Is it Too Early to Ponder Ponder?
After yet another debilitating second half meltdown, this time against the Detroit Lions, the Vikings are left wondering what they have to do to win a game.
There are several solutions, but one area where the team can definitely improve is their quarterback play.
Donovan McNabb was brought in over the off-season to play quarterback to attempt to give the veterans on this team one more shot at a Super Bowl, or until rookie Christian Ponder was deemed ready to start. Through 3 games, McNabb has done virtually nothing to help the offense other than hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson. His numbers have been slightly less than dreadful over the first 3 weeks:
Week 1: 7/15, 39 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception
Week 2: 18-30, 228 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions
Week 3: 22-36, 211 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions
Peterson has been putting up the numbers we are used to seeing from him on a weekly basis, but if the Vikings are going to win games this year they need to find some way to move the ball downfield in the passing game.
I am by no means suggesting that the Vikings throw in the towel on this season, but at some point they have to ask if what they are getting out of McNabb is worth keeping Ponder on the bench. The next two opponents for the Vikings — the Chiefs and Cardinals — have two of the worst pass defenses in the entire NFL. The schedule doesn’t get any easier after that, with their remaining opponents being:
At Kansas City
Home against Arizona
Home against Green Bay
At Green Bay
Home against Oakland
Home against Denver
Home against New Orleans
Home against Chicago
If the Vikings are going to do anything this season, we should expect them to beat the Chiefs and Cardinals. We should hope they beat the Broncos and Panthers. And we should pray that they split the season series against the Packers, Bears and Lions. That would put them at 7-5, with the Falcons, Saints, Redskins and Raiders looking to be sure losses, which would put the Vikings at 7-9 this season.
This record might not even be reachable because they would have to beat the Bears and Packers. So if we adjust their record to reflect that, we have a 5-11 record. Would you rather have the team ride that record on the arm of McNabb? Or would you rather have Ponder come in and experience his growing pains now, to potentially speed up the time it will take him to be a successful quarterback in this league?
I know which one I would prefer, but that decision is not mine to make.