Monday, November 13, 2006

Two Adjustments

Take a look at the following two ineffective quarterbacks’ stats and try and guess which one is starting on Sunday, and which is being replaced for the quarterback of the future:


162 260 62.3 1789 74 8 4 86.5
(16 total offensive TDs)

181 288 62.8 1877 46 5 9 74.4
(8 total offensive TDs)

These types of comparisons are sort of clichĂ©d and all, and I’m sure you’ve guessed that the quarterback running the better offense, with the higher passer rating, more touchdowns, fewer interceptions, and that set the record for consecutive completions and led his team to the playoffs last year, is the one taking the seat. Mark Brunell, of the awful 3-6 Redskins is being replaced by Jason Campbell, while Brad Johnson, of the 4-5 Vikings will be captaining the impotent Vikings’ offense once again. When the Redskins have a lower draft pick than the Vikings, you’ll know why. Say it with me now, "Viva la Tarvaris Revolucion!"

Brad Johnson is not, in and of himself, the sole reason the Vikings are playing so poorly (there are many). On the other side of the ball, Mike Tomlin needs to make adjustments to his rushing scheme. Brett Farve is the most turnover prone quarterback in history, and yet, the Vikings did not get a single interception on Sunday. The reason is pretty obvious—the lack of pressure (not putting Winfield on Driver every play didn’t help either). The Vikings failed to sack Farve once on Sunday, and were rarely ever in his face. It’s a lot easier for Farve to avoid making bad decisions if he has enough time to consider his options, do something enthusiastic, check his reads again, display some more of his endless love for football, go through his progressions one final time and then throw the ball. I don’t care if Champ Bailey, Paul Krause, Ronnie Lott and Jesus Christ himself are covering guys—when the secondary has to cover for that long, receivers are going to get open (not that the secondary did all that great a job of covering receivers). The Vikings were doing a decent job of getting to the quarterback up until the Monday night game against the Patriots. Bill Belicheck figured out how to protect Brady and it appears that the league has caught on. Tomlin needs to make adjustments to his blitz and rush package so that someone gets to Joey Harrington, otherwise the Vikings really can write this season off (I’ll explain why I’m still holding out hope tomorrow).

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