I’ll admit it, I’m not as hard on Christian Ponder as many of you are or believe I should be. I’m one of those people who wants’ the skinny little underdog to succeed. I love those feel good stories when the team is down a few points and that one guy digs down deep and leads them to a victory.
I can’t help it. But while I always have and will cheer for the underdog, I also live in reality with the rest of you. And the reality of Ponder is that he is failing us as fans and more importantly the Vikings.
And now with Matt Cassel’s win last Sunday and the team overall stepping up their game, it is time for me and the Vikings to take a long hard look at Ponder and what will happen next.
Good, bad or indifferent the Vikings have decided to stay loyal to their 12th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. They saw something in him and figured it was good enough to make him their starting QB, even when the going got tough. Oh loyalty.
But man his stats for the first three games are as follows: he is 0-3 this season, has seven turnovers, and his passer rating of 65.9 is ranked 41st in the NFL. He’s even been unable to convert the most routine plays.
On the flip side of that Ponder is a resilient little guy. Once and awhile he manages to show a sparkle of hope to remind the fans that he is a pretty okay quarterback. He went 4-0 to finish the 2012 season, pushing the Vikings into the postseason, and had four touchdowns against no picks in the final two regular-season games. How quickly we forgot about that right?
No matter what he did then, it’s what is happening now that matters. And to reiterate this fact the Vikings under Ponder are at 0-3. And that is a hard number to ignore.
As for Matt Cassel— he did wonderful in case you missed it. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 248 yards. Had no turnovers, threw two touchdowns and wasn’t intercepted. Oh and if you weren’t paying attention, the Vikings won.
But at the same time they played the 2013 Steelers. This team is hardly what they use to be or even close to resembling it. Not to mention as the starting quarterback for the Chiefs he was 1-7— then he was benched.
There is no easy solution for this problem. Okay there is and that’s go with the guy who won a game, but if you’re the Vikings or a lesser extent me you have to weigh the options.
Do the Vikings continue to “mold” and invest time into Ponder and make him whatever it is they want him to be, or do we go with Cassel? He won a game and too many of you reading this that’s all that matters.
But for the time being the Vikings are digging their heels in and have announced that when he is healthy enough to comeback, it will be Ponder taking the snaps.
And with the cries of the fans starting to grow louder and louder to bench Ponder, even I have to take the purple colored glasses off. But will they do the same?