The Minnesota Vikings quarterback is growing steadily, but he's growing steadily on a team that hasn't been very good since the Brett Favre Project fizzled out.
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I took a look at three of Ponder's preseason performances and watched him beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. I see hope for Vikings fans. Ponder is a more poised quarterback this season and he's developed into an accurate passer. As The Star Tribune points out, he actually leads the NFL with a 75.8 completion percentage after two weeks of play (Philip Rivers is next at 73.8 percent and Sam Bradford's third at 71.7).
It's a small sample size, but Ponder's completed 47 of 62 passes for 515 yards, with two touchdowns and no picks. He's been aided by the hot hand of Percy Harvin, who's pulled in 18 of 21 passes thrown his way, but Ponder's also spread the ball around to eight different targets during the team's 1-1 start.
Ponder was 27-for-35 passing for 245 yards and two scores in Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but was flamed by critics for taking too many sacks. What he didn't do was force the ball into bad coverage. He's led six scoring drives in the final quarter or overtime in two games, and he's taken command of this offense. He's not pulling the headlines away from Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler or Matthew Stafford in the NFC North, but this young quarterback is not the problem on a middle-of-the-road Vikings team.