Sunday, May 29, 2016

christian ponder

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The Vikings, led by backup quarterback Joe Webb, got their asses kicked at Lambeau Field in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

There really is no nicer way to put it than that without being dishonest.  The game was a debacle in all phases of the game.  Embarrassing production on offense, deadly mistakes on defense, turnovers coming from the special teams, and a coaching staff that seemed outmatched nearly the whole time.

With that being said, Saturday night’s letdown is just one black mark in what was otherwise a very pleasant surprise of a season, with the Vikings netting 10 wins after getting just three the season prior.

The Vikings accomplished many of their stated goals in 2012.  They kept Ponder upright for 16 games in an effort to gauge his progression.   The offensive line improved with players that never once had to miss a start.  The running game was one of the best that the world has ever seen, with Adrian Peterson making a very convincing bid to be the NFL’s MVP.

On defense, Alan Williams put together one of the better looking secondaries, albeit lacking depth, that Vikings fans have seen in years and years.  The pass rush was fairly consistent and the run defense was usually fairly stout, with only a select few exceptions in each area.

The special teams unit was overall one of the best in the NFL.

Following a phenomenal Draft from Rick Spielman, and Eric Sugarman earning every penny of his salary in keeping this squad relatively healthy, the Vikings are certainly a lot further along in their rebuilding process than almost anybody expected.

With that being said, there is not a position on this roster that couldn’t stand to be improved, other than kicker, and the Vikings now have another offseason full of opportunity to get even better.  They have an offseason to evaluate the coaching staff, search for free agents, prepare for the NFL Draft, and continue to develop their current talent.

While I was hoping not to be starting this for a few more weeks, the offseason unfortunately does begin today, and we here at VT are excited to do you the favor of filling it full of analysis, irresponsible speculation, rumor mongering, and discussion.

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We decided against a live chat today since, in our experience, these later games with huge ramifications typically means people are glued to their TVs, have a party going on, or are going out.  So, instead, we’ll do the whole quarterly forums thing to allow those that remain to share their thoughts as the game goes on.

What is there to say?  Joe Webb is starting and Christian Ponder won’t even be in uniform.  Adrian Peterson just seems to get better and better every week.  The Packers are as healthy as they have ever been this season in the passing game.  Frozen rain is expected to hit at some point during this game.

Fun, fun, and more fun!  Sit back and enjoy the game everyone!

SKOL!

As the post below indicated, Christian Ponder (elbow) is amazingly going to be inactive for what should have been his first playoff appearance.  Joe Webb, who Vikings fans are very familiar with, will be starting in his place.

Webb’s backup will be McLeod Bethel-Thompson who has never appeared in a regular season NFL game.  With the way Webb runs the ball, and may be asked to do a lot today, it is reasonable to wonder if our postseason hopes won’t end up on MBT’s shoulders.

The team’s other inactives are receiver Stephen Burton, cornerback Brandon Burton, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, offensive lineman Troy Kropog, end George Johnson and end D’Aundre Reed.

This means rookie linebacker Audie Cole will be asked to replace McKenzie on special teams.  Cole made a big splash in the preseason by returning two interceptions for touchdowns on back-to-back plays.

The inactives list also does not include Antoine Winfield which is good news for a Vikings secondary that will need all the help it can scrounge up against Aaron Rodgers and the potent passing attack of the Green Bay Packers.

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Yes, Christian Ponder’s elbow has prevented him from starting this playoff game, and the Vikings will instead turn to Joe Webb to lead them to their first playoff victory since 2009.  Webb hasn’t played more than a few garbage time snaps all season long.

I’ll get the rest of the inactives up momentarily.

The news is crazy.

That is all.

Even with plenty of concerns about whether or not Christian Ponder has what it takes to be a long term solution at quarterback, the Vikings brass has done a great job of keeping quarterback controversies at bay for all of 2012.

Welcome to 2013.

Numerous rumors and “reports” are floating around that Christian Ponder’s “questionable” status was actually more legitimate than many originally thought.  Apparently his elbow bursitis, and the need to drain that elbow, could be enough to keep him off the field tonight.

Yes, that means Joe Webb is being rumored to start against the Packers in the biggest game of the year.

We’ll know a concrete answer soon enough, but if you weren’t anxious enough about this game, these rumors are certainly making life interesting for Vikings fans on this Saturday afternoon.

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