MINNEAPOLIS -- Leslie Frazier was asked what has become almost a ritualistic question after Minnesota Vikings games these days, and the coach looked weary as he supplied a familiar answer.
"We'll sit down tomorrow and talk it through and figure out what's the best way to go," Frazier said.
The Vikings have been through three starting quarterbacks in as many weeks, and Frazier's choice for this Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys might have been easier if Christian Ponder had made a statement against the Green Bay Packers. Ponder went 14-for-21 for 145 yards, finishing the game without a turnover but missing a couple chances to connect on big throws that might have helped the Vikings stay on the field as the Packers poured on 24 points in the first half.
"I didn't meet expectations," Ponder said. "I didn't play well enough for this offense to stay on the field, convert on third downs and put more points on the board."
At this point, Ponder hasn't given the Vikings reason to stick with him much past this week. If Josh Freeman is recovered from a concussion and ready to play this week, it would be surprising if the Vikings didn't go back to him for the Cowboys game, if for no other reason than to get another look at him when he's had another week in the offense. For all of the talk from his teammates about Ponder being a different quarterback, he showed some of the same tentative play on Sunday night he did before losing the starting job in September, escaping the pocket when his first option was covered or holding the ball instead of making a throw into a tight window.
Frazier did give Ponder credit for a two-minute drill before halftime, when the quarterback marched the Vikings 77 yards in 1:26, completing five of his six passes for 49 yards, and throwing another deep ball for Greg Jennings that drew a late flag for pass interference on Tramon Williams.
"That two-minute drive was good, and there were some other times where he ran our offense pretty good," Frazier said. "There were times where he wasn't as comfortable as you'd like to see him in the pocket, but he did some positive things as well."
At this point, the Vikings would seem to know the ceiling on Ponder. They've only got one (albeit ugly) performance from Freeman, but at 1-6, they might decide to see if he can get the offense moving. There's not much else of consequence to play for at this point.