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Christian Ponder turns heads as Vikings shock 49ers

Other young quarterbacks in the NFL get more headlines, but it's time to start paying attention to Christian Ponder.

The Minnesota Vikings were given little chance against the San Francisco 49ers and their fearsome defense. But Ponder played the type of game that makes it appear like the Vikings have themselves a keeper.

Ponder finished 21-of-35 passing for 198 yards and two touchdowns with  no interceptions. He added 33 yards on the ground with another touchdown. And the Vikings came away Sunday with a eyebrow-raising 24-13 victory.

Ponder's most impressive throw came on one of the key plays of the game. On fourth-and-goal from the 49ers' 1-yard line, Ponder rolled left and backpedaled to the 14 with safety Dashon Goldson in hot pursuit. Ponder dropped a perfect touch pass into the waiting hands of Kyle Rudolph, cutting to the back corner of the end zone. It was a difficult throw not many quarterbacks can make.

This probably was Ponder's best game as a pro, but a pattern is emerging here. The second-year pro quietly is enjoying a great start to his 2012 season. His passer rating has been more than 94 in all three games. He has yet to throw an interception. The Vikings, believed by some to be the worst team in the league entering the season, are 2-1.

We haven't heard a lot of talk about Ponder. That will change after he turned away the mighty 49ers on Sunday.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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