I know that a lot of us on the staff here have some really varied musical tastes when it comes to some of the stuff we use to go with some of our writing. But, in this particular case, I think tonight's post-game recap has to come with a serving of extra cheese.
California cheese, mind you. . .after all, I hear that happy cows come from California.
So, here's the video. . .everything else is after the jump.
Preachin' 'bout the promised land
Tells me believe in Jesus
And steals the money from my hand
Some say he was a good man
But, Lord, I think he sinned
I'm sure that Donovan McNabb means really well and everything, and I'm sure he's a nice guy. However, if what Ted posted this morning during the time leading up to the game is true. . .well, he has indeed sinned. He didn't/doesn't have the commitment to this team that the coaches want, hasn't shown the willingness to do the work to improve. . .and as a result has not only "stolen" this season from the Minnesota Vikings and their fans, but has "stolen" six potential games that the team could have spent developing their quarterback of the future.
But, today, we got the polar opposite of that.
This offense just straight-up, flat-out looked better with Christian Ponder behind the controls this afternoon. Yes, you can say that Ponder got a lot of help from Adrian Peterson, who ran for 175 yards on 24 carries on the afternoon. But you know what? Peterson got a lot of help from Ponder, too. Of the 13 passes Ponder completed on the afternoon, eight of them went at least 12 yards, and overall he averaged 16.8 yards per completion.
You want to take away the big 72-yard completion to Michael Jenkins to start the game? That's fine. . .without that, he still managed 12.25 yards per completion in his debut. That's the sort of thing that will open things up for a running back to average 7.3 yards per carry.
Ponder was mobile. . .he was sacked twice on the afternoon, and lost a total of two yards on those two sacks. He showed poise. . .tell me, how great was that third down completion to Greg Camarillo when he was running all over the place?
By the end of the game, Ponder was playing on an offensive line that had two backups (after Anthony Herrera re-injured his knee, Brandon Fusco was in on the line with Joe Berger on the interior), had only three wide receiver options (the Vikings only had Camarillo, Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu, and Percy Harvin active for today's game, and Harvin didn't play most of the second half after re-injuring his ribs). . .and the guy just kept. . .on. . .fighting.
Was the completion percentage great? Heck no, it wasn't great. Were the two interceptions sort of ugly? Yeah, they sure were. But, you know. . .after listening to the Trent Dilfers of the world kill this team for making Ponder the 12th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, and hearing that he's too short or doesn't have a strong enough arm and blah blah blah blah. . .
I loved what I saw out there today. This is a game where the Vikings were supposed to get massacred, playing without three starting defensive backs and starting a rookie quarterback for the first time. And they stayed in the game right until the end, largely because of the effort that rookie quarterback put forward.
Somewhere in Minneapolis tonight, after watching the effort the guy that his coaching future will, inevitably, be tied to put forward, he may indeed be saying something like this:
Sometimes I wish to God I didn't know now, the things I didn't know then.
Leslie Frazier thought he had a solution at quarterback when he brought in Donovan McNabb. He didn't know what McNabb was going to bring to the table wasn't going to amount to a whole hell of a lot.
The reality is that his solution at quarterback was probably standing there all along.
We're in the early stages of a rebuilding process here, folks. . .but from what we saw today, it appears as though that we might have the most important piece already covered.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is something to believe in.