Oakland Raiders-Vikings Preview: Five players to watch

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August 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Christian Ponder (9) passes the football against the St. Louis Rams during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

3. Christian Ponder

This section could very well be titled “Matt McGloin” since this is really about the ongoing battle for the #2 QB spot behind Derek Carr. Ponder, an experienced veteran who once quarterbacked the Vikings into the playoffs (with 2,097 yards worth of help from Adrian Peterson), was brought in to be the #2 man, due to his familiarity with OC Bill Musgrave and his significant experience as an NFL starter. But Matt McGloin, who has always managed to outplay his hand during his brief pro career, is not going to just close up shop and go home.

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  • The game should be an interesting one for Ponder. In 2011, Ponder was drafted 12th overall to be the future franchise quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. He helped guide the team on a playoff run in 2012, but overall had a 14-21 record as a starter there and was replaced as the future of the franchise by Teddy Bridgewater last year. Ponder will face his old team for the first time, and will do so in Minneapolis, where he expects to be booed roundly by the Vikings crowd.

    Last week against St. Louis, Ponder played well after relieving Derek Carr, completing 6 of 8 passes for 59 yards, one score and one pick. McGloin, however, fared much better against the bottom of the Rams depth chart, hitting 10 of 11 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. The two have been battling it out throughout training camp as well, but if Ponder can put together a strong performance against his former team in Saturday night, he may just get a firm leg up in the #2 QB battle going forward.

    Next: Player to Watch: Mario Edwards Jr.