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The Sports Xchange, Published September 11 2013

Vikings head coach says Ponder's job "not in jeopardy"

MINNEAPOLIS – One game, one loss and things are already getting ugly for quarterback Christian Ponder in a town that, for the most part, has had it up to here with his inconsistent play.

But just as he did a year ago when Ponder stunk up Lambeau Field in a loss that dropped the Vikings to 6-6 and threatened their playoff standing, coach Leslie Frazier is standing firmly by his man. And it doesn’t matter that, unlike last year, Frazier now has a veteran backup with experience in Matt Cassel.

“Christian’s job is not in jeopardy,” Frazier said Wednesday as the Vikings turned from Sunday’s 34-24 loss at Detroit and moved toward this week’s game at Chicago. “He has to play better. We all have to play better. We have to coach better. We have to do a lot of things better than we did last week.”

Frazier has spent this week spreading the blame for a

10-point loss to a sloppy, undisciplined Lions team that tried its best to give the opener away. And Frazier does have a point. The offensive line was manhandled, the interior of the defensive line was gashed, the linebackers were invisible, the entire defense misplayed the screens to Reggie Bush and the rookie punter, Jeff Locke, was a liability on a team that can’t win without favorable field position.

Even Ponder’s four turnovers weren’t all his fault. The first pick went through receiver Jerome Simpson’s hands. The last pick came with Ponder desperately trying to make a play on fourth down in the closing minutes of a game that already was out of reach.