The Vikings have to do the right thing. They have to sit Donovan McNabb and start Christian Ponder at quarterback. Even if Ponder isn't better right now -- and after watching the Bears game, I'm not sure he isn't -- this is a move for the future. Ponder is the future.
I liked what I saw from Ponder against the Bears. He was mobile. He moved his head from side to side and he was accurate at times. He did miss some throws, but it was a solid performance in garbage time. He finished 9-of-17 for 99 yards.
I know it was just garbage time, but Ponder was my top-rated quarterback in last year's draft. Yes, ahead of Cam Newton.
He understands the passing game. The one knock on him was arm strength, but he showed plenty of zip on his passes against the Bears.
McNabb has skipped too many passes into the ground this season and is unwilling to let the ball go down the field. It's Ponder's time.
"I don't see it ending like this," McNabb said.
Don't worry about Ponder's psyche either. He has a ton of confidence.
Play the kid. Can I say it again: Play the kid.
---Two things about "handshake gate" Sunday: Both coaches were wrong. Jim Harbaugh has to act like he's won before. This isn't college. And Jim Schwartz has to stay away from being a sore loser. Both coaches are emotional. I get it. But Harbaugh can't be prancing around like he won the Pac-10 title and then basically give Schwartz some over-aggressive handshake and a hard pat on the back as he skipped around. And Schwartz, even as angry as he was, has to refrain from going after him. Both were wrong. Schwartz could be facing a fine. They were both in Baltimore in 1998, Schwartz as an assistant coach and Harbaugh as a quarterback. One has to wonder if there is bad blood stemming from something there. This one was spared from being really ugly. So who wins if they would have gotten into it? I'd probably put my money on the former NFL player.
---When the Patriots rallied to beat the Cowboys Sunday, it meant that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick tied Don Shula and Dan Marino for the most victories (116) of any coach-quarterback tandem. So who would you take? That's too tough to call. But what is interesting is that both Shula and Belichick were ball-control type of coaches early in their careers, but changed when they landed those two. Smart coaches those two.
---Rex Grossman was so bad Sunday he made Eagles safety Kurt Coleman look like Ed Reed. This is the same Coleman who was benched a few weeks ago for his poor cover skills. Coleman had three picks of Grossman before the Redskins decided to bench him. John Beck played better and I would imagine it's his turn to play. The Redskins are in desperate need of a quarterback. You think?
---Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is doing a great job with his young defense. They are ranked first in the league and haven't given up 20 points in a game yet. Zimmer has flirted with head-coaching jobs in the past, but maybe it's his time in 2012.
---Somebody asked me on Twitter Sunday night if I thought Bears return man Devin Hester was a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. My answer: No. He's a great return man, and had another kickoff return for a touchdown Sunday night, but there's no way a return man should go to the Hall strictly for his return game. Now if he develops into a good receiver, then maybe. Not as a return man.
---For all the talk about how good the Lions defensive front is, why can't it stop the run? It might be because they are always in pass-rush mode, which means up the field. The Lions are ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in rush defense and rushing yards per play. Frank Gore ran for 141 yards against them Sunday. With Ndamukong Suh in the middle of the defense, that shouldn't be the case.
---So it looks like Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd can be had for a sixth-round pick. The problem is Lloyd is a free agent, so you'd be renting him for 10 games or so. For a contender, it might make sense. I'll tell you this: The Patriots might want to give him a look. They lack the ability to stretch the field. The 49ers are also interested in Lloyd.
---The Rams are winless and now must go to Dallas. This is their step-back season. Watch out in 2012 when they get healthy and also get another high draft pick. Imagine if Sam Bradford gets Justin Blackmon?
---I hate the rotation of defensive linemen some teams use. In a key spot during the second quarter of the Cowboys-Patriots game, the Cowboys had DeMarcus Ware on the bench. That's just dumb.
---Here's wishing successful surgery for Sean Payton today to repair his broken leg and torn-up knee. That had to hurt. Knowing Payton, it didn't hurt nearly as much as losing to the Bucs.Want more of my analysis? Check out my Week 6 grades