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Stafford, Ponder find motivation from NFC North QBs

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Three of the four NFC North starting quarterbacks attended the NFL Honors ceremony the Saturday before the Super Bowl. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named MVP at the event. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford won Comeback Player of the Year. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was simply an attendee. Bears QB Jay Cutler was not in the building. Stafford (third year) and Ponder (rookie year), the youngsters of the group, talked about playing in a division that has as much talent at the position as any in the league. “It’s fun, it’s fun,” said Stafford, who threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2011. “Every week you’re going up against somebody that’s really talented and you’re going to have to go out there and play your best to try to stay up with them. “I think that’s something that motivates me and helps me play well.” Ponder echoed those sentiments. The Florida State product had a strong start to his season, throwing for 219 yards and two touchdowns in his first start – against Rodgers and the Packers. But Ponder reached the 200-yard plateau just three more times and finished the season with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. “I’m a very competitive guy and the better competition the better for me,” Ponder said. “Obviously between Aaron and Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler, it’s a heck of a group and hopefully that will push me and motivate me more to get better.”

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