After last season's surprise run to the playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings are under some pressure heading into the 2013 campaign with the weight of expectations on them.
Quarterback Christian Ponder is one such player who is feeling the heat, with many fans and pundits pointing at him as a key figure in whether the Vikings will repeat their success from last year or fall flat. Ponder has yet to show he is a game-changer in his two years since being drafted in the first round out of Florida State, but hasn't hurt the team either.
However, Minnesota brought in Matt Cassel from Kansas City via free agency to back up Ponder, making some wonder just how much time Ponder has to prove he's the man going forward, as shown in this piece by ESPN.com. In 2012, Ponder threw for 2,935 yards and 18 touchdowns put tossed 12 picks as well.
Ponder's numbers were up across the board from his rookie campaign, when he passed for 1,853 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Ponder's completion percentage also shot up from 54.3 percent to 62.1.
Nobody expects Cassel to suddenly develop into a franchise quarterback, but the USC product has shown the ability to get his team to the playoffs.
In 2010, Cassel led the Chiefs to an AFC West title, throwing 27 touchdowns against only seven interceptions that year.