Lost in the shuffle of the Vikings embarrassment to the New Orleans Saints is the fact the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Tennessee Titans to move to 1-13. The Colts record is still the worst in the NFL, however they now sit just one win behind (or ahead when talking draft order) of both the Vikings and the St Louis Rams when it comes to worst record in the NFL and securing the number one pick in the draft to take Stanford’s quarterback Andrew Luck.
I know, I know… there’s plenty of pundits who will say the Vikings have too much invested in Christian Ponder to say they’ll take a quarterback two years in a row in the first round. That being said, there’s plenty of folks who’d turn around and argue you don’t pass on a phenom like Luck who would have been the top pick in the draft last year had he declared and also point out how poorly Ponder is playing right now. Ponder finished today 14-31 with only 120 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. Ponder also only lead the team two 12 first downs when Drew Brees & Co had 36. Ponder’s accuracy today was poor and over the past few weeks he’s made too many bad throws forcing the ball into traffic leading to picks. Also the potential exists if the team finishes with the worst record in franchise history at 2-14 they’ll want to wipe the slate clean of Ponder. Or if they stick with Ponder they could deal the pick for a boatload to either Seattle, Cleveland or Miami to name a few.
Going back to the Colts sitting at 1-13 they play both Houston and Jacksonville to finish out the season. Houston is very much in the mix for a first round bye in the AFC and will be motivated to beat Indy, however Jacksonville is completely out of the playoff picture and it’s not of question for them to lay down not allowing a divisional rival in the Colts to get Luck. If all of the Vikings, Rams and Colts finish 2-14 it would then go to strength of schedule where the three are virtually gridlocked.
There is still two weeks to play of this NFL season and a lot can happen for the three teams jockeying for draft position. But if today taught us anything it’s that the purple are all but certain to be picking in the top three and could be on the clock for a few months wondering what to do compared to a mere ten minutes.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig