UPDATE: Leslie Frazier won't make it official until Wednesday but the news has leaked out a day early that Ponder has been told he's the starter.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said he won't make a decision until Wednesday whether he'll replace Donovan McNabb with Christian Ponder. What impact will this have on the Green Bay Packers preparations this week?
Right now, I expect the Packers are preparing to face McNabb, and here's what they'll see on film. As Kevin Seifert pointed out, while McNabb played well according to the classic QB rating, he graded poorly on their advanced QBR rating because he was sacked 5 times. It wasn't exactly his fault. Due to injuries on the offensive line, the Bears were seemingly unblocked on a couple sacks. It didn't help that the Vikings couldn't run the ball. While he led them on a couple of longer drives, the Vikings also went three and out on six drives (plus only two plays on the drive that led to a safety). They couldn't even get their offense started most of the time.
I agree with what Kevin Seifert said: Ponder looked comfortable in relief. He didn't seem overwhelmed by the situation. I noticed during the preseason that he was quick to run for yards when the pressure got to him (instead of scrambling to look for an open receiver) and he did run for it almost immediately after he entered the game. But he was zipping some passes on slant routes. He completed barely over 50 percent of his passes and led the Vikings on two non-scoring drives, though he did no worse than McNabb.
Both Jared Allen and Brian Robison told the Star Tribune that they want to win now. If Ponder is better player, then make the switch. Frazier also told reporters that he doesn't want to flip flop quarterbacks, so he would not go back to McNabb depending on the matchup. I'm not worried about either quarterback, though it appears that McNabb is the more accurate passer. But Ponder could create some problems because the Packers have gotten burned by quarterbacks who can run. I think Ponder would be more likely to cause them problems on Sunday than McNabb.