Point/CounterPoint: It's Time To Start Christian Ponder

Give me one good reason why he shouldn't start. Just one.

So Chris and I were chatting earlier, and we came to a gentleman's disagreement regarding the Vikings quarterback situation.  I'll present my argument here, and Chris will present his incredibly wrong opinion in a following article, heh heh.

Point:  It's time to look to the future and start Christian Ponder.

'Wow Ted', you're thinking, 'way to go out on a limb there.'

You know if this were the Cadillac Bike Build Off between the dysfunctional Teutel family, my argument, at least in terms of popularity right now, is the equivalent of Paul Jr's version of the Cadillac bike (Jr's bike beat Senior's 96% to 4% in online voting)

It's hip, it's modern, and most importantly, it's what the Vikings should do. 

More quality reasoning, after the jump.

Let's not blow sunshine up our skirts anymore, boys and girls...the Minnesota Vikings aren't going to the playoffs, they aren't going to finish at .500, and you could make an argument that the Vikings are going to be hard pressed to find four wins on their schedule.  In the Minnesota locker room, every player knows that since 1990, two teams that have started the season at 0-3 made the playoffs.  The Vikings aren't going to be the third.  Oh, they're going to say the right things, but they know.

Watching Donovan McNabb makes me long for the 2010 version of Brett Favre, or the 2008 version of Gus Frerotte.  McNabb is slow, inaccurate, and although he's got some mobility, it's not what it used to be.  He has no rhythm with his receivers, and most importanly, he's 0-3.  I'm having a hard time remembering him hitting a receiver in stride, and on his out and seam routes he's off.  His receivers have bailed him out more often than he's put it where only they can catch it, and you just come away with the feeling that he's done.

If I could come back to my American Chopper analogy, McNabb is Paul, Sr.  A few years back, he was the cat's ass.  He built the best bikes in the business, and people looked at him as the industry gold standard.  Now?  His building is in foreclosure, his bikes are stale and unoriginal, and he doesn't make the talent around him better. 

(Admit it:  You know if Rick bolts Paul Sr and goes to Paul, Jr. Designs, Orange County Choppers is finished).

Look, you can make legitimate arguments on either starting or sitting rookie quarterbacks.  Payton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger started as rookies and had success much sooner than they might have had otherwise, and Cam Newton is finding success now.  On the other end of the spectrum, Aaron Rodgers sat for three years before taking over, and he's done just as well.

But it's time for the Christian Ponder era to begin, for a couple of reasons.  The Vikings hope that Ponder will be their quarterback for the next ten years, but the only way they'll know whether or not he can be is by playing him, evaluating him, and making their decision at the end of the season.  When you run through the schedule, the Vikings seem like they'll be in the running for the #1 overall pick, and everyone expects that to be Andrew Luck.  I mean, after these three games, I can see the Vikings being favored in two, maybe three games from here on out. 

So, what to do?  The best definition I've ever heard for the word insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result.  After today, I think it would be insane for the Vikings to trot out Donovan McNabb and think anything other than a second half offensive meltdown filled with poor throws will occur. 

If they have a good QB in Ponder, and the Vikes do end up with the #1 pick, they might be in a position to trade that pick away for some immediate help, more draft picks to plug some gaping holes, or both.  And if Ponder turns out to not be the guy, they can get Luck, if they get...lucky?

Or, the Vikings can keep trotting out Donovan McNabb, and hope he throws at better than a 55% completion percentage, throws for more than 150 yards, and doesn't engineer more than ten three and out second half offensive series.

Donovan McNabb won't be back next year, so it's time for the Vikings to re-calibrate their expectations, start Ponder, and play towards the future.

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