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OPINION: Vikes Should Roll With Jackson

Look, I’ll be upfront in saying (and most of you know this by now) I am not, and never have been, Brett Favre’s biggest fan. 

So, if you are someone that thinks Brett Favre is incapable of throwing a bad pass, and that his receivers simply need to do a better job of always being where the ball is landing, then this article isn’t for you.

If you are someone that thinks Brett Favre’s fumbles were somehow the result of Ryan Cook being too tall or having bad timing, or that the pink Breast Cancer ribbon on the ball was too slippery, then this article isn’t for you.

If you are someone that thinks Brett Favre is incapable of making a series of mistakes that may or may not be taking a toll on his family life and may or may not be distracting him from performing on the field, then this article is not for you.

If you simply think Brett Favre’s infallible status ranks right up there with the Pope’s, and can’t understand that this article is clearly labeled as “opinion,” then this article is NOT for you.

With that out of the way, let’s get on with it.

Let me start by saying that I do not think Brett Favre should be benched if, by Sunday, every single one of the following items is true:

  1. His tendinitis is healed to the point that he can make all the throws asked of him.
  2. The #3 wide receiver spot is settled on.
  3. The “racy photos” fiasco is resolved and no longer a distraction.
  4. Favre practices with one, and only one, center all week and that center starts the Dallas game and will be allowed to finish it.
  5. The game plan going into Dallas will be to give the ball to Adrian Peterson a minimum of 25 times.

If the Vikings return to practice and all five of those things are not true, then I firmly believe that the Vikings defense, Adrian Peterson, and all the purple fans out there deserve to see Tarvaris Jackson (gulp) get the start.

I wanted to write this article immediately following Monday’s game, but I decided to sleep on it and hopefully my following points are reasonable enough to at least be readable for you all.  The following are my reasons the Vikings should go with Tarvaris Jackson over Brett Favre:

POOR PERFORMANCE

Let’s face it, the number one reason a coach should consider benching a player is because of poor performance, and Brett Favre fits the bill right now.

When it comes to quarterback ratings, Favre currently ranks 30th in the league despite being surrounded by arguably the most elite playmakers of any NFL offense.  He currently has a worse quarterback rating than the likes of Bruce Gradkowski, Alex Smith, Matt Cassel, Jason Campbell, Shaun Hill, Kevin Kolb, Josh Freeman, Chad Henne, Seneca Wallace, David Garrard, and Ryan Fitzpatrick to name a few.  His 56.5% completion percentage combined with seven interceptions help make up his miserable rating of 67.0.

Despite throwing three touchdowns against the Jets, Favre seems to have regressed since week one, as he is now flat out missing wide open receivers.  The whole “receivers can’t get open” excuse is no longer, well, a good excuse.

Poor performance is a legitimate reason to bench a player.

INJURY CONCERNS

Brett Favre made a theatrical show of his ailing throwing arm all week during the practices and press conferences that led up to Monday Night’s loss.  During the game itself, it was obvious that he wasn’t “crying wolf” and that the tendinitis in his arm was a legitimate problem.

Favre said after the game that his arm feels worse than it did before the bye week.  Tendinitis can be nagging injury, and if it was at least partially responsible for his performance on Monday, then we can probably expect to see more of the same starting on Sunday against the Cowboys.

An injury is a legitimate reason to bench a player.

OFF THE FIELD CONCERNS

Brett Favre’s off the field problems, for which he is being investigated by the NFL, have been well documented all week.  It all came to head on Monday when Favre addressed his teammates about the situation at the hotel, prior to the game.

Ryan Longwell told Michelle Tafoya (much to the dislike of Favre) that it was an emotional address, in which Favre both cried and apologized to his teammates for causing a distraction.

The team can say it hasn’t been a distraction all they want, but if it wasn’t one then why would an apology be necessary?

This saga isn’t over, but it is becoming increasingly clear that Favre has no interest in denying the allegations, and could in fact serve a suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

If suspended, the Vikings could be forced to throw Tarvaris Jackson into the fire anyways.  I would argue that the time to turn the key over to Jackson is now if the Vikings have any reason to believe that this will eventually be his team to lead in December and/or January anyways.  Push the issue and put this offense on his back so that he can be prepared for it when this whole thing comes to an unfortunate end.

Plus, if Favre’s actions are true, then he doesn’t exactly seem to fit into the “culture of accountability” that Childress and owner Zygi Wilf have boasted about on such a regular basis.

Character concerns and off the field distractions are a legitimate reason to bench a player.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE

With the trade deadline approaching, the draft long gone, and the free agent market all dried up, it is clear that the offensive line is what is and that won’t be changing… for the better, anyways.

It is no secret that Brett Favre lacks mobility, which is a deadly combination when your team’s pass blocking is consistently inconsistent.  As one reader pointed out during Monday’s game, it is easy to blitz when you know exactly where the quarterback will be on every play.

Sure, there will be times when the line plays better than they did against the Jets and sure the Jets defense deserves some credit, but Favre was doing a statue impression way too often on Monday.  Having a quarterback with even a little more mobility might help make this offensive line look a little better and also might help cause defenses to think twice before sending the blitz.

Lacking a key athletic attribute is a legitimate reason to bench a player.

AT THIS POINT, WHY NOT?

In the end, I would be as unconvinced as everyone else that Tarvaris Jackson would be a surefire answer to the Vikings offensive woes.  However, there is no denying that Brad Childress would have a bag full of legitimate reasons to bench Brett Favre and give his failed draft pick one last shot at redeeming himself. 

Jackson has never been surrounded by the talent he would be surrounded by if he were to step into this role right now, and you never know, he might just do enough to help the Vikings win.  Or at least help them to not lose, which is something Brett Favre is not doing.

After all, an ongoing record for consecutive starts is not a legitimate reason to keep playing a quarterback seemingly unable to pull himself out of a downward spiral.


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19 Responses to “OPINION: Vikes Should Roll With Jackson”

  1. fozz44 says:

    I was pondering this on the way to work today. All points are good Adam, and an injured Favre, with all the drama going on…is best suited to be the backup this Sunday.

    Let him start…hand the ball off to AD 5 times (the 5th one being a touchdown run), and then let TJack finish it off.

  2. Skee says:

    I cant believe I am saying this even as I type it – I think we need to go with TJack (I just threw up in my mouth a little bit…). It would be a nice change not to worry that your entire franchise may be out for the count every time it takes more than 3 seconds to throw the ball. We are probably done this year anyway, so lets see what we got. TJack does his typical stuff and sucks, then we go with Webb.

  3. Brett says:

    Yeah… I’m on the ropes about this one. You have very valid points… I just don’t know if TJ gives us a better chance then Favre. I am not confident that TJ could make those three TD passes that Favre made last night… by the same token though, TJ probably would not have lost two snaps and would have completed passes to the open receivers (as long as he keeps both feet on the ground…).

    I think we wait until after the Cowboys game to do it… IF! Favre is able to play at a good level (injuries, distractions. etc…).

    Good article Adam.

  4. CalVkg says:

    no way will favre be benched unless something much more dramatic happens. won’t happen, period.

  5. wtfvikesfan says:

    Bench Favre!!!!! LET TJACK ROLE!!!!!!!! I said this before last nights game. If Tjack would have played I think the Vikes would have won. Adam one thing you can add to your article is the Vikings bend not break defense, needs the offensive to move the ball and let them rest alittle. Have to keep playing great defensive when you are on the field all the time. Three and outs kill and bend not break defense!!!

  6. hookem says:

    As I have stated in the comments sections before I do not like Favre. I can not change 16 years of hate. Also I am going to start calling him the other guy. Ok the other guy is slow, and battered. Childress doesnt have the cajones to bench the guy, and everything is never his fault. Even the broadcasters find a way to blame the receivers and line instead of the other guy. I remember before people would always say “if you have a big arm Moss will make you look good.” So why not Jackson? I believe he has played in 16 games which for now is a full season. Look at his stats compared to other QBs in their first 16 games. You will be very shocked to see how he compares to their stats. Also if you can look at his stats when he throws during play action passes and when he rolls out. Again you will be surprised. Our team might be the most talented team in the NFL and the window is closing, I do not want it to close because a coach is worried about his QB’s precious consecutive game start.

    Jackson was benched after 2 games in 2008 against 2 playoffs teams from the year before and the point difference was 8. If he was starting this year and we got off this same start and he had same numbers as the other guy he would be benched.

    I say start the other guy and next week give him a short leash and by half if we do not move the ball then yank him for a more mobile, and stronger armed QB.

    Also last night the other guy was underthrowing his receivers all game but I guess its fine when you have been around forever.

  7. hookem says:

    This team could be 3-1 right now with Jackson at QB

  8. hookem says:

    oh and Jackson didnt have the weapons we have now when he was the starter…. just saying

  9. c.carterhof says:

    Start Jackson? NO. I have to agree with Brett.
    Last nights game reminded me of last years game at Chicago. Only AP ended it with a fumble instead of Favre with the pick. Like last night the Bear game was an awful 1st half of football.
    In the 2nd half we caught fire and then whipped NY and then Dallas. Our offense looked the best it has all year in the last 20 minutes last night. I say lets see what happens.

  10. Purple Charlie says:

    Adam,
    It was a well thought out article, Only thing I can say is if T-Jax some how would start, If he Screws up….

    I’m with Skee,
    Throw Joe Webb in ( Seen Tarvaris when he isn’t on the money )

  11. bigjohnny84 says:

    If Favre has to sit, let Webb get all the reps with the 1st team this week. Ware would be in Tjax head after the first play and it will be ugly. At least Webb has potential and can take it to the house at any given time. Will he make mistakes? Yes but more than likely alot less than Tjax.

  12. Viking Dave says:

    I agree! It’s time to ice more than Brett’s elbow. For all the highlight plays still in him, his turnovers, and overall poor performance have put the Vikings in a 1-3 hole. Once again the defence put up a killer effort — minus the 13 pts to the Jets off Favre 2 fumbles, and pick — they only gave up 16 points.

    Tarvaris doesn’t have to get us 30 points a game, 17 points a game, minus the turnovers would have put Vikings at 4-0. I would like to see what a younger, stronger, more mobile QB could do with this offence. How many more 3 picks and fumble in our own endzone (Miami game) performances will the coaches allow, even if it is Brett Favre?

  13. Jawsers says:

    Continue on with the Brett. Childress does not have the testicular fortitude to stand up to Brett and say you can’t play, you are a detriment to this team because of your injuries. That way when this team continues the fall Wilf will definitely have had it and decides to give the boots to Childo.

    Jackson isn’t a long term solution, nor a short term one for this season. He is too sporadic, from one extreme to another. Sometimes you can definitely see the talent he has and the ability, but most often he will leave you scratching your head. He may be a good stop gap for next season as Favre will not come back.

    Webb has potential but remains to be seen whether the team should put faith that two or three years down the road he can lead the team. OR should opportunity present itself (this upcoming draft) to pick up a qb.

  14. Fran the Man says:

    I’ve thought Favre hasn’t looked right since before the regular season started. He just looks and plays OLD.
    If Childo had the balls (Which he doesn’t) I’d say give Jackson all the reps this week in practice and give him the start.

    Jackson has had a season and a quarter now watching Favre run the offense. If that and the last 4 years on this team hasn’t got him ready, then we need to know that THIS season, so we can plan on next years draft.

    T. Jackson was thrown to the wolves WAY to early in his career and then benched after only two games. Typical Childo.
    I say give him his last shot and lets see if the guy can play.

    Ive seen enough of Favre throwing our wins away, with reckless abandon.

  15. Zag says:

    I gotta say, I agree with this one. Favre was supposed to come back and be the savior, right? He was supposed to be the missing piece. Well, he’s had a quarter of the season to show that he is the promised one, and he’s only made good on one game.

    In any other profession you would be fired. In football, the equivalent would be for Favre to be benched until he shows us the reason he deserves to be out there.

    With Moss (and hopefully Rice sooner than later), even TarVar could do well. In my opinion a good quarterback is an accurate one, a guy who hits slants, outs, and stick routes with laserbullet accuracy. Favre didn’t do that last night. Anyone with a good arm (read: every quarterback in the NFL) can chuck up a bomb to an amazing receiver. We need Favre to make the high-percentage throws, or else I say we let TJack come in and throw bombs to Moss instead.

  16. […] Monday I suggested that the Vikings should bench Brett Favre based off of his poor performance, injury status, and off the field […]

  17. […] As I mentioned following Monday night’s loss to the Jets, Brett Favre’s tendinitis is one of a few legitimate reasons that the Vikings should be considering benching the old gunslinger. […]

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