Ponder VS Peterson: Who Should Go?

The test of times has passed. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is in his third year in the NFL and never has he look truly "elite". Only a few quarterbacks are elite. In my book, there are currently only four who has proven to be consistently elite: Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. In other words, there are 27 other teams in the NFL who doesn't have an elite QB. But having an elite QB doesn't equal a Super Bowl Championship.

Every coach have wet dreams about drafting an elite QB. The Vikings drafted Ponder with a middle first round pick. An elite QB is worth at least multiple number one draft selections. Sometimes you got to take a chance and follow your instincts.

And sometimes you got to work with what you got. So what does Ponder excel at?

From back in his college days he's been the type of QB who works the short passing game from the shotgun. The Vikings thought they might build on that and make him into an all-around QB who works under the center. It's safe to say that Ponder's development has not gone smoothly. ESPN pointed out that over the last two games, Ponder's total QBR when not under center equals the fifth best rated QB in the NFL. Ponder's QBR is 72 from the shotgun, but it's an astonishing low 35 when he's under the center.


Further statistics from ESPN shows that from the shotgun, Ponder sees 7+ defenders in the box 22% of the time. Under center, he sees the same numbers of defenders 79% of the time. It's no doubt that the reigning MVP has a lot to do with this. People always say that Ponder should benefit from having Adrian Peterson in the backfield, but what if he's just not comfortable from under the center? Ponder himself has talked about it, and we can all see that he looks more comfortable taking snaps in the shotgun.

Another factor is Ponder's deep ball. He doesn't have great arm strength and accuracy on deep throws. This shows up on the statistics. The Vikings were last in 2012 with just 28 completions of 20+ yards. With Peterson drawing defenders closer to the scrimmage and setting up for play-action, the deep passing game has (in isolation) the best preconditions for the most success out of all NFL teams. It's a shame not to take advantage of this.

What does all this mean for the Minnesota Vikings? It means that Ponder can be serviceable when not taking snaps under center. The issue is that Peterson prefers a running start and gets the most yardage with recently signed fullback Jerome Felton lined in front of him.

The Vikes have arguably the best running back of the 21st century, and a far-cry-from-elite QB. Which strength should Minnesota build on?

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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