What have you done for me lately? That is the question that every NFL player must answer every week.
Let's talk statistics. Tarvaris Jackson has mostly played without anywhere near the offensive weapons that the 2010 Vikings team has. He hasn't had great stats so far as he matures. Jackson's career stats: 58.7% completion percentage, 6.7 yards per attempt, 21 TD, 18 INT, 77.9 passer rating. Not terrible by any means for a young quarterback learning the game. Not setting the world on fire, but that is still ranging from "OK to slightly above average for a young quarterback."
Brett Favre's stats this year, with all the talent that is around him: 58.1% completion percentage, 6.7 yards per attempt, 7 TD, 10 INT, 68.0 passer rating. These 2010 numbers are similar to Jackson's early career numbers, except Favre has turned the ball over more.Arguments for starting Jackson
Increased mobility in and out of the pocket.
Goes along with the offense as coached, and as play calls suggest. Has the ability to change play calls at the line of scrimmage, and audible.
Team needs a breath of fresh air at quarterback
Favre needs a break for a few weeks to rest his body and mind.
We don't need the quarterback to be the hero for all 60 minutes. We just need a competent player who will play within the offense, guard possession of the ball like Scrooge guards his bank account, and give his teammates a chance to do something with the ball. That is something Tarvaris Jackson can do well, and that is only assuming he has been merely treading water since 2008. Some, like me, believe that he has improved since then. The point is our quarterback is partly there for the big play, but mostly there to manage the game.
Arguments for starting Favre
He is crazy like a fox.
He has more experience reading defenses.
He gives his receivers a chance to make a play, even when they're not necessarily open.
Arguments that shouldn't matter
This would be Favre's 292nd straight game that he has started. Giving him an extra start that he hasn't earned isn't right.
He's a legend.
Last year he was amazing.
He makes over $1 million per week. That money, for this year, is guaranteed. That money is already as good as spent, no matter what. The next step is to find the best option we have for quarterback right now, and not "get our money's worth." The Wilfs' investment in the Vikings this year is best seen as a collective whole. The best way to protect the investment is to put the players on the field who give this team the best chance to win.
Sorry, Brett. It just has to be this way. The primary issue is Brett Favre's health. The other primary issue is that he does not listen to the coaches. If he wants to be a hero this week, have him cheer from the sidelines as that would be best for the team. The bottom line is this. Defenses haven't been afraid of Brett Favre this season. It's time for a change.
Start Jackson. Make Favre the #2 quarterback, and keep him there until he is healthy again, and willing to play the offense as he is supposed to.
Go Vikings! Go get that victory in New England!