27 Games In

Christian Ponder has played in 27 NFL games in his two years in the league, and in that time he has given fans mixed emotions about whether or not he will be the long term answer for the team as their gunner at QB that we haven’t seen since the Daunte Culpepper years. (Some of you may disagree with that and say that we’ve been waiting even longer, but in all fairness, Culpepper was good at what he did before he injured his knee).

Ponder didn’t come into the league guns blazing, lighting up scoreboards and closing in on records in his first two years in the league, and he has had his share of poor games. But he has also had a number of good games, including the last 4 in the 2012 regular season when the only proven receiver he had was 2nd-year TE Kyle Rudolph.

The downfall for Ponder is that after his 2-years in the league, he has convinced many fans that he simply does not have the passing ability to lead an NFL team, but those fans may be surprised at how he compares to other QBs in the NFL after their first 27-games under center. The list below shows every starting or projected starter (Sanchez may not be around much longer) who has been in the league at least as long as Ponder, and their stats after their first 27 NFL games, (Locker and Gabbert aren’t at 27 yet, but got included anyways). Note that for a lot of these players, they didn’t hit 27 games in their first two years. Those that didn’t have numbers in parenthases next to their name indicating the (year-game) that they crossed the 27 mark.


While Ponder only ranks 17th out of the 24 current players who made the cut, this doesn’t necessarily put him in a bad position. Vick, Brees, Eli and Payton are all beneath that, and all have had some pretty good careers, including 4-Super Bowl victories among them.

The guys at the top of the list are in mixed company. Romo, the best of the group, has a sultry 1-4 playoff record. Rivers and Cutler haven’t performed any better. Romo, Rogers, Brady and Rivers all took significantly longer to get to game 27, probably giving them a better shot at learning more and performing better when their chances came around. And there’s guys up there (Sanchez, Palmer, Cutler) who didn’t pan out for their first team and/or are about to start looking for a 2nd or even 3rd team to get it right.

And where do the current “Elite” QBs rank? Well, let’s say there’s 6 “Elite” QBs in the league, and give those spots to Roethlisberger, Rogers, Brady,elite Brees, Eli and Peyton. I’m sticking with this group because they’ve been good for a while now, consistently make the playoffs, are still a serious contendor to make the playoffs, and have each been a major reason for at least one Super Bowl victory. They stand at spots 2, 3, 5, 20, 21 and 22. That’s a pretty big difference between the top-3 and bottom-3, but it would be hard to argue that either group is better than the other.

Of these six players, Ponder probably compares best to Eli, who only has 2-Super Bowl rings to his credit.

So what does that all say for Ponder? Well, while he’s no guarantee to be elite, and not even a guarnteed franchise QB, he is doing just as good as should be expected for a QB with 27-games under his belt, and he still has the potential turn into something great if we give him time.

86 comments on “27 Games In

  1. Met Jesse Williams today at the ol stompin ground. He was pretty well spoken for a hideous monster, my hatred for him may have been slightly, little bit maybe teeny bit uncalled for. Asked him what happened with Percy and the Vikes but he just said Percy was a “cool dude”…don’t buy it.


  2. Man dies after cow falls through roof of a house in Caratinga, Brazil
    Updated Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:30pm AEST

    A cow has fallen through the roof of a house in Brazil, killing a man and narrowly missing his wife.

    The cow was grazing on a hill behind the house in the town of Caratinga when it stepped onto the asbestos roof which collapsed under its weight.

    A 45-year-old man was lying in bed when the animal fell on him.

    He was taken to hospital but died a day later.

    Local media say it is the THIRD such incident in the region in the past three years.

    There is a Chick-Fil-A commercial in there somewhere……

    • They do that every year. Tickets to the Packer game are in high enough demand that they know they can squeeze out a bit more profit by forcing a 2-game package. It was a lot better last year – I got tickets to the opener and the closer. The opener wasn’t so hot, but we did squeeze out the win. The closer against the Packers though was the best game I have been to in a while.

    • Don’t expect to see much of him early on. Smart coaching would be to ease him into the game, and probably not get on the field for a regular season game until after the Bye week. Then he’ll need to prove that he’s more capable of holding down the 3rd/4th WR spot than Simpson and maybe Wright.

      I am very excited to see our WRs this year. On paper, they look like they’re going to be starting out miles ahead of what we had last year, and whatever way it goes I’m fairly certain that the team will be cutting a WR whose skills would have provided an improvement to last year’s group.

  3. Hey fellow VFB bloggers-wanted to let you all know I’ll be off the site for a while…I’ll be spending as much time as I can with my father, he is very sick and doesn’t have much time left.

    Hope you guys can do the QB beakdowns for me…looks like Parody already got started-great write up.

    Take care fellow uglies…talk to you all down the road.

  4. I wonder, if the we keep getting stories about good players like DE Everson Griffen, How can I cheer them on as the underdogs in any games?

    I stated before that I have no favorite NFL team at this time, but choose a team as underdog just before it starts. Roger, that is good news about Griffen.

  5. Once again I’ve been rewatching all the games like the obsessed fan that I am and I’m starting to buy into Christian Ponder. If he can just get the game to slow down for him and slide around the pocket like the kool kat QB’s on big money then he could have a good year. What I don’t want to see in training camp, however, is bad footwork and poor technique followed by a bunch of INT’s, that should already be fixed by now and it will kill his confidence heading into the season. Can’t wait for preseason!

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