The New and Improved Tarvaris Jackson

Nate BeardCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2008

The Minnesota Vikings took time on Sunday to do their best New York Mets impression, as they choked away an opportunity to clinch the NFC North and advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

Although they quite literally "fumbled" away a victory against a clearly inferior Atlanta team, I found myself in a better mood than what one may have expected after such a game.

The reason for this came from the superior play of Tarvaris Jackson.

He marched the offense almost effortlessly down the field against Atlanta, and used his legs to extend plays and pick up key first downs. He was smart in throwing passes away that were too risky, and was very accurate while the Vikings offense was still able to remain balanced in the first half.

In fact, he carried a nearly perfect QB rating into halftime.

You would think with this kind of production that Viking fans would be excited about T-Jack, but I continue to hear constant criticism from people I talk to. With this in mind, let me make a quick statement that sums up how I feel at this point in time:

I'm sick of listening to T-Jack haters.

I understand that he played poorly in his first two starts this year, but when are people going to give credit to the kid for what he's accomplishing now? Just look at the numbers he's put up over the past 10 quarters:


Stats over Past Three Games:

QB Rating: ----- 125.9

Touchdowns: --- 7

Interceptions: -- 0


Now before people start saying things like, "What about the three fumbles last game," I want to point out that only one was directly the fault of Jackson, and the majority of ball control issues laid with Peterson, who lost the ball twice.

On top of this, does anybody actually think we should be starting Gus Frerotte at this point? Frerotte has thrown 15 interceptions (tied for third most in the league), and this is despite the fact that he's started only 11 games!

With a quarterback rating of 73.7 that is ranked 28th in the NFL, I think that it's safe to assume we have a better chance of winning with Jackson leading the team.

The bottom line is that the Vikings finally have a quarterback playing great football and they need to display their relevance this coming week against the Giants.

Tom Coughlin has proved that he will play at least the majority of starters in the final week of the season, and Green Bay's loss to Chicago on Monday night means that Minnesota will have to play their way into this years playoff picture.

I personally expect another great game from Jackson in Week 17. As long as he continues to display the ability to make good decisions in the pocket and provide support for our No. 3 ranked running attack, then I believe the Vikings have a legitimate shot at playing January football.