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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

"Hope Ponder" @ 8.3 Rating
A passer rating of 8.3. Say again ... that's right 8.3 .... 4 completions on 10 passing attempts for 28 yards.  Once again ... another pick 6.  So what was it that we saw?  We saw Christian Ponder tossed like a rag doll ... injury.  Did we just conveniently forget Ponder's injury history or have our eyes been blinded by hope ... and the company line?  We watch the game while the network commentators rattle off this franchise's company line.  How Ponder is our future!  How Ponder is the Vikings #1 quarterback.  How smart he is.  How he's our #1 pick of 2011.  It was all I could do to keep down the vomit from spewing into my mouth.  After 2 running plays, facing a 3rd & long my son says to me, "Can't we just punt on 3rd down (because there is no way Ponder's going to pick up this first down)?"  It's hard to hide the obvious.  "Hope Ponder" sitting on top of a well documented 0 wins & 10 losses (although I'm willing to concede the final loss).  This, is our future?  Allow me to contain my erupting vomit.
For Ponder to win he's going to need this ... and this ... and this ... and this ... and this.  Then he can win.  I certainly hope Ponder finds all those things ... on another team.  Hell ... he has more excuses and alibis that he's got to be worth at least a first round pick to some teams that thinks it's already got all those pieces in place.  Where's Mike Lynn when you really need him?  This franchise is certainly not anywhere close to fulfilling those needs ... nor will we ... because trying to achieve this pipe dream is not necessary.    

Now let's keep one thing in absolute focus.  We had to lose last Sunday to secure that #3 overall draft selection.  The cost of winning that game was way too great.  By winning, we would drop to as bad as #7 - a huge difference.

Making the statement that Joe Webb managed only 3 points on eight (8) drives is a stretch ... don't you think?  After Ponder did his rendition of a smashed string puppet, Joe Webb comes off the bench cold.  Once again, we're behind 14-10.  Run two plays & punt.  We get the ball back.  Webb leads this team on two (2) consecutive drives.  3rd & long - no problem.  Webb goes 6 for 8 however 2 were balls thrown away (smart).  We lost by 4 points (17-13).  Problem is, we had one field goal blocked and one errant snap/fumble on another.  We make both those kicks and we win that game 19-17, and maybe Jared Allen gets that 23rd sack (on a team playing with a lead).  Yes, boys & girls, even Jared Allen was made to pay for having to lose that game yesterday.    
So what is it that we saw with Joe Webb on the field.  This play by play crew never saw anything like it.  Here's one of their comments, "Look at this kids balance".  Said another way it took 2 or more defenders to bring him down.  How many times did he escape with his super human set of skills.  All that could be said was ... absolute awe!  In taking notes, how many times did we start to write the words sack, only to wonder exactly how in the hell did Joe Webb get away from that onslaught?  There was one time that the word sack was even scratched out, were the ball came out anyway for a completion that was just short of the line of gain.  You got to be kidding me.  At this point, I don't think the commentators even knew what they were saying out loud,  You know they wanted to rave about Joe Webb, but its again the company line, so instead they switch to Lovie Smith that states, "Webb definitely has a future in the NFL ... this kid can play".  Minnesota's gags them ... translation, the Vikings organization must be a bunch of complete morons. 

Leslie Frazier, "...Ponder is our starting quarterback ..."  Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!   Response from NFL universe (collective) .... MORON!

Webb's first interception was a fluke ... a far cry from Ponder's pick 6 on an errant throw gone wrong ... again!  Webb's pass was low however for the pick to occur a whole lot of things had to happen.  The most important of all was in having Harvin's incredible set of skills to keep his hands under that ball, falling off balance, to keep the ball from hitting the ground.  Bounce!  Big Bounce!  As for his final pick, to end another extremely well executed 2 minute drive, something that hasn't been in Minnesota for many years, I might remind you of a fact.  Tim Tebow's last pass on Sunday was a pick.  Carson Palmer's last pass on Sunday was a pick.  Before you throw stones ... you better know why Webb threw that pass!  
Here's something that you might have missed yesterday.  The Viking offense after a few drives began sputtering under Webb.  Not realizing what they were saying, the commentators stated out loud, "They (Vikings Offensive Coordinator) were recycling the same plays over and over again ... an indication of Webb's limited repertoire", playing into Chicago's hands.  The booth caught it and the book on Webb opened back to execution ... indicating that there is a great deal more there.  What we all tend to forget is that Webb was slated as our #3 QB through the pre-season up to and including our 6th game, which means virtually no #1 team reps.  In our 16 game schedule, Webb was allotted 1st team reps for a grand total of 1 week only.  Said another way, all of this teams resources were invested and then summarily wasted in McNabb and then into "Hope-Ponder".  What Joe did this year was nothing less than astounding.  Imagine what might occur when this Viking organization finally sets aside its racist set of standards that has prevented Joe Webb from achieving within this league.  It is absolutely what it is!  He didn't waste his time ... you wasted his time.   

So again, what was it that we saw yesterday?  Now comparing Joe Web to Ben Roethlisberger is an insult to Joe however there is one important point.  There are very few quarterbacks within the history of the game that ever exhibited this "Wicked-Heavy-Duty-Stature".  This kind of stuff just doesn't show up on film.  Ben (and to a lesser extend Dan Marino & Brett Favre) exhibited incredible body strength to extend the play.  Most of Joe Webb "Wicked-Good-Stuff" occurred without his final two pieces ... Gerhart & Harvin ... on the field.  Shades of both Peterson & Harvin ... tough!  With actual receiver threats, Joe Webb's ability to extend plays has got to be absolutely lethal to every defense that he opposes.  Choosing between "Wicked-Good" & "Wicked Smart", I'll take Harvin-Peterson-Webb "Wicked-Good" every day of the week.  

Now lets take a look at those stats: 17 of 32 (53% completion percentage) for 200 yards.  What is the most telling of all of Joe Webb's stats is 2 yards on 4 carries?  We were all awaiting Joe Webb taking off to shred that Chicago defense.  It didn't happen ... did it?  Why?  We had to lose the game!  He had to do it with his arm and with the final threats (Gerhart & Harvin) on the bench.   
Before you waste another draft pick upon another quarterback, you better first put the clip board in Ponder's hands giving Webb his due.  His performance has deserved that opportunity.  We have numerous draft needs to fill before we select another 1st round quarterback or running back.  It's time to get back into a defensive attack mode.  Before you select the next Prima Donna ... understand what we really want.  We want a man ... not another cup-cake that everyone is telling us that we need to take with that #3 overall pick.  
The Viking Ghost Writer
January 3, 2011