Posted January 05, 2013

Christian Ponder inactive, Joe Webb to start for Vikings vs. Packers

Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, NFL Playoffs
Christian Ponder posted an 81.2 rating in 2012, 11 points better than the mark from his rookie season.

Christian Ponder posted an 81.2 rating in 2012, 11 points better than the mark from his rookie season.

After starting 26 consecutive games for the Minnesota Vikings, QB Christian Ponder will be on the sidelines for his team’s biggest moment.

Ponder is inactive for Saturday night’s wild-card round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, meaning that Joe Webb will make his first start since Week 17 of the 2010 season — and his first postseason appearance ever.

Ponder, who is dealing with elbow bursitis, tested his throwing arm out during pregame at Lambeau Field. However, he reportedly struggled to get loose, leading to the Vikings’ decision to scratch him from the lineup.

There’s almost no telling how the Ponder-for-Webb swap might impact the Vikings’ upset bid. Webb did not attempt a single pass this season, as he stayed glued to the bench behind Ponder. Webb’s last legitimate game action came in Week 17 last season, when he completed 17 of 32 passes in a 17-13 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Neither Webb nor Ponder has any playoff experience — the Vikings failed to make the playoffs last year in Ponder’s rookie season.

The Vikings stuck with Ponder throughout 2012, even as he struggled to put up numbers after a hot start in the team’s first four games. That faith was rewarded late in the season, as Ponder turned in a decent showing during a Week 16 win in Houston, then fired three TD passes last Sunday against the Packers.

What Webb does bring to the table, compared to Ponder, is more mobility. Ponder is capable of getting out of the pocket — he rushed for 253 yards and two touchdowns this season — but Webb is arguably more dangerous as a runner than a passer. During a tight loss to the Lions last season, for example, Webb ran for 109 yards and a touchdown, while passing for just 84 yards.

It is also worth wondering how much the Packers have prepared for Webb. Minnesota has been non-committal about Ponder’s status all week, meaning the Packers likely ran through their Webb-centric defensive game plan.

Still, a switch like this could be difficult for Green Bay, given Webb’s ability to create with his legs outside of the pocket. In two games against the Packers this season, Ponder finished 28-for-53 through the air with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

21 comments
effica
effica

Webb had ZERO snap during the regular season.  Yet he did much better than Ponder at Lambeau Field

 

12/2/12 Ponder: 12/25 119yd/28yd(R) 1TD 2INTs

1/5/13   Webb:   11/30 180yd/68yd(R) 1TD 1INTs

 

Webb didn't know he'd play until just before the game!  Frazier is not bright for not having Webb played during the regular season.

wytefang
wytefang

If we win, I doubt it has anything to do with Webb - though it's certainly possible.  This does add some drama to the mix for tonight's tilt though.  SKOL VIKINGS

 

(sadly, I'm not optimistic at all about tonight's game).  :(

effica
effica

Ponder is the king of mediocrity!  With Webb, we'll win against the Packers!  Just watch!

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica You certainly are infatuated with one game of the sixteen that Ponder played this year.  Easy to make an argument when you cherry pick your data.  Yes, Joe Webb was put in a tough spot, but most of his stats were accumulated when the game had long been decided.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica If Christian Ponder is mediocre, what does it say about a guy that is his backup?

effica
effica

 @JoeCabot You sound more reasonable now!  We both could agree that Ponder is questionable!  Prediction is prediction.  Sure, I predicted incorrectly this time or previously.  Still, Webb gives us a better chance than Ponder against the Packers.  Whether we like it or not, you & I are backseat drivers - perhaps the only difference is... I question the pecking order whereas you agree with Frazier's.

 

Facts...

 

Ponder's first 9 starts stats is 1-8: http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/schedule/_/name/min/year/2011 whereas Webb's stats is 1-4 (including this weekend's unprepared playoff game against the Packers; and excluding the game against the Redskins that resulted in a win due to Webb's performance - see link below).

 

The only game that would be the best apple-to-apple comparison between Ponder & Webb is this one - same game (Webb played less time than Ponder & without Peterson) http://espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=311224028

 

It was Webb that dominated the Eagles (10-5) in Philly in 2010 and helped Frazier secure his head coach position http://espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=301228021

 

How many chances did Webb have since then to prove himself - Frazier made up his mind and obedient sheep don't question.  I do - I question Frazier's best option at this point!

 

Bottom line, sure, I made the wrong prediction but it doesn't say much about you - you didn't predict and hindsight is always 20/20.  See you next year, co-backseat driver! :)

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica Do you even read the posts that you are responding to?  It would seem not.  Not once have I said that Christian Ponder is the answer, only the best option at this point.  He has plenty of holes in his game and only time will tell if he can become a steady winner in the league.  The whole debate here was based on your original post predicting that the Vikes would win because Joe Webb, not Ponder, was starting.  Since then you have tried to run from that prediction with silly cherry picking of statistics and by taking shots at Ponder.  Oh, and it took you longer than I thought it would, but you finally broke out one of the standard issue insults that are so common on these forums when one's argument loses steam.  Lack of credibility?  Funny.  The only thing missing is the "mom's basement" classic to which you guys tend to resort.

effica
effica

 @JoeCabot You lack credibility so mocking without valid reasoning simply exposes more of your insecurity!  See ya & your beloved Ponder next year - another season of mediocrity and more poor excuses!

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica I am not justifying your comparison.  I am mocking it.   To state that a QB comparison can only be based on games against the same team and played on the same field is a ridiculous concept.  Unless all circumstances and variables were identical your comparison does not work.  The weather, field conditions, and players involved in the games are only three variables that can not be identical for both games, thus rendering your apples comparison moot.  You can cherry pick data all day long to make your point.  It works - politicians do it all day long.  Does not make your argument valid, other than in your own mind, but you get to feel good about it.  Fact is that Christian Ponder is the starter and Joe Webb is the backup, and only a fair one at that.   You don't like Ponder - I get that - and think that Webb is the answer.  Way up the page you called a Vikings win based on Joe Webb being in the game and you are still running from it and trying to justify a bad prediction.  Again, if Joe Webb was the answer he would be starting, given the bottom line nature of the NFL.

effica
effica

 @JoeCabot It's good that you confirmed the validity of my apple for apple comparison - taking out the home (7-1) vs. away (3-5) advantage factor!  If you are desperate enough, feel free to justify your 'reasoning' with the different weather/field conditions!

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica  What? Where do you come up with this stuff?  Only games against common opponents can be used for this debate?  Maybe in your world.   Are you also accounting for the difference in weather?  Field conditions?  The injured players for each team?  I get the fact that you don't like Christian Ponder, but the NFL is a bottom line business, and if Joe Webb gave the Vikings the best chance to win he would be the starter.  I am not saying that Ponder is the answer but he is the best option at this point.

effica
effica

 @JoeCabot You need to compare apple for apple - away game vs. away game & same oponent vs. same opponent.  Otherwise, it'd turn into a religious brawl and not what it'd take to win games.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica  Adrian Peterson contributed most to the Vikings wins?  Gee, ya think?  You did not uncover a state secret there.   What is your infatuation with one game of sixteen that Ponder played?  Yeah, he was bad in the first GB game.  No one is denying that.  He also played well down the stretch in the four wins that got the Vikes into the playoffs.  Not huge stats since he did not throw a bunch of passes, but solid play that took some pressure off the running game.  He was much better this year than last & only time will tell if he is good enough to take the team further.  Joe Webb is the backup for a reason, and a good chunk of his stats that you are in love with occurred late in the game when the outcome had been decided.

effica
effica

 @JoeCabot AP contributed most to the VIkes' 10 wins - not Ponder!  With all the practice and AP's 210 yds, Ponder failed miserably against the Packers - 12/25 119 yds (+ 28 rushing yds) 1TD 2INTs.  With no regular season pass & last-minute preps, Webb delivered 180 yds (+ 68 rushing yds) 1TD 1INT.  Ponder is not of playoff caliber, at least not yet; and winning games is not a religion.  People need to think - can't keep banging head on wall and expect different results.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica  Okay, we get it.  You don't like Christian Ponder.  He is not the best QB in the league, but he led the Vikings to 10 wins and the playoffs, and was playing his best ball of the year at the end.  If you think he did not play because of a simple bruise, you are not thinking logically.  You are trying to hide your claim that the Vikes would win with Joe Webb at QB, but your attempts at deflection are not working.  It is okay - you can jump off the bandwagon now.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica Toss out all the stats that you like.  The only one that ultimately matters in the NFL is wins and Christian Ponder was QB for ten of them.   Joe Webb is the backup for  a reason.

effica
effica

 @JoeCabot

You like low standards, don't you?  After the bye week, Ponder was basically just that!  The Vikes won because of AP and defense, not Ponder - sure I'll give him credit for the home game against the Packers.

 

vs. Bears     Ponder   22/43 159yd  1TD 1INT

vs Packers  Ponder   12/25  119yd  1TD 2INT

vs. Bears     Ponder   11/17   91yd   0TD 1INT

vs. Rams     Ponder   17/24 131yd   0TD 0INT

vs. Texans   Ponder   16/30 174yd   1TD 0INT

vs. Packers Ponder    16/28 234yd   3TD 0INT (home game/AP rumbled)

 

Remember the game that Webb orchestrated a road win after AP & Ponder got injured?  http://espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=311224028

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @effica  Sure, because you never want to go into the playoffs with the QB who got you there and had not lost a game since that GB game that you cannot let go of.