Sunday, December 07, 2008

Trailling Clouds of Heaven: Vikings 20, Lions 16

I can't say I feel good right now.  After spending much of the game with stones rolling around in my stomach, all I can feel is relieved.

Tarvaris Jackson
I'm not going to lie: I'm slightly intrigued.

Benching Jackson for Gus Frerotte earlier this season was the right move: Frerotte isn't that good, but he was making throws Jackson hadn't shown the ability to make, and going into today the Vikes had won seven of 10 games since Frerotte started.  But as I've said for a while, the Gus Frerotte-led Vikings appear at best to be a 9-10 win team ready to lose early in the playoffs, and then getting a good quarterback would be the team's top off-season priority.

With Tarvaris Jackson?  I don't know.  If he plays like the Tarvaris Jackson we've known in the past, then they're still probably at best a 9-10 win team ready to lose early in the playoffs, and quarterback is still the team's top off-season priority.  I still don't know if Jackson is consistently accurate enough to be a good NFL quarterback.  But...there's just a chance that Jackson was forced into action before he was ready.  There's just a chance he still has potential and that he has improved.  There's just a chance that this time on the bench has been good for him, allowing him to learn and re-focus.  There's just a chance that the Tarvaris Jackson we watched today isn't the same Tarvaris Jackson we've watched in the past.  Today he was 8/10 with 105 yards and a touchdown, no interceptions.  Jackson was mobile and poised, completing a lot of passes for first down.  He's not as accurate on the deep ball as Frerotte, but his running ability opens up new plays in the offense.

Gus Frerotte is what he is: we know what he is, and there's no progression, no development, no upside.  But Tarvaris Jackson is young and athletic, and just maybe there is hope.  Just maybe, there is progression, development, upside.

I don't know (and besides, Frerotte could be back under center next week).  I just say I'm intrigued.


  1. Anonymous6:34 PM

    I really don't see Jackson getting the start nxt. week, unless the injury to Gus is very severe. Jackson needs to throw it away like Culpepper(should the Vikes of signed him?prob. not likely because he wanted playing time) and not throw int.s like Gus. In my mind, Gus still gets the start, but Childress will let him know the LEASH IS TIGHT(aka you better no blatantly turn it over) or the guy(T-Jack) who WON the game last week will be coming in!! Also you gotta say the Williams Wall won this game with those 4th down stands - gotta thank the American legal system for now!

  2. Anonymous7:18 PM

    Jackson may have learned a lot by watching most of the season. He had some touch on a couple passes, which is new. He completed some passes we HAD to have.
    Good to see.
    AP is the best polayer in the NFL and we limit his use. IN FAIRNESS, Taylor is a very solid back and deserves playing time also.

  3. Peterson is averaging 22.5 carries per game; I'm actually more concerned with overuse than underuse.

    I think he needs to be BETTER used. The Vikes run on first down far too often. Teams expect it. I love when they throw an easy six yard pass on first down, giving the team a good distance on 2nd down. Those are great opportunities to run successfully. I'd still like to see more creativity on 1st down, and see AP get more touches on 2nd and 3rd down.

  4. Anonymous7:55 PM

    I agree with you, Gus has ZERO chance of leading this team past the second round of the playoffs, and Tarvaris has upside that Gus doesn't possess. I'd take my chances with Tarvaris.

    But, I know a guy who is friends with a defensive player on the vikings (I know this is ridiculous coming from an anonymous commenter but I assure you it's true). He sees Tarvaris everyday in practice of course. When our mutual friend asked him about Tarvaris he said the following "great guy. Great athlete. Just not a very good quarterback."

    I've been a Tarvaris apologist for longer than most, and would still favor starting him over Gus. But at some point we have to accept the fact that this vikings team is a quarterback away from being a real contender and that's not going to change until next season.

  5. The most surprising development of the last 11 games? Visanthe Shiancoe's development into a quality, playmaking NFL tight end. I did not see that coming.

  6. Anonymous10:04 PM

    Surprisingly #81 didn't have to go get his eyes checked with NIKE. His development is kelley attributed to the confidence he's gained. You gotta love that fake chop block falling down and gettin' back up for the TD!

  7. I don't know who to start to be honest, TJack can be good but has had some bad games. Gus is a little more consistent and can hit the targets when he needs to, but can also throw balls right to the other team with ease. Right now with the way the offensive line is on pass protection, I think TJack is the bigger threat. They need to design more plays that allow him room to run and get into open field. They haven't done it with peterson yet so I don't see it happening soon with TJack. I always felt TJack was in a system designed to bring about his failure.

    Good point on Shaincoe, he's catching the ball, that's why we paid him. Always a good thing.

  8. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Boy oh boy what a lucky win but I will take it. Still shocked we won that challenge on Calvin Johnson's catch. Can anyone explain to me why on such a key drive and down that Benny Sapp would be covering their best and only WR ? Not sure why Sapp is out there at all actually.

    Also Chilly has some stones to kick that 50 yard FG at the end. I woulda punted it and make them drive the entire field with no timeouts. Great call by Chilly there when it went through the uprights.

    I could not agree more with PV about our 1st down play calling. Drives me mad. We got that 99 yard TD versus the Bears by passing on a running down. More big plays are there if we run more play action on 1st down.

    Its interesting that it appears Chilly is considering T-jack even if Gus is healthy. I have wondered all year if our record would have been any worse with Tavaris in there the whole way. Gus is really not that accurate and throws a lot of INTs. Should be an interesting week.

  9. I agree that we know what we have with Gus. He's done a good job and won some games I don't think T-Jack would have pulled out. But maybe #7 has learned a little from the sidelines. He still has a small chance to be good, and I would much rather find out what we have with him than watch a tired Gus limp to the finish line.

    Shank is a real weapon now. I'm as shocked as you are.