After rumors swirled around all afternoon about the questionable status of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, it now has been made official. Ponder is out for the Vikings wildcard game against the Green Bay Packers. What this means for the game itself seems clearer than it is perhaps. Certainly we can say that there is a lot more pressure on Adrian Peterson now than there was a little while ago.
That said, the Vikings can still win the game. It is substantially more difficult now however. It’s going to be harder not because of the young Joe Webb starting at quarterback. It’s going to be more difficult because the Packers defense will focus even more now on stopping Peterson than they would have before. Basically where before it wouldn’t matter much what happened with Christian Ponder as long as he showed up and didn’t do anything terrible, Joe Webb now must do enough at the start of the game to force the Packers to pay attention to him.
How he will do that should be simple enough. It won’t be easy but it’s not hard to understand. The coaching staff needs to have a few scripted plays that the team feels comfortable throwing out at the Packers. A few big completions should free Peterson up enough for him to be able to stretch his legs. My pick is still the Vikings to beat the Packers. The only huge difference is that they have to show that Webb is able to pass with success. If they can’t do that, my pick might be a bad one.
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