Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) celebrates his touchdown during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
It took the Vikings a long time to figure it out, but they have finally figured out who they want behind center for the rest of the season. The decision should have been obvious before Ponder returned from his rib injury and the team acquired Josh Freeman, but better late than never, right? Minnesota will finally roll with Matt Cassel as their starting quarterback.
Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) passes against the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 48-30. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
On Monday night, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweeted that Matt Cassel will be the team’s starter for the last two games of the season. What does this mean for the young Christian Ponder and the freshly acquired Josh Freeman? Well, it means that they had better get used to being backups and start freshening up their resumes for next year.
"“He does a great job of studying, for one, and understanding what the looks are you’re going to get and what coverages you’re going to get as well. He knows where to go with the football in pre-snap and gets it out of his hands because of that. … He doesn’t hesitate,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said. “He knows exactly where it has to go and that’s his veteran experience and the confidence he has that he can make those plays. I think if you were to ask him when he was a second- or third-year quarterback how he would have handled those situations it might be a little bit different, but he’s been in those situations a number of times and he knows if he can just buy another second when you’ve got a guy like a Greg Jennings or a Cordarrelle Patterson, those guys are going to get open if they’re playing single-high safety and he has enough poise to maintain his composure and make some plays.”"
The Vikings final two games are against the Bengals and the Lions. Minnesota will be hoping to crush the hopes of those playoff bound teams just like they did to the Eagles on Sunday. If Cassel can continue playing as well as he has the past several weeks, the Vikings could end the season on a high note and enter the offseason on a 3 game winning streak.