Are jilted Green Bay Packers’ fans virtually stalking Brett Favre? From a comment on a story about the Vikings at StarTribune.com:
According to ESPN, the terms of the trade include a poison pill provision that would send three Jets’ first round draft choices to the Packers if Favre was subsequently traded to the Vikings. Clearly, Favre wanted to play for the Vikings with a passion and the Packers‘ sabotage of his wish shows they’re just a bunch of scaredy cats.
It shoud be quite obvious by now that Green Bay is deathly afraid of the Vikings; Favre in Purple would’ve been far more than they could take.
As I’ve said, with or without Favre, the Vikings are set at quarterback this season.
Yet, it would have been worth a second-round pick to see Favre in Purple on opening day…at Lambeau Field…as the Packers retired number 4. Heh.
As for the rest of the season, I don’t think anyone in their right mind passes on the opportunity to bring in a Hall of Fame quarterback with a good season or two left in him. And he could very well have taken us far; but he also could’ve stunk, badly. Favre doesn’t have a stellar record in the Metrodome and his interception total would likely have skyrocketed as a result.
It’s been almost as much fun watching the Drama Queen sticking it to his former team and Packers’ fans as it has been astonishing at how forgiving Cheeseheads have been of this 38 year old brat.
So we beat on, with TJax at the helm of a much-improved squad this year and we’ll be just fine.
I would take Brett Favre as the Vikings starting quarterback this season. In a second. How could you not? The guy is a Hall of Famer and a gamer and, difficult as it is for some Vikings fans to admit, he’s fun as hell to watch play. Landing Favre would seem like a long shot for the Vikes.
But I’ve been thinking since shortly after this story first broke that Favre could make life so difficult for the Packers that they’d just want to get rid of him. It looks like he’s well on his way to doing that.
Despite the Packers’ insistence that Farve is welcome back at any time, they really don’t mean that because Farve’s behavior has had to have already poisoned the locker room. You gotta think there are plenty of players who are thinking, wait a minute, instead of making a run like we did last year we’re going to break in a new quarterback? Packer’s players are certainly thinking that they’d have a much better chance of getting to the Super Bowl this year with Farve than not, and management doesn’ want Farve. Thus, management doesn’t want to win.
Add to that, that Farve clearly doesn’t want to return to Green Bay; he’s burned that bridge. Farve has to approve any trade so if he really wants to play in Purple (and, the Vikings are the best team for him to unretire to), he could force the Packers’ hand to either release him or make a trade with Minnesota in order to remove the distraction.
But even if we don’t land Favre, we’re still set a quarterback. I think Tarvaris Jackson has enough talent to be a qood quarterback, it’s just a question of his understanding of the game and his ability to keep his cool. If he can understand what defenses are trying to do and if he doesn’t get flustered under pressure, he should be fine because we’re not asking him to do a lot.
All he has to do is burn opposing defenses once or twice a game and then let Adrian Peterson do all the work.
But even if Jackson falters, we’ve still got Gus Frerotte waiting in the wings. Sure, he’s no Brett Favre but he’s no Tarvaris Jackson, either. He’s a veteran quarterback who is capable of taking a talented team far into the playoffs by avoiding mistakes and making a great play here and there. And, by the way, he’s a far better player than Super Bowl quarterback Rex Grossman.
So: We good.
UPDATE 7/23/08: I wrote about the traffic to this post at my Internet Marketing Blog: Brett Favre Saga In Search – Vikings Uniform Photo Drives Traffic.
Adrian Peterson kicked serious Chargers ass last week, but let’s be real; Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers had an awful game, the team was without starting linebacker Shaun Phillips; and standout Luis Castillo was knocked out early in the second half. It’s not coincidental that Peterson ran for 253 yards and two touchdowns during the second half.
That’s not to say that it wasn’t a phenomenal performance by Peterson, it was a thing of beauty (watch the highlights). It’s no surprise, too, that the offensive line put in their best performance of the year and Peterson got a lot of help from outstanding blocking by the receivers down field.
Here’s something else that’s not a coincidence: The offense suddenly looked a lot better after Tarvaris Jackson was knocked out of the game and we got a signal caller with a semblance of passing accuracy in Brooks Bollinger.
Before he was knocked out, Jackson threw directly to the defensive back who was positioned in front of Sidney Rice on a five yard slant route. How did Jackson not see that Rice was covered? Later, Jackson missed an open Aundrae Allison on a deep route.
During the third Vikings’ series of the second half, after five straight running plays, on first and ten, Bollinger hits Sidney Rice for a forty yard touchdown on a stop and go route.
Those plays have been there all year but neither Jackson nor Kelly Holcomb have been able to hit open receivers. This is how inaccurate our starter and primary backup have been: Tarvaris Jackson has an abysmal 46.4% completion percentage and Holcomb is not much better with 50.6%. Bollinger boasts a 70.8% completion percentage.
Indeed, Bollinger leads the team in every significant statistical category: Yards per Attempt (9), Touchdown Percentage (4.2%), Interceptions (0 verses 5 for Jackson and 1 for Holcomb), sacks (4 versus 5 for Jackson and 12 for Holcomb), and quarterback rating at 112.3. Is it time to stop grooming Jackson and put in the guy who gives us the best chance to win?
Which brings us to today’s game.
Running Against The Packers
The Vikings face the league’s 7th ranked defense today against the Packers but then they faced the same challenge last week against the Chargers’ 7th ranked run defense.
Boasting the league’s best running back coming off a historic performance, it is no secret what the Vikings will do on offense today. Run to daylight.
The difference this week may very well be Brooks Bollinger, who is expected to start behind center. The Pack will stack eight or nine players in the box in order to stop Peterson and the Vikings need to–as they have all year long–take advantage of that defense.
Passing Against The Packers
Bolliger’s accuracy gives the Vikings the best chance to exploit the crowding of the box. Starting free safety Nick Collins is out, so rookie Aaron Rouse will be starting in his stead. Throw in the fact that starting strong safety Atari Bigby (great name!) has been playing miserably lately, we may see some deep passes actually completed today.
And that would help open up the running game, as well.
Defending The Packers
The Packers’ offense is last in the league in rushing and second in the league in passing; the Vikes are second in the league against the run but 31st in the league against the pass, so we know what’s gonna happen.
The best defense for the Vikings must be a good offense. Just keep Brett Farve off the field for as much of the game as possible.
When the Vikings D is on the field, they should ignore the run, especially the play-action because it’s unlikely to be a run anyway. We need to get in Farve’s grill with a strong pass rush to keep him from getting comfortable and we need to jam the receivers to disrupt their short, West Coast routes.
The Vikings defense will need to bring the game they played against the Chargers if the team is going to have a chance to win.
It wouldn’t hurt at all if Darren Sharper picked off his old mate.
This is sad. Former Green Bay Packer tight end and Super Bowl I hero, Max McGee, died yesterday from a fall from his roof at his home in Deephaven, Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports. He was 75 years old.
McGee played 12 years for the Packers as a tight end and punter but he was most famous for his performance in the first Super Bowl. Having caught only four passes during the whole season, McGee figured there was no chance he’d see any action in the Super Bowl, so he spent the night partying.
Before the game, McGee told starter Boyd Dowler, "I hope you don’t get hurt. I’m not in very good shape."
So, of course, Dowler was injured, forcing McGee into the game. McGee responded by reaching back behind himself on a poorly thrown ball by quarterback Bart Starr, hauled it in with one hand, and scampered 37 yards for the first touchdown in Super Bowl history. At the end of the game, McGee had seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Mac McGee Video Highlights
The thing about this season is that the Minnesota Vikings just have to get a little better than last year to win a lot more games. Consider the games the Vikings lost last year:
- In September, the Vikings lost to the Bears, 16-19
- In October, the Vikings lost to the Bills, 17-12
- and to the Patriots, 7-31
- In November, the Vikings lost to the 49ers, 9-3
- to the Packers, 17-23
- and to the Dolphins, 24-20
- In December, the Vikings lost to the Bears again, 23-13
- to the Jets, 13-26
- again to the Packers, 9-7
- and to the Rams, 21-41
The two games against the Packers and Bears each were winnable. The margins of victory for each of those four games were 3 points, 6 points, 10 points, and 2 points. The Vikings lost to the Bills by 5 points; to the 49ers by 6 points; and to the Dolphins by four point.
Instead of 6 and 10, they could have easily been 10 and 6 and division winners.
But the defense, of course, wasn’t the problem last year. The offense was.
We improved on offense significantly with the addition of Adrian Peterson. I am officially a converted fan of Bobby Wade, who has proven very adept at making yards after the catch. Robert Ferguson is a great addition if he can stay healthy. Sidney Rice is a nice big target who has shown he’s got good hands, is not afraid to catch the ball in a crowd, is very athletic and has excellent body control. And if we can get Troy Williamson to catch a few long bombs, we’ll at least have the semblance of a deep threat.
The offensive line returns with one year together playing the zone blocking scheme, so they’ve got to improve simply because they are more familiar with one another and with zone blocking.
The big question is Tarvaris Jackson. He looks very poised and by all accounts is a smart kid, a quick study, and a quick decision maker. The main thing for Jackson is to avoid mistakes, which is to say turnovers, while he learns the ropes.
The most glaring weakness of this team is the coverage units, which are absolutely horrible. I’m not too confident that they’ll improve that much.
Looking at the schedule, I think it’s reasonable to think that the Vikings could go 9-7 or even 10-6 this year. I’m giving the Vikings both games against the Detroit Lions, even with Calvin Johnson. That team has to prove to me they can win, cause they’ve never done it before. I’d split the Chicago Bears series as I would the Green Bay Packers series, though I think the Vikings could sweep them as well.
So that’s eight wins.
The Kansas City Chiefs are beatable with Damon Huard at QB. The Dallas Cowboys are beatable. They’ve got a rookie coach and we don’t yet know whether Tony Romo is the real thing. The San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos look as if they will be good, but they’re sorta at that stage where it’s too early to tell. Even the Eagles could be beatable because you never know if Donovan McNabb will be healthy.
Thee only guaranteed loss is to the San Diego Chargers.
Way to go, FAV-rah.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre has chased away the team’s star wide receiver by criticizing Javon Walker for holding out last season, breaking an unwritten rule among NFL players that you don’t mess with a man’s livelihood. He wants no part of the Packers as a result, ESPN reports.
It looks like Walker is trying to force a trade or his release.
Thanks, Brett: He’d look damn good in Purple!