Doomed Vikings didn't need to sell out
August 25, 2010 - Per Peterson
This is the beginning of the end for the Minnesota Vikings — both for this year and their future. Write it down, folks, the Vikings are done, destined for a six-win season and a sojourn to California once their Metrodome lease expires.
The Vikings have mishandled many things in their storied tradition, but this summer has been as bad as it’s ever been. We’re not talking Denny Green taking a knee-type mishandling. We’re talking a complete top-to-bottom breakdown, the size of which makes 12 men in the huddle look like an innocent mistake.
First, Sidney Rice, the team’s best receiver, should’ve had hip surgery four months ago. Instead, he might miss up to six regular-season games this year. This leaves Bernard Hamstring Berrian, Greg One-Catch Wonder Lewis, Percy The Headache Harvin and Javon What Kind Of Trouble Can I Get Into Today Walker as Brett Favre/Tavaris Jackson/Safe Rosenfels/Joe Webb’s main targets.
Why list all these quarterbacks? Because Favre won’t finish the year. Might not even finish the first game.
He’s 40. He looks 50.
The Vikings didn’t need to sell out to get Favre this year. They embarrassed themselves in their successful, yet grossly-desperate attempt to lure him back for one more season. For what? Does the team actually believe he can duplicate last year’s success? They can’t really think that, can they?
Favre did wonders for his receivers last season, turning Rice into a Pro Bowler and making Harvin look like anything but a rookie. But many of his great passes came from outside of the pocket (see Greg Lewis vs. 49ers). This year, his 20th in the NFL, Favre’s pocket might as well be the edge of a cliff, because if he tries to hobble out of it, he’s going down.
Last year, Favre was coming off shoulder surgery. Shoulders don’t stop a quarterback from scrambling. This year, he’s coming off ankle surgery. He might as well hop around on one leg. He'll give new meaning to the phrase "limping to the finish line" this season. When it comes down to Favre vs. the slowest, fattest, clumsiest defensive lineman in the league, my money’s on the lineman.
The Vikings should’ve given the keys to Jackson once and for all this year. Jackson’s got the arm, and, more importantly, the mobility. He’s two-dimensional, and while he might lack the wisdom and experience Favre has, he brings more to the table, more for defenses to worry about. When Favre drops back to pass, there’s a 100 percent chance that ball’s coming out. When Jackson drops back, defenses need to respect his running.
I know just about every Vikings fan celebrated when the news broke that Favre would come back and will disagree with just about everything in this blog, but, well, you’re wrong. Jackson, I believe, has earned the starting job. And, if I have any idea what I’m talking about, he’ll get it back in about a month after Favre goes down in a heap once and for all.
I hope I’m dead wrong. I hope Favre does toss another 30 TDs and has a 100-plus passer rating and leads the team the way he did last season. I hope he has a grimace-free season. If he can do it on one foot, more power to him. But don’t be surprised if you see plenty of shots of Favre on the sidelines this year … when the Vikings have the ball.