Vikings-Seahawks Box Score (Yahoo!).
You can be forgiven if you think you are watching the '07 Vikings.
Through the first eight games of this season, Christian Ponder's first half stats have been modest at best: 8 games, 798 yards, 6.33 yards per attempt, 3 TDs. And today, as the FOX broadcast showed, the Vikings had 31 net pass yards in the first half. This was en route to Ponder's 63 passing yards today.
This, even more than the defensive struggles (the early season was a mirage: the defense isn't good), is how the Vikings squandered Adrian Peterson's superhuman effort today (10.7 yards per rush, avoiding tacklers every which way, displaying such incredible vision and instincts and athleticism, looking like Gale Sayers cutting in the open field). They cannot throw the ball for squat. And that's why if 2012 matters, it may take something radical.
Free Joe Webb
If the Vikes are going to have games when they simply cannot gain passing yards, when they are completely inept at advancing the ball down the field with any sort of forward pass, when they simply cannot pick up first downs with anything resembling a downfield throw, then they need to do something radical. How much worse could they be with Joe Webb? He would be able to gain at least as many passing yards as Ponder has (I'd expect more), and he'd gain yards through the run.
What would benching Ponder for Webb this season mean for Viking QB future? Who the hell knows. But what does playing Ponder and watching him be entirely ineffectual mean for the team's QB future? Who the hell knows.
I still think the poor personnel at the wide receiver position is largely responsible for the struggles of the Viking passing game. But so what? If winning games in 2012 matters, and if the Vikes don't have WRs that can separate and catch, then that is all the more reason to put in a QB that is capable of gaining yardage without the help those wide receivers (they can help--they can downfield block).
I mean, in a game in which the Vikings were close but also down, and needed to be able to pass, they had 63 yards. When you try to forget that we've been through the Tarvaris Jackson era and got accustomed to the Vikings' inability to pass the ball, it starts to be absurd.
It starts to be untenable.
FREE JOE WEBB!