I'm a big statistically-oriented, analysis-driven individual with baseball so naturally, when it comes to football, I also gravitate towards the data that goes beyond the boxscore. That's why Football Outsiders, a sister site of Baseball Prospectus, is one of my favorite websites - it breaks down stuff that is deeper than what you find at your standard Fantasy Football coverage.
Football Outsiders' Danny Tuccitto recent posted an analysis that involved the performance of quarterbacks in 2011 based on when they were pressured by the opposing defense. Tuccitto uses Football Outsiders' Defense-adjust Value Over Replacement (DVOR), a stat not too different from BP's VORP, to assess how the QBs performed in those pressured circumstances.
The first thing of note was that, overall, the Vikings' Christian Ponder was the 11th-most pressured quarterback in the NFL last year. in 26.4% of his dropbacks, Ponder was pressured by the defense. For those who watched the team and their offensive line who seemingly allowed defenses to seep through like crap through Depends of a senior after the nursing home's chili night, this should come as no surprise. Actually, to me, it felt like he was CONSTANTLY under duress and the fact that ten more quarterbacks had more action is a bit enlightening. The Texans gave Matt Schaub very little protection and allowed him to be pressured a league-high 33.3% of the time.
Here's the interesting aspect of the data that Tuccitto shares: According to his research, Ponder's performance in those pressure situations ranked 21st (-95.0% DVOA). This is a bad but not terrible performance, especially for a rookie with a shoddy offensive line and lack of a big-bodied receiver to help rescue him when he is in trouble. More concerning, perhaps, is that comparison of Ponder's non-pressure situation performance. The research says that when he doesn't have a lineman or blitzing corner in his face, Ponder ranked 33 out of the 34 quarterbacks (-1.6% DVOA).
This will undoubtedly serve as fodder for Ponder haters -- particularly his performance in non-pressure situations -- but we should keep in mind that he's had a poor offensive line and lacked a high quality receiver beyond Percy Harvin (who's stature likely makes him a less ideal target during pressure situations).