Leslie Frazier: Christian Ponder still Vikings' No. 1 QB


Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is in too deep now to turn his back on Christian Ponder.

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Frazier has defended his quarterback all season, even as Ponder's struggles have become common. On Sunday, Ponder threw two killer interceptions deep in Green Bay Packers territory, the defining plays in a 23-14 loss that considerably dimmed Minnesota's playoff hopes.

Another brilliant performance by Adrian Peterson went to waste, as did a nice effort by the Vikings' defense, which kept Aaron Rodgers in check for most of the afternoon.

Frazier remained behind Ponder as his starter Monday, but the coach didn't slam the door on a change if the second-year pro continues to struggle.

"Up to this point, I've been felt it's best for our team that Christian remain our No. 1 quarterback, and I still feel that way," Frazier said, via ESPN Twin Cities.

Frazier said it never has reached a point where he believed he needed to pull Ponder from a game, and he insisted Ponder is "still a very confident quarterback." Frazier said the team still believes in its quarterback.

But there's no denying the cracks are showing. Ponder finished 12-of-25 passing for 119 yards, and he now has thrown for 160 yards or less in five of his last nine games. Accuracy is an issue as well, as Ponder has eclipsed the 55 percent completion percentage mark only once in his past six games. The loss of Percy Harvin plays a part in this, but Ponder hasn't been able to adapt.

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After Sunday's loss, defensive tackle Kevin Williams approached Ponder at his locker and uttered words of encouragement. Other veterans did the same at the urging of teammates, according to Tom Pelissero.

It was a gesture meant to show support for Ponder. Now he needs to give teammates reason for their faith.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.