There are many questions going into this offseason. One of them wont be who our starting quarterback is. Joe Webb played about as bad as I have seen. This was very close to Ponders start at Green Bay. Webb went 11 for 30 for 180 yards, 1 TD and 1 pick, along with 7 rushes for 68 yards. Stat wise it may seem like Webb had a better game. Ponder went 12 for 25 for 119 yards, 1 TD and 2 picks, along with 6 rushes for 28 yards. This loss was much worse with Webb than with Ponder, based off the score alone. But you have to look deeper into this. With Ponder in the game, the packers know they have to respect the passing game. With Webb in the game, it became apparent to the Packers that all they really needed to do was stack the box and play contain. The side effect to that was that the defensive style they were playing to stop Webb also happens to be the same way to stop AP. That explains why Peterson never really got it going. By the time he did, the game was already out of hand. Webb looked lost most of this game. The entire offense looked lost as well. After the solid play and real improvement of Ponders play over the last quarter of the season, and the fact that Webb looked about as comfortable under center as any man who is about to get their prostate examined, I think the debate over who should play has worked itself out here.
The Vikings prepared this week with Ponder in mind as the starter. I cant rightly say that was a bad Idea, as they were sure he was going to play until pregame warm ups took place and his elbow was not in good shape, but they should have practiced more Webb packages late in the week when Ponders health really started to come into question. Credit Bill Musgrave for this call. He should have had Webb take more first team reps over the week as Ponder was not practicing anyway.
I didn't expect the Vikings to win tonight, as I didn't expect them to be a playoff team or win more than 5 games this season. For the last half of the season they were playing with house money, which is not a bad thing. I loved the feeling of them being a true surprise team this season and the loveable underdogs. I would be lying if I said I wasn't dissapointed by the outcome of tonights game, but much of that disappointment came from losing in a bad way to our hated rivals. This season gave us something to cheer about for MN pro sports again. Its been a few years since we had that. The Wolves cant stay healthy long enough to put a consistently good team out there, there's no NHL and the Twins just plain suck. So thank you Vikings for making purple an in-style color to wear once again.
Looking ahead, the Vikings need WR help and need to make that a TOP priority this offseason. If they can get 2 decent guys out there and resolve this Harvin issue without letting him go, The Vikings should be pretty formidable this coming season. Dwayne Bowe and Greg Jennings are the 2 big FA names out there, and the vikings could also wheel and deal Harvin or a high draft pick, or use their picks to get a guy a(which I think is a longer shot, there's no first round talent for WR, and only a couple late 2nd rd guys out there) There's also some defensive help we need. A line backer and a large interior lineman top that list. The secondary could use some bolstering, the heir to Winfield needs to be brought in soon for some seasoning.
I close with the Vikings fan motto, "There's always next year!"