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Bleacher Report – Vikings

“He’s Still Our Starting QB” – If Only For One More Week, Ponder Remains In Starting Role…

Photo – Getty Images

By: Aj Mansour |

Minneapolis, MN – Maybe you were one of the 63,000 chanting “Cass-el! Cass-el! Cass-el!” yesterday at the Dome. Or maybe you were one of the hundreds of thousands screaming at Christian Ponder through the television set Sunday afternoon. If you were, I feel for you. I also would like to warn you that it looks like you may be in for much of the same this coming Sunday as the Vikings take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in London.

Following yesterday’s 31-27 loss to the Browns at home, Leslie Frazier claimed that despite the sub-par performance by his quarterback, he had no intentions of benching Christian Ponder before next Sunday.

“He’s still our starting quarterback,” Frazier said in his post-game press conference. “You evaluate and make the decisions you have to make but as we speak I don’t see [a change] happening.”

After reviewing the game film and sleeping on it overnight, nothing has changed for Frazier, Ponder will be the Vikings starting quarterback in London next Sunday.

“I don’t know if change for the sake of change is the right thing to do,” Frazier explained Monday morning. “You only want to make changes if there is a problem in an area where you feel that you have a better solution.”

The “solution” in this situation would in essence be backup quarterback Matt Cassel. Cassel saw limited action during the preseason for the Vikings and looked decent. Still the common thought in Minnesota is that if Cassel is not the long-term solution in Minnesota, you may as well continue to showcase Ponder. Well I guess that depends on who you ask.

As for Frazier, he hasn’t given up on Ponder yet and continues to see the good in Ponder’s erratic performances.

“He made some plays for us yesterday that we needed,” Frazier explained. “There were some other plays that we needed to make that we didn’t always get. But he will have to keep growing and keep developing. We are doing enough things that are not right across the board that are affecting our win-loss record, and it is not just the quarterback position. He has to play better, but so do some other groups on our football team. I don’t think that where we are is necessarily purely because of Christian Ponder.”

In fairness to the coach, he is correct. Sunday afternoon was not solely the fault of Christian Ponder, it was a full fledged meltdown by the entire Vikings team. Still, the criticism comes with the territory and if the quarterback is failing to make the situation better, the heat will come.

If only for now, Ponder remains the Vikings starting quarterback. Thankfully for them, the odds that anybody in London will be booing Ponder and chanting for Cassel will be slim.

All of this said, coming back to the country with a bye week mixed in may very well be the perfect time to quietly change quarterbacks and spend some extra time acclimating your entire to a new on-field leader. I’m just saying…

Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN

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