McNabb ranked 33rd in the league with 39 passing yards. What made it so ugly was that it came in a record-setting weekend for other quarterbacks in the league, from Tom Brady's 517 yards on down.
Starting with the shootout between Aaron Rodgers (312 passing yards) and Drew Brees (419 yards) in the season opener on Thursday to Brady's mammoth performance Monday night, passing was the order of the day everywhere except Minnesota.
The closest quarterback to McNabb in terms of lack of passing yards was rookie Andy Dalton, who had just 81 yards. But Dalton was injured and replaced by Bruce Gradkowski, who had 92 yards passing, including a 41-yard touchdown to rookie A.J. Green that surpassed McNabb's passing total with one play. Unfortunately for McNabb and the Vikings, Gradkowski was from alone in passing McNabb with one pass.
The NFL keeps stats on passes of 20 or more yards and passes of 40 or more yards. In Week 1, a total of 11 quarterbacks had individual completions of more yards than McNabb had all day against San Diego, and six of those quarterbacks had two completions of 40-plus yards. It's not pretty … and it gets worse.
A record of sorts was set, as there were five games that included both quarterbacks throwing for 300 or more yards (Green Bay-New Orleans, Detroit-Tampa Bay, Atlanta-Chicago, Dallas-Jets and New England-Miami). In all, 14 of the 32 starting QBs threw for 300 yards or more, 18 threw for 250 or more and 22 threw for 200 or more.
McNabb's QB rating of 47.9 was also the worst in the NFL in Week 1. The next worst was Ben Roethlisberger, who, despite throwing three interceptions in a beatdown from the Ravens, still managed to get a passer rating of 52.9.
There have been bad games that have been put in by Vikings quarterbacks over the years, but perhaps because it came in Week 1 when it's more noticeable in the season stats, it was so pronounced. For the optimists out there, there is nowhere to go but up.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.