Ponder is the starter
by, 10-19-2011 at 01:50 PM (858 Views)
Frazier didn't hesitate long to name his starter for next week's game against the Packers. Ponder will make his first NFL start and it will be a trial by fire for the rookie. Green Bay is probably the most difficult game on the schedule, and it will take nothing short of a miracle for the Vikings to come out of this game with a W.
Ponder showed a lot of the reasons why the Vikings spent their 12th overall selection on the FSU Grad. He threw the ball with authority and showed off his athleticism. One play in particular that stood out to me was one of his first passes was a first 12 yard pass to Percy Harvin. He put the ball right at Percy's numbers and split a trio of defenders in the area. He displayed a quick release, a tight spiral and excellent accuracy.
Now I'm not saying that Ponder is the 2nd coming of Manning or Brady at this point. But I will say that I like what I see. My primary concerns for Ponder in his first start are the offensive line issues (Sullivan's concussion and Loadholt's hamstring, Hutchinson and Charlie Johnson listed as "hurting") could cause him to have nightmares about Clay Matthews. Loadholt and Sullivan's injuries appear to be serious and seem to indicate they will not be available next week. Hutchinson and Johnson should play, but how much will injuries limit their effectiveness? My second concern is that spotty offensive line play could lead to a run-first mentality in Ponder. He showed a tendency to use his legs a little too often when things broke down in the 4th quarter.
And for anyone wondering, McNabb has said all the right things since his demotion. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the mentor-backup role, something he's not all that familiar with.
All things considered I'm pretty excited to watch the game next week and get the first real look at only the 3rd QB taken in the first round in Vikings history.