Vikings vs. 49ers 2013: Ponder must 'step up' for Minnesota

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota is still searching for a win after a tough night in San Francisco.

The Minnesota Vikings lost, 34-14, against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football at Candlestick Park, falling to 0-3 on the preseason.

Minnesota had some positives, such as quarterback Christian Ponder playing pretty well against one of, if not the best defenses in the NFL. However, the defense looked susceptible and one of its best players, defensive tackle Kevin Williams, had to leave the game with an apparent leg injury.

One man who isn't impressed with the effort of Ponder, who completed 17 of 23 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns and an interception, is Ted Glover of the Daily Norseman. Glover believes the stats are nothing more than fool's gold for the former first-round pick, who is entering his third year in purple and gold.

Sorry, but Ponder didn't look good to me tonight. If you look at his stat line you see 19/23, 116 yards, 2 TD's and a pick. But if you watch the game, Ponder rarely threw the ball downfield, was content with a one or two yard dump off, and looked ready to bail in the pocket on every throw. I just...I don't know. Look, I like Ponder, and I think he can be a good quarterback. But it's time to step up and play with confidence. It seems that Ponder is playing not to lose, as opposed to playing to win.

One man Glover feels good about is inside linebacker Desmond Bishop, who comes over from the Green Bay Packers.

Bishop struggled a bit in the second half, but I thought he played a good game overall, especially against SF's first unit. He moved laterally very well, cutting off the perimeter and not allowing 49er backs to turn the corner...until he tried to make the tackle, as he whiffed on one or two. But overall, it was a respectable showing for Bishop, and I think whatever doubts fans might have had about him making the roster were eliminated tonight.

The Vikings finish the preseason on Thursday against the Tennessee Titans.

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