Yes, the preseason is glorified practice at full price. And, yes, without game planning or the use of the starters for a full game it’s hard to tell what a team will be able to do, or not do, once the real games start.
That said, it’s better to look good than bad, especially when a team has been bad.
The Vikings have been very bad for the last two years. The player for whom many believe they reached with the 12th pick in the first round of the 2011 draft, quarterback Christian Ponder, was shaky last year after getting the starting job following the benching of Donovan McNabb.
He wasn’t shaky in Minnesota’s preseason home opener at the Metrodome, completing 10 of 13 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. (And, yes, that translates to a completion percentage in excess of his stated full-season goal of 75 percent.)
The 10 completions went to a whopping eight different players.
Ponder led the Vikings to 10 points on three drives. It would have been 13, but rookie kicker Blair Walsh missed a 49-yard field goal wide to the right.
The only real negative? The partially yellow collar on his new Nike jersey makes Ponder look like Steve Grogan wearing a neck roll. Soaked in pee.