Vikings should turn to Christian Ponder

Donovan McNabb expects to remain the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.

His wish might not be reality, though, not after the Vikings were lambasted Sunday night at Soldier Field, losing to the Chicago Bears 39-10.

McNabb’s statistics were not terrible, but the offense had no life and didn’t produce. He didn’t commit a turnover and completed 19 of 24 passes for 177 yards. It added up to a 97.4 passer rating, and his receivers dropped some catchable passes. But McNabb rarely hit his targets in stride and everything was just disjointed. He was also sacked five times, and ultimately was yanked in the fourth quarter for first-round draft pick Christian Ponder. The question now is whether or not Ponder replaces him this week when the Vikings host the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome.

“I don’t see it ending ‘like this,’ as you say,” McNabb said. “It’s tough; you’re 1-5 at this particular point. It felt like we did a lot of great things today. I guess we’ll sit down and talk, but I still expect to be in there next week.”

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier wouldn’t make any commitment after the game.

““We have to sit down on Monday and talk about a lot of things. We need to decide on what direction we want to go,” he said.

“I thought he did a good job under the circumstances,” Frazier later said. “I’ll go back and look at the tape and fully evaluate it, but it seemed like he moved around pretty good. But I’ll look at the tape and see.”

Ponder played it straight afterward when he was asked about the situation.

“I don’t know. I know I missed a couple of plays,” he said. “I made a couple of plays. You know, that’s not my call; it’s obviously the coaches’ call, but Donovan didn’t have a bad game this game either. So, who knows, we’ll see.”

At 1-5, the Vikings are not headed anywhere good. At this point, it’s time to see if they can do some on-the-job training with Ponder. It’s working for the Carolina Panthers with Cam Newton. We’re not suggesting Ponder and Newton are the same quarterback, but the Panthers are finding ways to develop their rookie. The Vikings need to explore what they can do.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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