrew Norwell, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Jerricho Cotchery, QB Joe Webb, SS Tre Boston inactive for Week 3.

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 21 07:42p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Andrew Norwell, RB DeAngelo Williams, OT Garry Williams, DL Greg Hardy, LB Jason Williams, QB Joe Webb, SS Tre Boston inactive for Week 3.

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 21 07:42p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is inactive for the Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

B.W. WebbSep 21 07:42p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared CB B.W. Webb, DT Daniel McCullers, RB Dri Archer, QB Landry Jones, WR Martavis Bryant, OG Ramon Foster, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 3.

L. TaliaferroSep 21 07:23p

Baltimore Ravens RB Lorenzo Taliaferro carried a game-high 18 times for 91 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. He was subbing for the injured RB Bernard Pierce (thigh).

Chris WilliamsSep 21 07:12p

Updating a previous report, Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee), SS Da'Norris Searcy (ankle) and OG Chris Williams (back) were each unable to return after leaving the Week 3 [ More ]

Nick NovakSep 21 07:12p

San Diego Chargers PK Nick Novak made a pair of field goals and he had two extra points in the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. He has [ More ]

Danny WoodheadSep 21 06:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Danny Woodhead (ankle, leg) suffered a severe high ankle sprain and fractured fibula in the Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. A source said [ More ]

Dennis PittaSep 21 06:42p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) suffered a dislocated hip in the Week 3 game against the Cleveland Browns. He will have tests Monday, Sept. 22, to check for a possible fracture.

T Y HiltonSep 21 06:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) left the Week 3 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars due to an ankle injury. Head coach Chuck Pagano said Sunday, Sept. 21, that [ More ]

Jake LockerSep 21 06:23p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker remains the starting quarterback, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sunday, Sept. 21, that he never considered benching Locker despite a lopsided loss in [ More ]

Matt CasselSep 21 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel (foot) has several fractured bones in his foot, head coach Mike Zimmer said Sunday, Sept. 21, after the Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints.

Blake BortlesSep 21 05:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said Sunday, Sept. 21, that QB Blake Bortles will start in Week 4 against the San Diego Chargers.

Russell OkungSep 21 05:52p

Seattle Seahawks OT Russell Okung (chest) left the Week 3 game against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter and he was immediately taken to the locker room due to an apparent chest injury.

Teddy BridgewaterSep 21 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater will take over as the team's starting quarterback in Week 4 after QB Matt Cassel (foot) suffered fractured bones in his foot in Week [ More ]

Donald BrownSep 21 05:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown had a career-high 36 touches in the Week 3 win against the Buffalo Bills. He ran 31 times for 62 yards, and had five catches for 27 yards.

Kyle RudolphSep 21 05:12p

Updating a previous report, Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (groin) will have an MRI on his right groin Monday, Sept. 22. 'Something popped. I've been battling it for a [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonSep 21 05:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle, foot) left the Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints due to a right ankle or foot injury. He had his right [ More ]

DeAngelo HallSep 21 05:12p

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') said after the Week 3 game against the Philadelphia Eagles that he fears he suffered a torn Achilles'. Head coach Jay Gruden said [ More ]

Jason HatcherSep 21 05:12p

Washington Redskins DE Jason Hatcher (hamstring) left the Week 3 game against the Philadelphia Eagles due to a hamstring injury. He said Sunday, Sept. 21, that he came out [ More ]

Brandon FuscoSep 21 04:02p

Minnesota Vikings OG Brandon Fusco (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during the team's Week 3 game, while CB Josh Robinson (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury.

Marcus EasleySep 21 03:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) and SS Da'Norris Searcy (ankle) suffered injuries during the team's Week 3 game and are considered questionable to return.

Greg ScruggsSep 21 03:22p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared OT Garry Gilliam, LB Bruce Irvin, OT Andrew McDonald, RB Christine Michael, WR Kevin Norwood, DE Greg Scruggs, CB Tharold Simon inactive for Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 03:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared SS Eric Berry, RB Jamaal Charles, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, QB Aaron Murray, DE Damion Square, RB De'Anthony Thomas, WR Albert Wilson inactive for Week 3.

Carson PalmerSep 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 3 game.

Tony CarterSep 21 03:12p

The Denver Broncos have declared CB Tony Carter, OG Ben Garland, WR Cody Latimer, LB Lerentee McCray, OT Michael Schofield, LB Danny Trevathan, DT Mitch Unrein inactive for Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 03:11p

Charles is out for the Week 3 game.

Mike PounceySep 21 03:02p

The Miami Dolphins have declared DE Terrence Fede, LB Koa Misi, RB Knowshon Moreno, C Mike Pouncey, OG Shelley Smith, LB Jordan Tripp and OT Billy Turner inactive for Week 3.

Vernon DavisSep 21 02:52p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle, knee) has been declared inactive for Week 3.

Vernon DavisSep 21 02:52p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared CB Tramaine Brock, DE Cornellius Carradine, OT Anthony Davis, TE Vernon Davis, C Marcus Martin, TE Vance McDonald, WR Quinton Patton inactive for Week 3.

Chad HenneSep 21 02:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles entered the team's Week 3 game in the second half after QB Chad Henne was benched.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group