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4 MINNESOTA: Vikings
Don Banks
September 03, 2012
Christian Ponder took his lumps in 2011. That's fine, as long as he follows the typical QB trajectory, especially the part about a big Year 2 leap
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September 03, 2012

4 Minnesota: Vikings

Christian Ponder took his lumps in 2011. That's fine, as long as he follows the typical QB trajectory, especially the part about a big Year 2 leap

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Even with Ponder's improvement, the Vikings still will field the fourth-best quarterback in the suddenly pass-happy NFC North. But defensive leaders Jared Allen, Chad Greenway and Kevin Williams are responding to new coordinator Alan Williams, who spent the past decade leading the Colts' secondary, and a soft early schedule should allow for some momentum-building.

Traditionally, Year 2 marks a great leap forward for quarterbacks. And Ponder, says quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson, "doesn't look like a rookie anymore." For a franchise looking to move ahead, that's a huge relief.

Projected Lineup

WITH 2011 STATS

OFFENSE 2011 RANK: 18

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

DEFENSE 2011 RANK: 21

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

SPECIALISTS

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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