Kcskol wrote a nice fanpost suggesting that we shouldn’t write off Joe Webb, and that maybe the fans are being too quick to anoint Christian Ponder as the second coming of...well, who knows. Lots of people left some theories as to why Webb is still stuck on the bench behind Ponder, despite a win against Philly last year, better completion percentage, stronger arm, more athleticism and more experience as a starter. Here’s a quick list of some of the reasons others gave in the comments as to why Webb is still on the bench:
1. No TD Passes in the regular season
2. Too quick to run after 1st read breaks down
3. 199th draft pick (vs Ponder as #12)
4. Not a great college QB, went to a small school
5. Known as a “run-first” QB instead of a pocket passer
6. Buckles under pressure in the pocket
All of those reasons are valid IMO, but you can put together a list of positive things about Webb just as long (read the paragraph above). Likewise, you can put together a list of negative things about Ponder just as long (accuracy, arm strength, lack of experience, quick to run, etc). To my mind, the most crucial thing for why Ponder is getting the nod over Webb, is the ability to make important throws in the clutch. The ability to *execute* when the pressure is on. That coupled with the ability to make the intermediate to long throws consistently is why Ponder is currently our starting QB.
At the end of the day, Webb has 1-1 as a starter, and that win in Philly was largely in spite of Joe Webb, not because of him. The defense played lights out in Philly, and Adrian Peterson made plays in the running game when we needed it. Webb just didn’t play that well in the Philly game, and after 10 offensive series, he managed to move the offense down the field for only 2 touchdowns, both of them rushing TDs and one of a short field, and the other thanks to Philly penalties. Winfield scored on defense too. In case you’ve forgotten the details, take a look at the following play-by-play of Webb in the Philly game after the jump.
After the defense stops Philly on the opening series and forces a punt, the Vikings have an opportunity to break open a quick lead, on the road. Instead, Webb leads the offense to a three-and-out:
(12:39) A.Peterson left tackle to MIN 23 for 5 yards (Q.Mikell).
(12:05) P.Harvin right end to MIN 22 for -1 yards (J.Chaney).
(11:29) (Shotgun) J.Webb pass incomplete short left to P.Harvin (D.Tapp).
(11:24) C.Kluwe punts 43 yards to PHI 35 Center-C.Loeffler fair catch by J.Maclin. PENALTY on MIN-J.Sanford Fair Catch Interference 15 yards enforced at PHI 35.
Philly gets the ball back, marches down the field and Vick tosses a TD. Down 7 points, Webb starts to the move the offense initially in the next series with some short passes, but after a penalty on Loadholt that backs up the offense out of field goal range, Webb folds under the pressure and fails to convert the longer intermediate throws.
(7:42) J.Webb pass short right to P.Harvin to MIN 28 for 8 yards (J.Chaney).
(7:12) J.Webb pass short left to V.Shiancoe to MIN 28 for no gain (D.Patterson).
(6:32) J.Webb pass short right to N.Tahi pushed ob at MIN 39 for 11 yards (D.Tapp).
(6:06) J.Webb left end ran ob at MIN 46 for 7 yards.
(5:45) A.Peterson right tackle to MIN 48 for 2 yards (K.Coleman).
(5:07) J.Webb pass short right to V.Shiancoe to PHI 43 for 9 yards (K.Coleman).
(4:34) A.Peterson up the middle to PHI 39 for 4 yards (K.Coleman).
(3:57) PENALTY on PHI-A.Dixon Encroachment 5 yards enforced at PHI 39 - No Play.
(3:37) P.Harvin left end ran ob at PHI 27 for 7 yards.
(3:07) A.Peterson left tackle to PHI 28 for -1 yards (J.Chaney).
(2:28) (Shotgun) J.Webb scrambles right end to PHI 28 for no gain (A.Samuel). PENALTY on MIN-P.Loadholt Face Mask (15 Yards) 15 yards enforced at PHI 28 - No Play.
(1:53) J.Webb pass incomplete deep right to S.Rice (A.Samuel).
(1:50) (Shotgun) J.Webb pass incomplete deep middle to V.Shiancoe (J.Chaney).
(1:46) C.Kluwe punts 43 yards to end zone Center-C.Loeffler Touchback.
On Philly’s second series, Vick moves the offense to midfield, and after a sack by the defense sets up a long 3rd down that Vick can’t convert, the Eagles punt. Now in the 2nd quarter, the Vikes have a 3rd opportunity to get things moving, and after two incompletions by Webb, the Vikes are forced to punt again with a 3-and-out.
(12:45) J.Webb pass incomplete short left to S.Rice.
(12:40) A.Peterson left guard to MIN 29 for 3 yards (A.Dixon).
(12:00) J.Webb pass incomplete deep right to B.Berrian.
(11:54) C.Kluwe punts 46 yards to PHI 25 Center-C.Loeffler downed by MIN-H.Farwell.
On the next Philly possession, the Vikings defense shows up yet again, and intercepts Vick, giving the offense the ball, albeit deep in their own territory. This time, Peterson coughs up the football, giving it right back to the Eagles, squandering another opportunity.
(10:03) J.Webb scrambles right end to MIN 21 for 7 yards (A.Jordan).
(9:26) A.Peterson up the middle to MIN 36 for 15 yards (Q.Mikell).
(8:46) A.Peterson left end to PHI 41 for 23 yards. FUMBLES RECOVERED by PHI-Q.Mikell at PHI 41. Q.Mikell to PHI 41 for no gain (J.Dugan).
The defense shows up big again, holding the Eagles to another 3-and-out, and the Vikings get the ball back well into their own territory. With halftime fast approaching, the Vikings needed to get on the scoreboard. Webb moved the offense into Eagles territory with some short, dink-and-dunk passes, but ultimately took an ill-advised sack that pushed them out of field goal range.
(7:09) J.Webb pass short left to P.Harvin to MIN 39 for 12 yards (Q.Mikell).
(6:33) J.Webb pass short right to P.Harvin to PHI 44 for 17 yards (C.Anderson).
(5:52) A.Peterson right end to PHI 43 for 1 yard (M.Patterson).
(5:10) J.Webb pass short right to J.Kleinsasser to PHI 40 for 3 yards (J.Chaney).
(4:29) (Shotgun) J.Webb pass short right to B.Berrian to PHI 32 for 8 yards (J.Hanson).
(3:49) J.Webb pass short left to P.Harvin to PHI 29 for 3 yards (J.Hanson).
(3:09) J.Webb sacked at PHI 38 for -9 yards (T.Cole).
(2:32) (Shotgun) J.Webb pass incomplete deep left to S.Rice (D.Patterson).
(2:26) C.Kluwe punts 28 yards to PHI 10 Center-C.Loeffler fair catch by J.Maclin.
On the ensuing Eagles possession, the Vikings defense, AGAIN made the big play. Winfield sacks Vick and forces a fumble…then recovers the fumble and runs it all the way in for a TD. He ties the score 7-7 right before halftime. The Eagles did manage to setup a last second field goal to end the half, but Akers was short and missed it. Webb had a pretty terrible first half, and thanks to the defense, the Vikings are still in the game. After halftime, the Vikings get the first possession. With the game tied, and having done very little on offense, Webb connects on a long bomb to Harvin, and seemingly tosses a TD pass to Rice, but it was overturned after a challenge. Again Webb takes an untimely sack on third down after the challenge. They settle for a field goal, giving them a 10-7 lead:
(14:55) J.Webb pass deep left to P.Harvin to PHI 28 for 46 yards (D.Patterson). Penalty on PHI-D.Patterson Defensive Pass Interference declined.
(14:11) J.Webb pass middle to V.Shiancoe to PHI 5 for 23 yards (D.Patterson).
(13:40) A.Peterson up the middle to PHI 6 for -1 yards (J.Chaney). PENALTY on PHI-D.Patterson Unnecessary Roughness 3 yards enforced at PHI 6.
(13:32) A.Peterson up the middle to PHI 2 for 1 yard (Q.Mikell).
(12:50) J.Webb pass short left to S.Rice for 2 yards TOUCHDOWN. Philadelphia challenged the pass completion ruling and the play was REVERSED. J.Webb pass incomplete short left to S.Rice (A.Samuel).
(12:46) J.Webb sacked at PHI 12 for -10 yards (J.Parker).
(12:27) R.Longwell 30 yard field goal is GOOD Center-C.Loeffler Holder-C.Kluwe.
The defense is relentless as it holds the Eagles to another 3-and-out on the next possession. The Eagles punt it into Vikings territory. Now with a lead, the offense needs to get something going. Thanks to a big run by Peterson, and some penalties on the Eagles, the offense is setup in the red-zone. On a first down, Webb tucks it down and runs it in for a TD, lifting the Vikes to a 17-7 lead.
(10:44) A.Peterson right end to MIN 43 for 18 yards (K.Coleman).
(10:09) A.Peterson up the middle to PHI 48 for 9 yards (K.Coleman).
(9:47) A.Peterson up the middle to PHI 45 for 3 yards (Q.Mikell).
(9:09) J.Webb pass short left to A.Peterson to PHI 34 for 11 yards (K.Coleman).
(8:30) J.Webb pass short right to S.Rice to PHI 18 for 16 yards (A.Samuel). PENALTY on PHI-A.Samuel Unnecessary Roughness 9 yards enforced at PHI 18.
(8:12) PENALTY on PHI-J.Chaney Neutral Zone Infraction 5 yards enforced at PHI 9 - No Play.
(7:55) J.Webb pass short left to P.Harvin to PHI 9 for -5 yards (K.Coleman).
(7:12) J.Webb scrambles right end for 9 yards TOUCHDOWN.
The Vikings defense continues to make plays as Kevin Williams forces a fumble that is recovered by Jared Allen on the next Eagles possession. However, after a facemask penalty on a Joe Webb scramble backs up the Vikings to a 3rd and long, the Vikings offense fails to convert this turnover into points.
(2:39) A.Peterson right tackle to MIN 30 for 7 yards (M.Patterson).
(2:02) A.Peterson left end to MIN 26 for -4 yards (D.Tapp).
(1:19) (Shotgun) J.Webb scrambles right end ran ob at MIN 33 for 7 yards (D.Tapp). PENALTY on MIN-J.Webb Face Mask (15 Yards) 15 yards enforced at MIN 29.
(:53) T.Gerhart up the middle to MIN 20 for 6 yards (J.Chaney).
(:19) C.Kluwe punts 33 yards to PHI 47 Center-C.Loeffler out of bounds.
The Eagles open up the 4th quarter in spectacular fashion as Vick leads the offense down the field and runs the ball in for a score, cutting the Vikings lead to 17-14. Things just kept going the Vikings way though, and David Akers botches the ensuing kickoff giving the Vikings incredible field position at their own 45. On a short field, Webb connects a deep pass to Harvin, but it is all about Adrian Peterson as he breaks off a big run, and then converts in the red zone, to increase the lead to 24-14.
(10:17) J.Webb pass incomplete short right to B.Berrian.
(10:11) J.Webb pass short left to B.Berrian to MIN 48 for 8 yards (J.Hanson).
(9:35) J.Webb pass short right to L.Booker ran ob at PHI 46 for 6 yards (A.Jordan).
(9:08) A.Peterson up the middle to PHI 47 for -1 yards (Q.Mikell).
(8:26) J.Webb pass incomplete short right to V.Shiancoe.
(8:23) (Shotgun) J.Webb pass deep left to P.Harvin to PHI 28 for 19 yards (J.Chaney).
(7:46) A.Peterson left end to PHI 1 for 27 yards (M.Fokou).
(7:11) A.Peterson up the middle to PHI 1 for no gain. PENALTY on PHI Defensive 12 On-field 0 yards enforced at PHI 1 - No Play.
(6:49) A.Peterson left guard for 1 yard TOUCHDOWN.
As if the defense hasn’t done enough already, on the next Eagles possession, they come up with a big sack on 2nd down forcing Philly into a 3rd and long situation which Vick can’t convert. They punt it deep into Minnesota territory. The Vikes can’t manage much on offense aside from burning a few more minutes off the clock and punt it right back to Philly with just over a minute in regulation.
(4:23) A.Peterson up the middle to MIN 16 for 2 yards (Q.Mikell).
(4:18) A.Peterson right tackle to MIN 18 for 2 yards (M.Patterson).
(4:14) (Shotgun) J.Webb left end to MIN 24 for 6 yards (T.Lindley; A.Jordan).
(3:21) A.Peterson right end to MIN 24 for no gain (Q.Mikell).
(2:35) J.Webb right end to MIN 23 for -1 yards (B.Bunkley).
(2:00) A.Peterson left end to MIN 25 for 2 yards (Q.Mikell).
(1:13) (Punt formation) C.Kluwe punts 39 yards to PHI 36 Center-C.Loeffler. J.Maclin ran ob at PHI 45 for 9 yards.
The Eagles are in desperation mode on their last possession. They do manage to march down the field and get the ball into the red zone, but they fail to convert with time running out. The Vikings win the game with a score of 24-14.
Sure, the Vikings get the win, and sure it’s a team win and you can’t take the victory away from Joe Webb. But don’t fool yourself into thinking this was a great game by Joe Webb. Yes, he connected on a couple deep balls, but in terms of situational football, when you needed a big play to stay in the game, it didn’t come from the QB position; it came from the defense and Adrian Peterson. On various 3rd downs, Webb took 2 bad sacks, and threw multiple incompletions. He only managed 195 passing yards. This game, taken with Detroit game, is his only real body of work as an NFL starter: 2 games. And neither game was particularly impressive. This, more than anything, is likely the reason he’s not the starter. Webb had an opportunity to impress, and frankly, he didn’t do it.