COMMENTARY | In the movies, it's always the courageous captain who goes down with the ship. In the world of the Minnesota Vikings, it's Captain Leslie Frazier taking his team down with him.
Frazier's decision to name Christian Ponder as starting quarterback against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday is the latest of questionable decisions that the Minnesota head coach has made. The Vikings know what they have in Ponder. For better or worse, Ponder is what he is; a decent backup quarterback who can occasionally make some nice plays, but is just as likely to make a costly error.
The Vikings know less about Matt Cassel, although they do realize that at 31 years old, he's not the long-term solution to the team's quarterbacking issues.
The quarterback the Vikings know the least about, Josh Freeman, is the one who should be playing out the balance of the schedule. The worst case scenario is that the Vikings finally hand the ball to Freeman for the team's last two games and he looks good under center, earning a new contract with the team, only to find out that those two games weren't an accurate indicator of Freeman's playing ability.
The Vikings need to properly evaluate Freeman and the final six weeks of the season is the ideal time. Much like Ponder, the big knock on Freeman has been consistency problems, but Freeman possesses physical attributes that Ponder will never have.
Freeman wouldn't be the first quarterback to have a couple of solid seasons only to fizzle out, but he could also be one of many quarterbacks who simply needed a change of scenery to regain their touch. Frazier doesn't appear to be interested in finding out what the case may be, which hurts the team in the long run.
There are plenty of talented quarterbacks who will be coming out in the 2014 draft, but the Vikings have numerous holes that need to be filled. If Freeman shows that he can play a bit, the Vikings would have the luxury of trading down to pick up a few more high draft choices, while still being able to possibly grab a Taj Boyd, Zach Mettenberger or an Aaron Murray in the second round. The last quarterback who performed well for the Vikings, Brett Favre, was himself a second-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 1991.
The Minnesota Vikings are going nowhere in 2013 and it's time to start thinking about the future. That future doesn't include Ponder and it's likely that it won't include Frazier, either. Yet those two are continuing to set the Vikings back on a weekly basis.
Allen Moody is an author and sports bettor living in Nevada. A newspaper sports reporter for 12 years, he has been a fan of the Minnesota Vikings since the 1970s.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Minnesota Vikings
- Christian Ponder
- Josh Freeman
- Leslie Frazier