Look ahead for Frerotte mid-game
...should Jackson stumble on
Well fans, it seems that teams develop personalities, which tend to survive changes of personnel and the passage of one year into the next. The Purple has been, in the Childress years, a team that will manufacture a way to lose, even if victory could be secured merely by falling down.
Sunday, I had a weird sense of watching the tape of some previous debacle, and when I looked back into last yearís columns, there was the Chiefs game. The Vikes had victory in their grasp, only to lose in the last minutes through a defensive meltdown, a consequence of a collapse in morale after the offense repeatedly failed to convert a juggernaut ground game into touchdowns, settling like they did Sunday for three-pointers.
Tarvaris Jackson is the convenient target of blame for the lack of offense, but play-calling and game-planning seem just as predictable and stodgy as they were last year. When you have an opponent that canít stop the run, despite committing everyone but the water boy to the line of scrimmage, there has to be something that can be done to take advantage of the situation that doesnít require a long difficult throw downfield, and isnít so predictable that the TV guys and most of the audience know whatís coming. Childress and Bevell are not running a kick-*ss, but a stupid-*ss offense. It is a crude, stone-age thing, all club, no knife.
Now we must face up to the galling reality that it is Aaron Rodgers who is panning out for the Cheeseheads, while the dud verdict seems about to come in on Tarvaris Jackson Ė and with it, by the way, a devastating vote of no-confidence in our head coach, who dislocated his shoulder in reaching for Jackson in the draft, asserting loudly that he, Brad Childress, would be the Svengali to turn Jackson into a world-beater.
Is there a bright coin of hope to be unearthed in a season already mounting up to a ghastly heap of rubbish and rags? (I always grope for one, if only to preserve readership for this space.) Well, there is the defense, which seems measurably improved. The pass rush was noticeably stepped-up last Sunday, albeit against an offensive line of scruffy conscripts. Peyton Manning worked his magic against the Purple, completing passes on a dime under great pressure, with little time to throw. The Vikes intercepted him twice. If the brain trust had been able to scrape up any kind of effective passing game, the Colts would have been gone to the knackers well before half-time.
And the way Childress now talks, it sounds as if Gus Frerotte might trot out on the field to begin the second half next week vs. Carolina, (0-2 by-the-by) should Tarvaris continue to stumble.