New York Jets vs Minnesota Vikings: A Different Angle
Sunday brings the struggling Jets north to Minnesota to face the Vikings. A quick glance around the web has most analysts predicting a Vikings victory over the Jets. With that said, it has become increasingly harder for me to watch this team lose week after week. I need something to watch during a game; often it’s a select matchup, or at times it’s just simply a young player’s development. There is always the “game within the game”; it’s one of the reasons that I love football. This week I’m going to be watching some players on the Vikings squad, as they are free agent eligible at season’s end. I like to think of this activity as “couch scouting”. It may not be very effective, but it does allow me to steal a look at some potential candidates for the Jets.
Nov 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterbackChristian Ponder
(7) takes the field before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
We won’t likely see Christian Ponder on Sunday, but I think he might be worth a look in the off-season. Ponder was initially taken with the 12th overall pick of the 2011 draft. I’m not endorsing the Jets to sign him, but he’s an interesting story. Ponder measures in at 6’2″ , 229 lbs, and is still just 25 yrs old. He started for the Vikings in 2011 and 2012 with varying degrees of success, but did take the Vikings to the playoffs in 2012 before he was injured. 2013 and 2014 saw limited playing time as he slid down the depth chart behind Matt Cassel and newly drafted prospect Teddy Bridgewater. Ponder is still young however, he’s not an elite type guy, but he has experience at this level, and it would appear the Vikings are done with him and will allow him to test the free agency market.
Ponder may be worth looking into as a backup if the Jets were to choose to walk away from Geno Smith. He could be brought in rather cheaply I suspect and could provide some level of talent to next year’s QB competition. Ponder has some injury concerns to go along with some concerns with his decision-making, but he may be one of those players that could benefit from a change of scenery. I wouldn’t consider him a candidate to start for the Jets in 2015, but at 25, he might be valuable as an emergency backup. Matt Simms is a free agent at season’s end, and the Jets might consider replacing him with Ponder. Just something to think about if the game up in Minnesota becomes too much to bear.
Nov 23, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackleMike Harris
(79) prepares to block against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota also has an offensive lineman that might be worth watching on Sunday. Mike Harris plays left tackle for the Vikings and is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. The Jets could use help along the line, and tackle has grown into as much of a need as guard in this past season. Harris might be worth looking into in the off-season for the Jets as he could provide competition for the starting job, as well as provide experienced depth next season. Harris measures in at 6’5″, 310 lbs and is 26 years old. He was initially signed by the San Diego Chargers as an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 draft after having played his college ball at UCLA. If Harris makes it to the market, he may very well be worth a closer look. This week he’ll give me something to watch as he goes up against the Jets big defensive line.
J’Marcus Webb has bounced around in his career after being signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as a 7th round pick in the 2010 draft. This player has the size, but has struggled finding a role for first the Chiefs and now the Vikings this year. He measures in at a whopping 6’7″, weighing 331 lbs. and has just reached his 26th birthday. His size alone makes him an interesting prospect as a backup, and he has experience starting for the Chiefs in 2013. It may be Webb’s athleticism that isn’t quite up to the level of NFL starting tackles, but again he might be a quick, cheap upgrade to the Jets depth along the offensive line.
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Well, it’s some of the guys that the Vikings have approaching free agency at season’s end. Nothing very exciting, but it will provide me with the game within the game I can enjoy.
Personally, I believe if the Jets actually throw the football occasionally on Sunday, they have a fairly good chance of winning this one. So, what do you guys think? Any of these names worth scouting for the Jets leading up to free agency? Did I miss your favorite free agent on the Viking squad? Enjoy the game on Sunday, with a different approach, it might be a bit more enjoyable, I’m hoping that will be the case anyway!! Tell me what you think in the comments. Let’s talk Jets football!!