The Minnesota Vikings must really like Christian Ponder or something, because Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has announced at his press conference today that Ponder will get the start this week against the rival Green Bay Packers. The sad part is that Scott Tolzien, who only has two career starts under his belt, looks about as good as Ponder out there, as Ponder was horrendous against the Seattle Seahawks defense last week. Sure, the Seahawks defense is excellent, but Ponder threw two interceptions, averaged a measly 5.9 yards per attempt, and had one of the worst second-halves of any QB this season.
The most confounding part of Frazier’s decision-making is the fact that the Vikings have evidently signed Josh Freeman to a $3 million deal for no reason. He was god-awful against the New York Giants on MNF in Week 7 (and was also god-awful with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), but he has shown franchise QB potential in the past while with the Buccaneers. As a matter of fact, he was better last season than Ponder was in any season. Recall that in Ponder’s “good” 2012 campaign, the man averaged just 6.1 yards per attempt; that’s awful. Ponder is a dink-and-dunk artist who has very little potential, and he’s also a known commodity.
Freeman, on the other hand, has upside, and the Vikings need to see if he can potentially be their franchise QB. They already know what they have in Ponder, yet they are still unwilling to play Freeman for more than just one game. And at this point in time, the Vikings season is lost, so why on earth would they even try to make decisions based on winning now? No, they need to make the best decisions for the team’s future, because that should be what allows Frazier to keep his job. He may want to start Ponder because he thinks he gives the Vikings a better chance to win, but it shows the backwards thinking that Frazier want to choose the “safe route”.
The Vikings have to see what they have in Freeman, and they have to try and find their franchise QB. That’s their main goal at this point in the season, not trying to win a rivalry game against the Packers. That would be nice, though, and, honestly, does Ponder even give the Vikings a better chance at winning anyway?
Frazier’s decision to start Ponder again looks almost like Gary Kubiak’s decision to bench Case Keenum for Matt Schaub, except this one isn’t quite as bad. Still, Frazier seems to bring very little to the table as a head coach, and he needs to start organizing his resume. Not because he will be fired, but rather because he has a great chance of getting canned. Things just keep getting worse for this team, and it’s blithering incompetence to pay $3 million to a QB and only play him for one game.