Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Look At the Offense--A Bit of Quarterbacking Hope

And now it’s time to get into the really ugly parts of the Vikings’ offense: the quarterbacks, tight ends and wide receivers, starting with the ugliest, the quarterbacks. The Vikings’ quarterback trio of Brad Johnson, Brooks Bollinger and Tarvaris Jackson produced a pathetic 5.36 passing yard per attempt, good for 26th in the league. Brad Johnson, the Black Hole of Suck, was, of course, a large part of that, turning in the worst season of his career, completing 61.5% of his passes for 2750 yards, 9 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He finished with a QB rating of 72.0, and was probably the worst quarterback in the NFL to get 400+ attempts. Vikings’ fans should be thankful that he won’t be back, as he’s well into a dramatic decline phase that will likely lead to his accepting a backup role somewhere else. Or, if the Vikings are really lucky, the Lions will sign him to replace Jon Kitna as their starter.

Sadly, the Tarvaris Revolution wasn’t any more successful. His passer rating was an awful 62.5, while his DPAR of -11.9 and DVOA of -44.8% were among the worst by any quarterback this year. Then again, that’s usually what happens when a quarterback project gets playing time his first year, especially considering he was making the jump from 1-AA. Thankfully, The Revolution’s play on the field showed that he has potential. Yes, he had some awful interceptions, but he also made some amazing throws, including a beautiful (and effortless) deep ball that Troy Williamson dropped, and a pass to Mewelde Moore as Jets defenders dragged him down that Moore turned into a touchdown (demonstrating my point). He also showed off his speed and mobility (especially in the Red Zone) and a willingness to throw the ball away when called for. As he becomes more comfortable with the speed of the NFL, the stupid mistakes should decrease, leaving only the solid decision making and big play ability.

Quarterback

DPAR (Season 1)

DVOA (Season 1)

DPAR (Season 2)

DVOA (Season 2)

T. Jackson

-11.9

-44.8%

N/A

N/A

E. Manning

-13.3

-28.4%

36.9

41.2%

C. Simms

-7.6

-33.1%

27.5

6.2%

C. Frye

-9.3

-25.0%

-17.5

-22.5%

J. Losman

-31.3

-24.5%

21.2

-2.8%

A. Smith

-66.5

-97.8%

1.5

-12.5%

P. Rivers

-5.2

-60.1%

85.1

21.3%

As I said before, Tarvaris’ ugly stats do not mean that he won’t improve. Since 2003, there have been six quarterbacks who had 250 passing attempts in their first season of playing and then became the starting quarterback the following season. Only Charlie Frye failed to improve upon his first season's performance. While this table is not predictive, it does show that Tarvaris’ stats from this year should be taken with a grain of salt. Assuming the Star Tribune wasn’t lying about Tarvaris’ work ethic, I would bet he’s more likely to become the sixth quarterback in the last four seasons to make a huge improvement in his performance during his second season.

1 comment:

cheswick said...

Tbird - you ever what would have happened this season had the vikes signed jeff garcia? It seems chidress picked the wrong ex-eagles QB to sign as a backup (Feely=crap). Course, whoever was QB still would have had to throw to crap receivers. But still...