Editorial: It’s time to bench Christian Ponder

Published 11:00 am Monday, December 3, 2012

Let Joe Webb play.

It’s good that the Minnesota Vikings have shown such commitment to quarterback Christian Ponder. It’s how potentially good NFL quarterbacks develop into good NFL quarterbacks.

However, Ponder has had 22 starts, plenty of opportunity to show he can perform week in and week out. The trouble with Ponder is he shows flashes of skill, like during the upset of San Francisco in Week 3. But then he comes out cold far too often, throwing inaccurate passes and poorly timed (often late) passes. On Sunday against Green Bay, Ponder threw two interceptions.

Email newsletter signup

Granted, the Vikings have a receiving corps that is lacking in talent. In fact, Michael Jenkins could’ve broken up one of the interceptions if he had the presence of mind to play defender when the ball is thrown poorly. And, granted, the coaches could call less predictable plays and instill less conventional routes.

Yet, despite all these factors, Ponder still has the job of passing accurately and timely, and that responsibility falls squarely on him. Overthrown. Underthrown. Behind. Ahead. He was all over the place Sunday.

Ask the Vikings fans today. That bad toss to a wide open Adrian Peterson is emblematic of the troubles fans see with Ponder.

Benching him won’t shatter his confidence, but it could give this team a shot at the playoffs. Webb might be able to provide the accuracy the Vikings so desperately need. The defense, considering how much they were left on the field, performed well Sunday. Peterson was amazing, wowing the crowds at Lambeau Field. And the offensive line no doubt did its job.

An accurate QB could get this team in the playoffs.

It’s just a matter of whether the coaches want to go there, too.