The Minnesota Vikings continued to build on their status as the NFL's most surprising team with Sunday's victory over the Arizona Cardinals, but Christian Ponder's struggles had to give the team some pause.
Ponder authored the worst performance of his young NFL career, throwing for just 58 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions in the 21-14 win. Adrian Peterson put the Vikings on his back, but that can't always be expected -- even with a player as gifted as Minnesota's running back.
"Obviously, as an offense, especially me, we didn't perform as well as we should have," Ponder said, via Judd Zulgad of ESPN Twin Cities. "The Cardinals have a very good defense. They'll finish in the top-10 defenses at the end of the year. We just couldn't find a pace, couldn't get into a rhythm, and a lot of that is my fault. I have to step up and play better."
A closer examination of the numbers don't get any prettier. Ponder completed one pass for 4 yards in the second half, which included five punts in five possessions. His 35.5 passer rating was the lowest mark in 17 career starts. Ponder has thrown two interceptions in each of Minnesota's last three games.
Ponder says an ongoing issue with the bursa sac in his right knee didn't limit him Sunday. If the Vikings want to build this start into something greater, Ponder will have to bury this game deep.