The game that looks like one of the biggest mis-matches of the NFL weekend suddenly has some interesting subplots developing, as the undefeated Green Bay Packers travel to Minnesota to take on the 1-5 Vikings and newly anointed Vikings QB Christian Ponder. The game is this Sunday at 4:15pm ET.
The game features Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, who is putting together an MVP caliber regular season. His QB efficiency is a league leading 122.5, averaging 339 yards per game (third in the league) with a league leading 17 TD passes and only 3 INTs. He has posted a QB efficiency of over 110 for each of his first six games this year, which no NFL quarterback has ever done before.
Rodgers manages the 3rd ranked passing attack in the league, and faces off against a Vikings defense that is 24th at stopping the pass. It will be interesting to see if Rodgers can extend that record to 7 consecutive games at over 110.
The Vikings are at the other end of the spectrum, with the second worst passing attack in the league, averaging 168 yards per game, less than half of what Rodgers is averaging.
The Vikings passing game has been so ineffective that they decided to switch QB this week from veteran Donovan McNabb to an untested rookie. The Vikings selected Ponder 12th overall in the first round of the NFL draft, and give him his first start on Sunday.
While attempting to jump start the passing game to boost the Vikings 3rd ranked rushing game makes perfect sense, throwing your first round draft pick into his first start against the defending Super Bowl champions seems like an awfully rude welcome to the NFL and could shatter his confidence.
The Packers defense has recorded 15 sacks so far this season and will look to rattle the rookie quarterback. This looks like an obvious Packers victory to extend their record to 7-0, but the interesting drama will be on Ponder, to see how he responds to the pressure. He performed admirably in limited action last week, but that was strictly mop-up time in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss to the Bears.
Sunday, he will be starting and it’s the real deal. Welcome to the NFL, Christian.
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