Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Post-NFL Wildcard Weekend Predictions, Episode V (-4)

Game-by-game predictions made prior to the NFL Wildcard Weekend based on the results of those games

Minnesota-Green Bay
NBC will delay the announcement as long as possible, but eventually will realize that 99.9% of the football watching population already knows and will finally tell said 99.9% of the football population what it already knows, that Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder will not start against the Packers and will be replaced by Joe Webb. You remember Joe Webb, the guy who has thrown for 853 yards in 17 regular season games, with a 57.9 completion percentage, three touchdowns and five interceptions? Yeah, that guy.

Tony Dungy, who works for NBC (not many know this), will immediately spin the injury as a boon for the Vikings, that Webb presents difficult matchup problems for the Packers, almost going as far as to say that the Vikings are better off with Webb than with Ponder.

You remember Webb, the guy who has thrown for 853 yards in 17 regular season games, with a 57.9 completion percentage, three touchdowns and five interceptions? Yeah, that guy.

Dungy will do his best to over-sell Webb so that viewers won't give up on watching the game that held the most promise going into Wildcard Weekend (hence the 8pm Saturday night primetime slot). Five minutes in, Dungy will look like a genius, as Webb and Peterson will matriculate the ball down the field, ending with a Vikings field goal and a 3-0 lead. But eventually, Joe Webb will prove to be the guy who averaged 50.2 yards per game in his regular season career, Aaron Rodgers will prove why run when you can throw and the Packers will win a game that will appear closer than it really was.

I know everyone loves the backup quarterback. He's everyone's favorite player. He's never let you down, he's never thrown a dumb interception in the end zone, he's never stepped out of bounds in the back of the end zone even though there were no defenders anywhere near him. But here's the thing: THERE'S A REASON HE'S THE BACKUP QUARTERBACK.

Do you think the Vikings coaches started Ponder for the entire season because they hate themselves? They started him because they felt he was the quarterback who gave their team the best chance to win (note: I did not say "'better' quarterback").

To put it succinctly, Adrian Peterson ran for 399 yards and two touchdowns in the two games against the Packers with Ponder. With Webb, however, Peterson ran for 99 yards.

You remember Webb, the guy who went 11-of-30 for 180 yards and a meaningless fourth-quarter touchdown in the Wildcard round of the playoffs?

Yeah, that guy.

No comments: