Friday, September 07, 2007

Shaky QBs and the Vikings

Welcome to another chapter of PV's attempt to convince himself the Vikings can win nine games this season.

It's easy to look at Tarvaris Jackson, Kelly Holcomb, and Brooks Bollinger and conclude that the Vikings are too questionable at quarterback to compete this season (despite defense and a running game that are each potentially dominant).

But let's look at the Vikings' 2007 schedule to see the projected QBs they'll be facing.

1. Falcons (Joey Harrington): shaky
2. Lions (Jon Kitna): shaky, turnover-prone
3. Chiefs (Damon Huard): questionable, I think; not that great, but probably not stupid, either.
4. Packers (Brett Favre): old, still capable of breaking our hearts, but also turnover-prone
5. Bears (Rex Grossman): Please don't put in Brian Griese; Grossman is the shakiest shaky QB since Shaky McShakeShake emerged from Shake State.
6. Cowboys (Tony Romo): I consider Romo, throwing to all those good players around him, dangerous, but his production declined in the latter part of 2006.
7. Eagles (Donovan McNabb): elite QB
8. Chargers (Philip Rivers): very good QB
9. Packers (Brett Favre): still dangerous, but still old and turnover-prone
10. Raiders (Josh McCown): there could easily be a QB change by this point, but it would be to Daunte Culpepper or JaMarcus Russell. I don't think they're major threats on that offense either way.
11. Giants (Eli Manning): Possibly good, but can be rattled and erratic.
12. Lions (Jon Kitna): Still turnover-prone
13. 49ers (Alex Smith): Could be good this year, but he's still relatively unproven, and his team managed to put up 9 points against the Vikes last season.
14. Bears (Rex Grossman): Please, let it still be Rex.
15. Washington (Jason Campbell): Still unproven
16. Denver (Jay Cutler); He'll probably be very good, but he's a second-year guy that you can't be sure about.

When I look at the Viking schedule, I see one elite opposing QB (McNabb) and another very good one (Rivers), though the Vikes get to face each of them at home. Everybody else is either an aging QB with questions, a QB with an erratic history, or a very young QB that could struggle against a good Viking defense. The Vikings can smother a running game, forcing the quarterback to beat them, and they also have a defense capable of forcing turnovers (36 takeaways last season). It's the kind of defense I like to see facing an inexperienced or erratic QB.

Certainly, the Vikings have serious questions in their passing game (not limited to the QBs, either). But they're not going to be facing Peyton Manning quality QBs this year; they're going to be facing a lot of shaky QBs that they are capable of exploiting.

5 comments:

  1. I think Eli will be very good this season.

    Of course you're lucky that there is no late-season Brady Quinn on the schedule :)

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  2. Anonymous11:05 AM

    The far larger question mark for the Vikings passing game is whether they have receivers who can beat press coverage quickly, and then have the ball skills to go up and make the catch. Our hero Tavaris is going to get the blitzed all day long until somebody gets punished for doing so.

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  3. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Keep up the good work Pacifist Viking. You have a refreshing voice. Like a thinking man's TMQ. (Irony intended.) Thought your readers might enjoy this vignette about Brian Russell and Dennis Green from the Seattle Times:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/seahawks/2003872876_hawk070.html

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  4. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Well this is the team that year in and year out allows career days from rookies and backups, so that list scares me more than it should.

    I think the key is the pass rush. We can stop the run, we can run, if we can stop the pass we'll have a great shot at playing most games close.

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