Tarvaris Jackson could be starting his first game since 2008, but he says he's improved and has confidence. He explains why.
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson
hasn't started a game for the Vikings since the 2008 season but that might be about to change.
suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle and an "avulsion" fracture in his left heel bone in the Vikings' 28-24 loss to the Packers on Sunday night. It remains to be seen if he will be able to continue an NFL-record starting streak that is at 291 consecutive games.
Jackson said his confidence is high at this point and he feels ready to step in Sunday at New England if necessary.
"This is the best I've ever felt," Jackson said. "Hopefully it will translate to the field, but this is the best I've ever felt since I've been in the league."
Jackson has started 20 games in his five-year career and posted a 10-10 record, including a playoff loss to Philadelphia in 2008.
Jackson began that season as the Vikings starter but was benched after losses in the first two games. He returned as the starter late in the season after veteran Gus Frerotte was injured.
Last season, Jackson played in eight games in relief of Favre and attempted only 21 passes. But he feels the experience of watching the future Hall of Famer has helped.
"I feel like I have more control of the football, know where to go with the football," Jackson said. "Obviously I'm not Brett and a lot of the stuff he sees I probably can't see. But I'm a different player, as in I feel like I can move around a little more at times and good things can come my way.
"I know I'm not going to be able to operate the same way he does, but I feel like I've learned a lot from him. I'm not going to go out there and try to be him, but watching him will help me play a lot better."
Jackson, though, needs to show at some point that's truly the case. He has expressed confidence before and then gone out and struggled to find receivers against the blitz.
He most recently heard boos in the Vikings' last preseason game against Denver at the Metrodome. Jackson, though, said his teammates believe in him and that's all that matters.
"I feel like I have the confidence of these guys," he said. "Obviously, I've started here before. It wasn't the best, but we won some football games when I started, and I'm very confident we can go out there and still win games."
QB Brett Favre had an especially rough day in his second return to Lambeau Field as a visitor. After beating the Packers twice last season, Favre threw three second-half interceptions, was called out by his coach for the miscues and ended up suffering a stress fracture in his left ankle and another fracture in his left heel bone. Favre has 10 interceptions in six games this season, or three more than he had all of last year.
RB Adrian Peterson continues to have an excellent season after rushing for 131 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown against the Packers on Sunday. Peterson is second in the NFL in rushing with 684 yards and hasn't been charged with a fumble this season after having an issue with maintaining possession in recent years.
RB Toby Gerhart had a career-high five carries for 24 yards against the Packers and even saw time in the two-minute drill. He also caught one pass for six yards. It appears the Vikings might be beginning to put more faith in the second-round pick out of Stanford.
RB Albert Young was inactive for the fourth time in six games and it's unclear if he will have a role if Peterson and Gerhart remain healthy. The Vikings liked Young because of his pass protection abilities but a missed blitz pickup two weeks ago against Dallas did not help his cause.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe had three receptions for 30 yards on Sunday after catching only three passes in his previous three games. Shiancoe should have had a fourth catch against the Packers but what appeared to be a touchdown was overturned when it was ruled the ground helped him hold onto the football. The NFL later told the Vikings the catch shouldn't have been overturned.
WR Randy Moss had three receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown against the Packers. He now has 12 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns in three games for the Vikings. What's surprising is that Moss' longest play was a 37-yard touchdown catch against the Jets in his first game with the Vikings. Moss was acquired to be a big-play guy and so far that hasn't happened.
WR Bernard Berrian had only one catch against the Packers but it did go for a season-high 30 yards, or 10 yards longer than any other catch Berrian has made this season. Berrian has only seven receptions, not exactly the production the Vikings were hoping for when they signed him to a six-year, $42 million free-agent contract in 2008.
WR Percy Harvin continues to be a playmaker as a wide receiver, running back and on kickoff returns. He caught five passes for 65 yards against the Packers, rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown on three carries and averaged 27 yards on three kickoff returns. When Harvin is healthy he's among the most dangerous players in the NFL.
CB Chris Cook returned from a knee injury against the Packers but was benched after struggling at left corner in the nickel package. Cook did not appear ready to be back and eventually was replaced by veteran Frank Walker.
C John Sullivan returned against the Packers after missing two games because of a left calf injury suffered in Week 3 against Detroit. Sullivan appeared to grade out well against Green Bay.
LB Chad Greenway had a team-high 12 tackles, including three tackles for losses, and one forced fumble. Greenway has been the Vikings' best linebacker this season.