A couple of weeks ago we did a side-by-side analysis of how former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and current Vikings QB Christian Ponder had some eerily similar stats throughout their first 20+ games in Minnesota. Needless to say, it didn't instill a lot of confidence in Vikings fans. However, Ponder was apparently able to overcome this setback and perform admirably down the stretch for the Vikings, looking decent while helping the team beat the Texans and last week where he came up big against the Packers.
But now that Ponder has wrapped up a full season's worth, his FIRST full season's worth if we're keeping track, we're able to look at a full season of stats and see who they compare to across NFL history. And - SURPRISE! - everyone's favorite dick pic'ing, pain killer downing, interception machine Brett Favre ends up being a pretty similar comparison. God help us all.
First, let's look at some of these raw numbers. These are provided thanks to the Pioneer Press' Ben Goessling. Ponder's 2012 season (his first full season starting) on the left, and Favre on the right with his first full season as a starter as well, as it says if you bother to read **** instead of skim through everything like you're still in college:
OK. OK, everyone chill out for a second. Let's first just look at the similarities and then we can tear this B apart like no one's business. Even with less attempts, Favre was still able to put up more yards in his second season. However, Favre DID have Sterling Sharpe to throw passes to, which helps out. On the other hand, why the hell was Ponder even passing so much this year when we have ADRIAN PETERSON IN THE BACKFIELD. God dammit I hate Musgrave. Also, Favre's QB Rating ended up being better, but that stat is kind of garbage anyway. AND OF COURSE Favre threw more interceptions. That's simply what he does!
So they're pretty similar, and I'm not sure what that says. That Ponder is progressing like Brett Favre? That Ponder IS Brett Favre? I mean, they do both have hot wives, so it's not a huge stretch. But the real problem comes when you try comparing the two outside of numbers. If you look at the strengths of the two of them, Favre clearly had a dragon for an arm where as Ponder's is closer to a wet spaghetti noodle, at least on deep throws. Ponder is supposed to be super smart, or have a high football IQ, while Favre is a dumb hillbilly ******* who was still doing Slingblade impressions 15 years after the movie came out. Point being, they're obviously not the same player, but maybe there is something there.
Honestly, if you look at the two you can see some similar patterns. Favre's team really wasn't THAT great. Outside of Sharpe, the rest of the names on that team are no-names to me. Sanjay Beach? Vince Workman? That's some Jerome Simpson and Rhett Ellison type ****. So maybe their surrounding talent was pretty similar. Likewise, when Musgrave calls the play for him, Ponder can sling some **** on a short slant pass, which was of course Favre's bread and butter. I mean, I'd still much rather have Favre throwing those in his prime than Ponder, but that's not an option we have, is it? Finally, Ponder has even gone so far as saying he wants to set up a meeting with Favre this offseason to pick his brain on what made Favre such a dynamic QB. Whether that happens or not, and Ponder begins to follow Favre's career path even closer, let's just hope he steers clear of the sexting scandals.
Maybe the ultimate point of all of this is that it's a futile exercise. Ponder doesn't have enough games under him to really make any long term assumptions about how good he's going to be in the future. On one hand, he's Tarvaris Jackson (Ponderis Jackson, if you will). Looking at it another way, he's god damn Brett Favre. An Eli Manning comparison is also mixed in there somewhere, too.
So we don't know exactly yet what's going to happen with Ponder, but hey, all I know is that since getting a girl to take his last name recently he's been playing out of his GOD DAMN MIND and I will definitely take this level of play over what he was doing mid-season. All he has to do is be decent enough to get Adrian Peterson a Super Bowl ring and then I don't care about anything else, whether he goes to the Packers when he's 40 years old or not.