Painful to Watch the Vikings Without Playoff Calibur Quarterback
The 2013 NFL playoffs are in full swing and already the outcomes confirm the idea that anything can happen in the postseason.
But, that was not the case of the Vikings as they lost to the Pack. It wasn’t close and it wasn’t interesting at all.
Adrian Peterson completely gashed Green Bay during the teams’ first two contests this season and had a very respectable 99 yards rushing on 22 carries Saturday.
But Christian Ponder’s sore elbow thrust backup Joe Webb into the starting QB position and the Packers keyed in on Peterson, who was held to under 100 yards just once in the final 10 games.
Let’s put this though into some perspective. The Vikings were coming off a 3-13 finish in 2011. They got off to a 4-1 start and fans on the Sports Buffet were saying playoffs and Super Bowl. Really?
But, I credit the Vikings as they fell to 6-6 in early December, they rebounded to win four in a row and qualified for the postseason.
There is no way that Joe Webb would have been the team's backup quarterback, if the Vikings had considered themselves to be a contender. Ponder at best now is a backup. Can Ponder improve? Yes. How much patience do you have though?
Webb completed only 11 of 30 passes for 180 yards a late TD and threw a pick.
Coach Leslie Frazier wasn't going to give Webb a chance this season even when Ponder was at his worst.
But let's be fair, placing blame for all of this on Webb would wrong as my brother-in-law kept reminding me.
He hadn’t thrown a ball in a meaningful game all season.
Secondly, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave should have come up with a plan to take advantage of Webb's running skills, once the possibility existed that he would be forced to start.
Ponder was able to start 16 games this season but injuries are nothing new for him and if he does get hurt in 2013, or just flat-out struggles again, the answer can't be to turn to Webb.
The Vikings surprised this year, but when the team meets in Mankato this summer there will be expectations. Those expectations are to shore up the quarterback spot too.