Leslie Frazier has been a straight shooter in speaking with reporters since taking over as Vikings Interim Head Coach and he was no different after Sunday’s blowout win over the Buffalo Bills, a game that saw starting QB Brett Favre leave on the first series because of injury and backup Tarvaris Jackson come in and lead the offense to 38 points.
“No quarterback controversy; if he’s healthy, he’ll be our starting quarterback against the New York Giants,” Frazier said of Favre during a post-game press conference. “Hopefully that will be the case, but we’ll wait and see what happens. Great job by Tarvaris, I don’t want to take away from anything he did today. He had a great game.”
Favre was injured on the 3rd offensive play of the game. It was 3rd and 5 from the Minnesota 40 and Favre was sprinting to the right on a designed play. He stopped, set his feet to throw and was hit by LB Arthur Moats just as he released the ball, causing the pass to pop up in the air. CB Drayton Florence was in the right place at the right time and came up with INT. Favre was slow to get up and was unable to return because of a shoulder injury.
Jackson entered the game on the Vikings next series and picked up one 1st down, but the offense couldn’t muster anything after that and Chris Kluwe came on to punt. On the next possession, Florence jumped a route and grabbed his 2nd INT, returning this one for a TD to give Buffalo a 7-0 lead. From that point on, though, Jackson settled in and guided the Vikings to a victory, with help from a dominant performance from the Vikings defense and a punishing performance by Adrian Peterson against Buffalo’s defense.
Jackson finished going 15 of 22 for 187 yards and 2 TDs with 3 INTs. It was great to see Jackson complete 68.1% of his passes, find Sidney Rice for 2 TDs and generally guide the offense well. But it wasn’t great to see the 3 INTs and to realize that Jackson had just 17 yards passing in the 2nd half – although the Vikings didn’t call many pass plays in the 2nd half because they had a big lead.
The bottom line is Jackson helped lead the Vikings to a victory, which is what you’re looking for in a backup QB.
“It felt great to get out there and just play,” Jackson said after the game. “Obviously I didn’t want it to be under that circumstance but that’s part of the league and part of the game. We got the win and that’s the most important thing.”
It was encouraging to see Jackson do some things well on Sunday in place of Favre, but Frazier was asked twice and was clear in both answers that Favre is the starter if he’s healthy.
“As I mentioned before, if Brett’s healthy Brett’s our quarterback,” Frazier reiterated. “Tarvaris did a great job; nothing against Tarvaris. We can win with Tarvaris. I know we’ve got two good quarterbacks. Brett’s our starting quarterback. If he’s healthy he’s going to be our starting quarterback next week. But we know that Tarvaris if he steps in he can lead us to success. He’s done it before. We won the NFC North Championship with Tarvaris as our quarterback.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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