INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 16: Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
As the 49ers prepare to face the Minnesota Vikings this week, many expect that the game will not be close on the scoreboard. The Vikings only narrowly defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in week one and allowed the rebuilding Indianapolis Colts to steal a victory from them in week two.
The Vikings have been struggling ever since the
Brett Favre "He Who Shall Not Be Named" era ended in the Twin Cities, but one area where they seem to be doing well thus-far in 2012 is the quarterback position. Christian Ponder, a guy on whom I was very high coming out of the 2011 draft, is actually the NFL's most accurate passer through the first two weeks of the season.
Ponder has completed 75.8% of his passes this year, going 47 of 62 for 515 yards. Like Alex Smith, Ponder also isn't turning the ball over very often this year, having thrown zero interceptions in his first two games. It appears that he would prefer to take a sack than force the ball into coverage.
Maybe Mike Singletary is copying his old QB's strategy and whispering it into Leslie Frazier's ear??
Whatever the case, the 49ers may have to find other ways to defeat the Vikings on Sunday, such as special teams play and/or a big day on the offensive side of the ball. If Ponder doesn't make many mistakes and completes a high percentage of passes, it's possible his team will move the ball down the field.
Of course the 49ers defense tends to really clamp-down in the red-zone, often allowing only a field goal as drives stall near the end zone. If the offense can do it's part to put points on the board, this would suffice to win the game.