The Minnesota Vikings and Brad Childress have turned over to the backup Gus Frerotte. This is due to the lack of production Childress and the Vikings saw from Tavaris Jackson. After starting the season out 0-2, the coach named Frerotte the starter for the rest of the season barring injury.
In the past, Childress has claimed Jackson to be the franchise quarterback for a team built heavily on winning now. The fans, owners, and coaching staff were tired of losing, mostly due to Jackson’s unimpressive performances. In recent games, Jackson and Childress were booed after not converting on third downs and settling for field goals. It is hard to imagine how the quarterback was not able to perform well when Minnesota has the number one rushing attack in the NFL and one of the best offensive line. Defenders would stack eight men in the box and Jackson was still unable to hit open receivers.
The receivers on the other hand, often times could not bail out Jackson by dropping many of the passes that got to them. Injuries to top receivers Sidney Rice and free agent signing Bernard Berrian are not going to help Frerotte when he starts on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Rice is suffering from a sprained PCL and Berrian is hobbled by a sore big toe. The pair of receivers came into this season expected to contribute to a passing attack that ranked fourth to last in the NFL in 2007.
The move by Childress was a necessary move because if he would have stuck with Jackson, there is a good chance he would be out of a job halfway through the season. The quarterback must be able to run the offense and convert on third downs and Jackson was clearly unable to do that. His completion rate of passes over twenty yards was just 11%. He was only able to complete short yardage passes which is why his completion percentage is where it is at. Jackson’s completion percentage was still low even with all his short passes.
So in steps Gus Frerotte, a backup for most of his career, who has a career quarterback rating of 74.3. Frerotte has played for seven different teams including Minnesota twice. He is in no way a godsend to the Vikings, but as long as he keeps opposing defenses honest. It should help out the great rushing attack of second year back Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor.
Vikings fans can only cross their fingers and hope Frerotte can step in and help Minnesota keep the chains moving and get the ball into the end zone. If he can prevent defenses from stacking guys in the box, Adrian Peterson will improve on his numbers last year and push the Vikes into playoff contention. Winning the division and reaching the playoffs have been put on the back of their new quarterback Gus Frerotte, and the fans, coaches, players, and owners can only hope there is still gas in the tank of the 37 year old.