Vikings vs. Chiefs: Why We Should See Christian Ponder on Sunday

Ray TannockSenior Analyst ISeptember 30, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 1:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball as  Jesse Nading #72 of the Houston Texans attempts a tackle in the first half on September 1, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Donovan McNabb gets his fourth outing of the season, and fourth chance to notch a win for the Vikings, but if he fails again, should we see Christian Ponder?

Some will argue that not all the blame can be put on McNabb's shoulders, as poor player management, and in-game adjustments from both coordinators have also plagued this team, but McNabb himself hasn't exactly been living up to standards, either.

One of the debates I received from folks this summer was who should start: Ponder or McNabb?

I felt that ponder was making progress and knew the playbook extensively, so much that, he had more of a grasp than Donovan, whereas other people brought the argument that McNabb was a proven veteran, and he was just going to pick up an offense he never played before.

Well, three games later and the Vikings are 0-3, and I still feel Ponder should get the chance, especially if McNabb goes down a losing path early.

If the Vikings organization is committed to winning as much as any NFL would be, getting Ponder in there just makes sense if the situation calls for it.

This is supposed to be the quarterback of the future, and what better way to see if he's even somewhat ready than to see what the kid's got?

Even if it is in garbage time, allowing Ponder to get out there and toss the skin around—perhaps even try to mount a comeback if needed—would be rather beneficial.

  1. The coaching staff can see how far he has progressed with actual in-game action.
  2. The coaching staff could get a bird's eye view of who their starting quarterback should be moving forward—McNabb or Ponder.
  3. If nothing more, it just mixes things up a bit, even if it is for one game right now.

When a team is in dire straits, they must turn to alternative solutions that perhaps they wouldn't normally do if everything was coming up roses.

Change is a risky business; it can save the day, or leave it in ruination, but either way, sometimes it IS needed.

Throughout this season, the Vikings have been the leading team at the half, but if their fortunes somehow change this week, the coaches are going to have to consider some sort of directional change.

That change should be Ponder.

The alternative here is to let McNabb continue to struggle, which makes no sense whatsoever.

This team wants to win, and they want to win now, but McNabb hasn’t been the answer through three games, and he is starting to show that perhaps his best years are way behind him, and his ability to shoulder a team is no longer a reality.

A cold hard fact that is starting to shape up.

Sunday’s game will be pivotal, no doubt, but it could be pivotal for more reasons than just getting the first win of the season.

Will the coaches pull the trigger? Can McNabb corral the team and pull off the win? Will we see Christian Ponder?

The fact is, the gun is already loaded, McNabb is showing signs that he is washed up, and if those signs show themselves again, then yes, we should see Christian Ponder.