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TFD: How long of a leash should the Vikings give Christian Ponder?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: September 13, 2013 - 5:25 PM

The Christian Ponder angst has started already.

The Christian Ponder angst never really stopped.

And for good reason.

Even his best games a season ago felt like pleasant surprises. His 2013 preseason was shaky at best. His regular season opener gave no indication that he is ready to make a Year 3 leap.

So how quick should the Vikings be to make a switch if he continues to falter?

Our first inclination was to give him through the London game in Week 4.

But the more we thought about it, the less that sounded right.

Here's our revised thought: Opening with two road games against decent-to-good division opponents, as the Vikings are doing this year, is difficult.

If Ponder is good Sunday and the Vikings win in Chicago, he has bought himself at least two more starts -- through London, into the bye. From there, if he keeps playing well, he obviously keeps the job. If he is shaky, up-and-down, that's the perfect time to re-evaluate and make a decision.

If performs Sunday as he did last week -- makes a few good plays but makes more damaging plays -- he should probably keep his job in Week 3, when the Vikings have their home opener against the Browns. Give him another chance to get some confidence and, if he performs capably in a victory, he still gets the start in Week 4 in London and then it's time to evaluate again during the bye. 

If he is flat-out awful, worse than last week, the Vikings need to make a change either in-game or before Game 3 for the sake of everyone involved.

The Vikings were a playoff team last season. They will almost certainly need more from their QB this season if they are going to return to the postseason, and they have a finite amount of time to figure it out. Ponder wasn't the only problem in Week 1, but he was a big problem. Patience can only stretch so far.

Your thoughts, as always, in the comments.


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