You know the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback situation? The one that we've talked about ad nauseum since about August or so? One would think that the situation couldn't really be any worse than it is.
You would think that. And you'd be wrong, as ESPN.com blogger Ben Goessling approaches the dumpster fire toting a can of gasoline. He was asked about players that could potentially be a "bridge" quarterback between now and starting a rookie the Vikings will draft in May and. . .well, just read it.
One name to keep an eye on is Mark Sanchez, who seems likely to be released by the Jets before they have to pay him a $2 million roster bonus on March 25. Sanchez's numbers aren't any better than Christian Ponder's, but he has been to two AFC Championship Games (though admittedly with better defenses than Ponder's had). Sanchez is only 27, and if the Vikings aren't going to bring back Cassel, they might look in his direction before they consider some of the other names in this thin group of free agent QBs.
Let me point out the fact that in the two seasons that Mark Sanchez "led" the Jets to the AFC Championship Game, the Jets' defense allowed 14.8 points/game in 2009 (best in the NFL) and 19.0 points/game in 2010 (sixth in the NFL). It's much easier to win games when you're not allowing 30 points every time you take the field.
On the other hand, over the past three years. . .the "Christian Ponder era," if you will. . .the Vikings have ranked 31st, 14th, and 32nd in the NFL in points allowed. Shockingly, the year they weren't one of the two worst defenses in the league, they went 10-6 and made the playoffs. In the other two years, they went a combined 8-23-1. It's almost like defense is important or something, you know?
A comparison of Sanchez and Ponder shows that, really, there isn't much difference.
Sanchez - 55.1% completion rate, 68 TD, 69 INT, 6.5 yards/attempt, 71.7 QB rating
Ponder - 60.2% completion rate, 38 TD, 34 INT, 6.4 yards/attempt, 77.3 QB rating
Seriously, if Mark Sanchez is the best the Vikings can do in the free agent market, they're better off giving Ponder the reins again.
And since this is a Sanchez story and it's going to get brought up anyway, here you go.