Opinion Corner: Please no more PonderBreak out the bleach, and scrub those eyeballs. Sunday’s Vikings-Packers game was another ocular assault by Christian Ponder.
By: Casey Johnson For The Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Break out the bleach, and scrub those eyeballs. Sunday’s Vikings-Packers game was another ocular assault by Christian Ponder.
Unfortunately, cleaning our eyeballs until they bleed won’t help us forget Ponder’s fifth gut-wrenching performance in the last 6 games. And it also won’t help us to forget Minnesota’s 23-14 loss to Green Bay, which is the Vikings’ fifth loss in their last seven games.
In what has become an almost expected occurrence, Adrian Peterson played like an absolute man-beast, rushing for 210 yards and one score. It was the sixth straight game that he has rushed for over 100 yards, and in fact, he has rushed for 947 yards, averaged 7.8 yards per carry, and scored six touchdowns over the last six games. Quite remarkably, that also means that he’s averaging just about 158 yards per game during that span.
However, for as good as Peterson has been, Ponder’s play has been, appallingly, the complete opposite. His play has tested the intestinal fortitude of many a Vikings fan and has been so poor that it has tarnished Peterson’s amazing play. And Sunday against the Packers was no exception.
Sure, Ponder finished the game with a dazzling 119 yards through the air (sarcasm). But he had only 36 yards passing until just under the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Just 36! I’ll give you a second now to break out your barf bags. Hopefully, you’ve flown recently.
And what is equally as disturbing is that Ponder had all 36 of those passing yards on one drive!
So, if you’re keeping track from home, that means that he didn’t complete a pass from the 12:18 mark of the second quarter until roughly the 3:30 mark of the fourth quarter. It’s like he switched bodies with one of the football-playing Budweiser Clydesdales from the commercials (at least I think it would be difficult for them to complete passes without having thumbs).
Oh wait, I take that back. Ponder did complete two passes during that bogglingly bad stretch. Too bad they didn’t count because they were both thrown to Morgan Burnett, who just happens to play for the Packers.
What is even more disheartening is that, despite how ridiculously bad Ponder played, the Vikings still would’ve had a chance to win the game without those two momentum-swinging interceptions.
Ponder’s second interception wasn’t really his fault, so I won’t discuss that one.
I’d like to focus on his first interception, though. His first interception was thrown at the beginning of the second half when the Vikings were on Green Bay’s 8-yard line and poised to cushion their 14-10 lead. It was second down, and although no one was open, Ponder had an opportunity to tuck the ball down to get a few yards. However, he decided, instead, to attempt a pass to Michael Jenkins who was cutting across the back of the end zone in the opposite direction that he was scrambling. So, not only was it a difficult and ill-advised pass across his body and across the field, but Jenkins was also extremely well covered on the play. As a result, Ponder’s pass was easily intercepted.
It was truly an unfathomable throw to make given that it wasn’t the last play of a game that the Vikings were trailing in and given that he doesn’t have “Favre” on the back of his jersey. The Vikings were up 14-10 on the road in the second half of an extremely consequential game for their playoff hopes, and even just getting a field goal on that possession would have been huge. But Ponder still made the bewilderingly bad decision to throw the ball.
The most apt comparison that I can make is that Christian Ponder looks like a 10-year-old that has a lit Black Cat firecracker in his hand. It seems like he’s so scared and uneasy about something blowing up that he just wants to get it out of his hand, accuracy means nothing to him, and all sensible decision-making gets thrown out. As a result, he makes worse decisions than Lindsay Lohan (cheap joke).
I know that the Vikings’ receiving corps is banged up and without their best weapon in Percy Harvin. However, as bad as Minnesota’s other receivers have been, your quarterback still has to find opportunities to move the ball in the passing game. The receivers might not be getting much separation, but you can’t tell me that they were never open. It surely isn’t acceptable that Christian didn’t even complete a pass to a wide receiver until there was around three minutes left in the game.
Now, I know that it’s a little early to be asking for Christmas presents, but all I want for Christmas is for Christian Ponder to stay in Green Bay.
I have often wavered when trying to determine whether or not he can be a viable, long-term solution at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, but I think that train has now left the station.
Truthfully, it’s really not Christian’s fault that he has been allowed to play despite how incapable he is to do so effectively. He is what he is, and there’s not much that he can do about it. He shouldn’t be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but it’s not up to him who gets put under center for the Minnesota Vikings. It’s up to management and the coaches to find a better alternative at the quarterback position, for now and for the future.
In any event, please Santa, don’t let Christian Ponder be the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback any longer. There’s a soft molasses cookie in it for you if you come through.
Casey Johnson is a frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner