Backup plan: Ponder, Tebow are nearing gigs as starting QBs

Fans and analysts alike have been calling for quarterback changes in Denver and Minnesota after poor starts for both teams. Will the 1-3 Broncos acquiesce and put Tim Tebow in ahead of Kyle Orton? Will the 0-4 Vikings pull Donovan McNabb to see what they have in first-round pick Christian Ponder? Which of these possible changes will happen first –- which should happen first?

  • Jason La Canfora NFL Network
  • Vikings have more invested in Ponder

You have to think Ponder happens first. He was taken quite high by the regime currently in place and they have yet to win a game. The Vikings are desperate to get a new stadium and will have to give in to fan sentiment at some point.

John Fox in Denver, meanwhile, had nothing to do with the Tebow pick and he doesn't seem to be a big fan of his and probably favors Brady Quinn as the next option. Fox isn't gonna worry about fan outcry and he has won a game, at least.

The Broncos could hang around the periphery of the lowly AFC West race for a while; the NFC North is already passing the Vikings by. And Minnesota lost to a weak Kansas City squad, from that AFC West. Another loss this week and Ponder could be looking at his shot.

  • Dave Dameshek NFL.com
  • Tebow's coming, sooner rather than later

Because the season is already a lost cause, it's easy to say Leslie Frazier and John Fox should throw in the towel and put their young QBs in to get some seasoning for the future. While both coaches know that going 3-13 might be good for draft position, it doesn't help their long-term future. If Frazier and Fox believe McNabb and Orton give them the best chance to win, that's who they'll want under center.

However ...

Sometimes the coach doesn't have the final say. As the man in charge of Broncos football operations, John Elway needs to know if he's got a keeper in Tebow A.S.A. and P. That's why I've been saying since August that Tebow is going get a long look at some point this season. By the way things are going, it's gonna be sooner rather than later.

  • Pat Kirwan NFL.com
  • Vikings already out of playoff race

I don't think either team wants to change quarterbacks any time soon. If I had to guess, I think Minnesota will go to Ponder first. The present regime drafted Ponder while Elway and Fox inherited Tebow. The Vikings are in a division with two undefeated teams and are quickly falling behind in the playoff race.

  • Adam Rank NFL.com
  • Want Luck? Play Ponder

The Vikings should turn to Ponder for a couple of reasons, neither of them being that the game has clearly passed McNabb by. The Vikings are certainly in the mix to be the worst team in the NFL, which could be a stroke of Luck for one team fortunate enough to grab that spot. The Vikings will need to find out what they have in Ponder just in case they want to draft somebody who plays that same position.

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