The Donovan McNabb era in Philadelphia lasted 148 games.
The Donovan McNabb era in Washington lasted 13 games.
And now it looks like the Donovan McNabb era in Minnesota is over after just six.
McNabb has been benched in favor of rookie Christian Ponder, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network.
The move isn’t a surprise. The 34-year-old McNabb was having another terrible year and, at 1-5, the Vikings are already out of playoff contention in the NFC. But the timing is at least a little surprising, because now Ponder will be forced to make his debut against the league’s best team.
I figured the team would wait a week and let the veteran McNabb make his final start against the Packers. But instead, Ponder, who was 9-of-17 for 99 yards in garbage-time relief of McNabb Sunday night in Chicago, will be forced to make his debut as a starter against Green Bay.
Green Bay’s aggressive defense already has 11 interceptions (second to only Buffal0) to go with 15 sacks this season. Last year, they led the conference with 47 sacks and 24 picks.
Had Leslie Frazier waited a week to make the change, Ponder would have been able to make his debut on the road, with significantly less pressure, against a weak Carolina defense and another rookie quarterback in Cam Newton. The Panthers have just three picks and nine sacks this season.
I suppose Frazier and his staff figured it would’ve sent a mixed message to go back to McNabb after benching him in Week 6, but they also could have explained that by simply claiming they were giving Ponder a chance to get in some reps in a blowout loss.
But they’re going with Ponder right now, and it looks as though we can wrap up the chapter entitled “Minnesota” in McNabb’s biography. The question now: Are there any chapters left?