Did the unthinkable happen during the second half of the Vikings' loss to Chicago on Sunday, or was it just another flash in the pan from Minnesota's most important position?
Christian Ponder's second half helped the Vikings nearly win. He showed guts, heart and most importantly -- accuracy.
"He really took charge," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told the Pioneer Press. "After the interception for a touchdown, he didn't waver. He stayed strong and committed to playing good, clean football.
"I'm really proud of the way he bounced back and played down the stretch for us. He made some big throws and gave us a chance."
It was an important half for Ponder. Earlier on Sunday, Jay Glazer reported that Ponder is on a "much shorter leash" than anyone knows.
The leash must not be too short because Ponder struggled mightily in the first half. He was inaccurate and on one play he stared down his receiver and Bears cornerback Tim Jennings read his eyes for an easy pick-six.
Ponder turned it around to lead the Vikings to three consecutive scoring drives in the second half -- all of which were capped off by Blair Walsh field goals. If not for an Adrian Peterson fumble on the first possession of the half, he could have led Minnesota to four straight scoring drives. And Jarius Wright's dropped pass at the goal line forced Minnesota to settle for a field goal, too.
Ponder went 10-for-16 for 146 yards in the second half. Three of those completions came on key third down plays.
Nobody knows if Ponder's second half was a flash in the pan or a sign of future consistency, but at the very least it is a small step in the right direction.