Christian Ponder is out. Joe Webb will be starting. Ponder was on the injury report this week with the elbow injury, but it wasn’t really known that he would be out until news started to circulate today. Webb will be the first quarterback ever to start a playoff game when he threw zero passes in the regular season, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Webb has two starts and has played significant minutes in three other games he came in relief. His numbers from those games: 81 of 139 (58.3%), 753 yards (5.4 yards per attempt), 1 TD, 5 INT, 28 rushes for 215 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns.
Webb is Tebow-esque as a passer, and will rely on his legs to make plays. Expect a hearty dose of Adrian Peterson, and Minnesota will need to manufacture big plays either with Peterson breaking big runs, or Webb hitting a few deep balls, or scrambling for third down conversions.
Green Bay is the heavy favorite, but they will need to get Minnesota in long yardage situation, and not get into the type of game where Minnesota can sustain drives, keep Aaron Rodgers off the field, and shorten the total number of possessions.
The Line: Green Bay by 10.5 (adjusted after injury news)
The Pick: Green Bay 27, Minnesota 20
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]