To be clear, not a single Minnesota fan is happy that the team is 2-6 and basically eliminated from the playoff conversation. However, if the Vikings had a better record at the halfway point, we might not be seeing Christian Ponder play during his rookie year. And so far, he has looked awfully good for a 1st year player.
The bye week is normally a time when players rest up for the stretch run. At the beginning of the season, your’s truly figured that the Vikes couldn’t have drawn a better bye than after eight games and that’s probably still true. The biggest difference is that Minnesota is pretty much out of contention and starting Ponder, while I figured they would be in the thick of the race and starting McNabb. The bottom line is that Minnesota is in last place, but at the same time has some positive developments.
The Vikings are literally one player away from greatness. They need a big-time wide receiver. Period. Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL. Jared Allen is the best pass rusher, and while he has flown under the radar thus far, Chad Greenway is one of the best linebackers in the game. Minnesota’s new QB has shown some promise. Christian Ponder is not the poor draft pick that I though he was, but he is lacking a big-time playmaker. This is not something that will be solved this year.
So why should the Viking fan be happy with a 2-6 start? Well, it’s simple. While nobody is happy with the record, if the Vikings had 1-2 of those close games we almost certainly would not be getting a look at Ponder right now. That look we are getting has been surprising to many, including me.
Now Minnesota enters the second half of the season. Is there reason to be optimistic? Absolutely. Should we be thinking playoffs? No way. Ponder and the Vikes can only focus on one game at a time. They can’t think about next year, or the stadium issue, or any other outside thought. Focus will be key during these last 8 weeks and I expect Leslie Frazier to keep the ship pointed in the right direction ; forward.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).