It’s intriguing to think of where the Minnesota Vikings might be this year if they had a bona fide quarterback. Christian Ponder has had his share of rough games, and shouldered the blame for another loss on Sunday, this time to Green Bay. He completed 12 of 25 pass attempts for 119 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, good for a 41.9 rating. At least he gets some props for taking full responsibility.
Christian Ponder joined WFAN in Minneapolis with Paul Allen to discuss his troublesome play on Sunday, how you move on from games like that, taking the blame for the loss, bouncing back from tough games and feeling a little pressure when it comes to job security.
What happened on the play with the wheel route to Adrian Peterson?:
“I did underthrow the ball, missed an opportunity there, and I guess I just underestimated Adrian’s speed and didn’t get the ball out far enough. There’s a couple plays in that game that I’d like to have back. I missed some opportunities to obviously win the game and that’s what’s frustrating, but the only thing I can do is just come back to work … and put extra time in and get back on track. It was a frustrating film to watch, but it’s time to move on.”
How do you put those plays and that performance in a box, put it to the side, and move on like that?:
“It’s hard. It’s something that you have to learn to do, kind of create that ability to do. You just have to do it; you’ve just got to forget about it. For me, it’s going to be putting in extra time. … That’s going to help me forget about it. … Just understanding that you have to move on. You have to do it, otherwise it’s going to make matters worse.”
Do you need to have more zip on your passes during games?:
“There’s throws that, I think, in the game, that I probably could’ve thrown with different velocities and different angles. … It’s just learning the appropriate throws at the appropriate time.”
Are you the kind of guy where, after a game like that, you go up to some of the veterans on this team and let them know that that loss was on you?:
“Definitely. I always accept the blame, whether it’s in my press conference or with the guys privately, especially after a game like that. It was so obvious that there were things I did that definitely cost us the games. But the guys have been so supportive, Adrian especially. … I definitely appreciate that; they’re great teammates. That’s the motivating factor for all of this, to balance my competitiveness, my wanting to win, but ultimately it comes down to doing it for those guys. … That’s the ultimate motivating factor, that I don’t want to let that happen again.”
You’ve had three games that were particularly tough this season, personally. But you came off the tough Seattle loss and you whooped the Lions the next week. Do you think that can happen again this week against the Bears?:
“All of this stuff definitely creates a sense of urgency and picking up on the level of play, and I understand that. I’m not reading anything, but I can imagine what’s being said, and it definitely creates a sense of urgency and needing to pick it up. … I’m going to do everything I can to get back and have a game like I did against Detroit. Especially with where we’re sitting at 6-6, and wanting to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves before the season even started, and still having those at hand, I understand the importance of this game and the importance of how my role plays into winning that game.”
Any thoughts about your job security at this point?:
“I think every day at work, your job’s at stake, and every game. I do. I think ever since I’ve stepped on this team, I’ve felt the pressure. … Obviously the fans deserve better at the quarterback position, better play, and our team does, too. I understand what’s at stake and obviously it’s my dream to be playing this position and this job and I don’t want to lose that dream.”