Christian Ponder is going to have better days. He accounted for four turnovers (three INTs) in just over a half of football, and though he was playing hurt and probably never should have played given his lack of practice time during the week, he needs to make fewer mistakes.
More than 20 percent of the Vikings' roster is composed of rookies, and yet the class has yet to make a major contribution. Ponder has looked alternately good and bad in his eight starts, but TE Kyle Rudolph has been underutilized, DT Christian Ballard (who started Sunday against the Lions but barely played thereafter) has done little and Mistral Raymond is just starting to get his chance.
Finding Rudolph more passes is crucial to Ponder's development. They could be a strong pitch-and-catch combo for the next five years. Raymond will continue to start, and he needs to show he can by physical enough to earn a starting safety spot in 2012. They like his speed and instincts, but can he hit and cover?