Player grades for the 2012-13 Vikings: Part one, quarterbacks


Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) throws during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

After the Vikings finished with a dismal three wins for the 2011-12 season, they surprised the league when they went 10-6 while making the playoffs the following season.

General manager Rick Spielman and the 2012 Vikings draft class had a lot to do with the team’s success, but many other players stepped up and contributed.

Sporting Sota will do a complete player breakdown of the team’s performance in 2012-13, broken down by position.

First up, quarterbacks:

– McLeod Bethel-Thompson – He looked really good in the preseason. Did not make any appearance besides that.

2012-13 Grade: N/A
2011-12 Grade: N/A

– Christian Ponder – In the first six games of the season, Ponder lead the Vikings to a 4-2 start and completed 68.6 percent of his passes. After Week 6, Ponder struggled with completions for most of the rest of the season, with seven games where he failed to complete more than 60 percent of his passes. The second-year quarterback still somehow finished with a 62.1 percent completion rate, an improvement from the year before (54.3 percent). Without top receiver Percy Harvin for a good chunk of the season, Ponder made a gradual improvement from the season before. He has made some questionable decisions, leading to some ugly passes and interceptions—finished with 12 interceptions. If Ponder can cut back on the forced passes and throw them away—a la Brad Childress philosophy—and the Vikings add some weapons for him to pass to, we can see much improvement next season. Despite a up-and-down season, we need to account for the fact that the offensive line ranked near the bottom in pass-blocking efficiency and that he did not have much to work with in the receiving corps.

2012-13 Grade: B-
2011-12 Grade: C+

Joe Webb – His only real appearance was in the Wild Card game on the road against the Packers. It would be unfair to grade him, as he hasn’t played all season and was thrown into a tough playoff game on the road with little preparation and questionable game plan.

2012-13 Grade: N/A
2011-12 Grade: C