Even though NBC tried very hard to pretend that Joe Webb is super awesome to sell this playoff game that they’re broadcasting, it is great entertainment to watch the Webbslinger throw the ball. The first attempt was a one-hopper to a receiver on a 3rd down in the red zone. The second was a desperate heave on a 3rd down on the next drive that went straight up and was somehow not intercepted.
Just before the first quarter expired, the Packers got the first touchdown of the game from DuJuan Harris, this year’s version of James Stark. That seemed to be enough to do the Vikings in. The mystery of Webb that Al Michaels and Tony Dungy spent the pregame breathlessly hyping waned, and Green Bay realized that Joe Webb is, in fact, just another bad quarterback who can run fast.
The ensuing drive for Minnesota ended with a sequence that included Webb tripping over Clay Matthews when the linebacker was on the ground, followed by an intentional grounding call on Webb. The Vikings defense has kept the game from getting out of control, but after the first drive, Minnesota’s offense hasn’t shown enough to instill confidence that they can steal this one. Ponder may derp hard, but he doesn’t derp this hard. With no reason for the Packers to respect Webb, they’ve been able to bottle up Adrian Peterson since the first drive or two. A total of 11 yards have been gained on Webb’s 11 dropbacks. A red zone stop kept the Vikings within one score with about four minutes left. That means using Peterson is less viable of an option for a comeback, and getting to a point where you might be not able to use him much at all.