Yotter: Inaccuracy a chance for QB change

Leslie Frazier is hesitant to make a quarterback change, but he didn't completely slam the door shut on the possibility. Maybe a look at the film from Sunday's game and the previous games, as well as a look at the overall picture, will change his mind.

Donovan McNabb and the Vikings offense struggled with consistency once again Sunday, but a dispirited Leslie Frazier said he doesn't think the team is in a position to make a quarterback switch yet.

"We're not in a situation – I don't think – where we have to make a quarterback change," Frazier said. "We'll go back and look at this tape, look at every position, and try to see what we can do to help that position play better than what we played today."

The key, however, might be the hesitation – Frazier stopping himself to say he didn't "think" the Vikings needed a change just yet. A look at the tape and reflection on a 0-4 start might change his line of thinking, despite his hesitancy to move away from his veteran starter (Brett Favre) last year despite the Vikings being eliminated from the playoffs.

On Sunday, McNabb had a decent first half, at least as far as the statistics would indicate, connecting on 9 of 12 passes for 125 yards, one interception and a touchdown for a 101 passer rating. However, the second-half woes of the team affected him once again. His second-half line was worse – 9 of 18 passing for 77 yards and a touchdown.

"We've got re-evaluate everything. We've been in some situations where if we make a play here the game could go the other way. We just haven't been able to make that play," Frazier said. "So we've got to go back and re-evaluate what is it that's keeping us from making that fourth-quarter play or that third-quarter play that could turn a game in our favor."

Certainly, it's not all McNabb's fault. Star running back Adrian Peterson's statistics fell off a bit in the second half as well. After carrying the ball 11 times for 44 yards in the first half, he rushed 12 times for 36 yards in the second half. He and McNabb also missed on a handoff exchange in which there appeared to be some confusion on which way the run should go. Peterson promptly fell on the ball to avoid a turnover.

While McNabb hasn't had a multi-interception game in his four starts with the Vikings, his inaccuracy has been an issue. On the Vikings' first series of the second half, he threw behind Percy Harvin on third-and-four on a short crossing route that shouldn't have been a difficult pass to complete to force a field goal instead of extending the drive inside the 10-yard line.

On the next series, he overthrew Bernard Berrian with a pass that sailed out of bounds and threw high for Devin Aromashodu on the next play, forcing a three-and-out punt.

During McNabb's next set of downs, he avoided traffic, scrambled to his left and could have run for a first down. Instead, as he approached the line of scrimmage he decided to throw downfield for Berrian again when there was little separation between defensive receiver and defender. The result? Another three-and-out series.

McNabb rebounded to drive the Vikings 70 yards capped with a 1-yard touchdown toss. While the drive was slanted toward the running game, McNabb hit Berrian on fourth-and-14 for 20 yards.

He wouldn't be as successful in the Vikings' final series as they attempted to drive for a go-ahead touchdown. With less than two minutes to go and the Vikings in Kansas City territory after a 23-yard end-around to Percy Harvin, McNabb's first two passes on a fresh set of downs were batted down at the line of scrimmage. A third-down pressure by Tamba Hali forced him to unload an incompletion, and a fourth-down try for Visanthe Shiancoe was out of the tight end's reach and wouldn't have counted anyway because Phil Loadholt was flagged for holding.

"We were able to get something going and we got to third-and-10 and just couldn't convert. We had a little momentum going. The defense did a good job of getting a three-and-out and getting us the ball back and it looked like we were primed to get something going. They made some good plays with the deflection and good coverage on that fourth-and-10."

After posting passer ratings in excess of 100 in his other two career games against Kansas City, McNabb finished with an 88.5 rating while completing 60 percent of his passes.

The Vikings had 6,500 tickets left to sell in the middle of last week for their third home game. They are also in the middle of a stadium push that has been a frustrating battle for ownership and executives. And now the team is 0-4 with a veteran quarterback that was signed for only one year and a first-round rookie, Christian Ponder, waiting in the wings.

Does that add up to Frazier re-evaluating his post-game stance on the quarterback position?

"When you're 0-4, you don't want to stay status quo. You've got to look at what we're doing, how we're doing," Frazier said. "It's not that you have to make changes, but just take a look at what you're doing and see what can we do better than what we're doing to avoid not winning next week at home."

It's debatable if Ponder will perform any better with an offense that has other flaws, but at 0-4, the fans are looking for a reason to watch, and "status quo" isn't so inviting.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Donovan McNabb and the Vikings offense struggled with consistency once again Sunday, but a dispirited Leslie Frazier said he doesn't think the team is in a position to make a quarterback switch yet. \"We're not in a situation – I don't think – where we have to make a quarterback change,\" Frazier said. \"We'll go back and look at this tape, look at every position, and try to see what we can do to help that position play better than what we played today.\" The key, however, might be the hesitation – Frazier stopping himself to say he didn't \"think\" the Vikings needed a change just yet. A look at the tape and reflection on a 0-4 start might change his line of thinking, despite his hesitancy to move away from his veteran starter (Brett Favre) last year despite the Vikings being eliminated from the playoffs. On Sunday, McNabb had a decent first half, at least as far as the statistics would indicate, connecting on 9 of 12 passes for 125 yards, one interception and a touchdown for a 101 passer rating. However, the second-half woes of the team affected him once again. His second-half line was worse – 9 of 18 passing for 77 yards and a touchdown. \"We've got re-evaluate everything. We've been in some situations where if we make a play here the game could go the other way. We just haven't been able to make that play,\" Frazier said. \"So we've got to go back and re-evaluate what is it that's keeping us from making that fourth-quarter play or that third-quarter play that could turn a game in our favor.\" Certainly, it's not all McNabb's fault. Star running back Adrian Peterson's statistics fell off a bit in the second half as well. After carrying the ball 11 times for 44 yards in the first half, he rushed 12 times for 36 yards in the second half. He and McNabb also missed on a handoff exchange in which there appeared to be some confusion on which way the run should go. Peterson promptly fell on the ball to avoid a turnover. While McNabb hasn't had a multi-interception game in his four starts with the Vikings, his inaccuracy has been an issue. On the Vikings' first series of the second half, he threw behind Percy Harvin on third-and-four on a short crossing route that shouldn't have been a difficult pass to complete to force a field goal instead of extending the drive inside the 10-yard line. On the next series, he overthrew Bernard Berrian with a pass that sailed out of bounds and threw high for Devin Aromashodu on the next play, forcing a three-and-out punt. During McNabb's next set of downs, he avoided traffic, scrambled to his left and could have run for a first down. Instead, as he approached the line of scrimmage he decided to throw downfield for Berrian again when there was little separation between defensive receiver and defender. The result? Another three-and-out series. McNabb rebounded to drive the Vikings 70 yards capped with a 1-yard touchdown toss. While the drive was slanted toward the running game, McNabb hit Berrian on fourth-and-14 for 20 yards. He wouldn't be as successful in the Vikings' final series as they attempted to drive for a go-ahead touchdown. With less than two minutes to go and the Vikings in Kansas City territory after a 23-yard end-around to Percy Harvin, McNabb's first two passes on a fresh set of downs were batted down at the line of scrimmage. A third-down pressure by Tamba Hali forced him to unload an incompletion, and a fourth-down try for Visanthe Shiancoe was out of the tight end's reach and wouldn't have counted anyway because Phil Loadholt was flagged for holding. \"We were able to get something going and we got to third-and-10 and just couldn't convert. We had a little momentum going. The defense did a good job of getting a three-and-out and getting us the ball back and it looked like we were primed to get something going. They made some good plays with the deflection and good coverage on that fourth-and-10.\" After posting passer ratings in excess of 100 in his other two career games against Kansas City, McNabb finished with an 88.5 rating while completing 60 percent of his passes. The Vikings had 6,500 tickets left to sell in the middle of last week for their third home game. They are also in the middle of a stadium push that has been a frustrating battle for ownership and executives. And now the team is 0-4 with a veteran quarterback that was signed for only one year and a first-round rookie, Christian Ponder, waiting in the wings. Does that add up to Frazier re-evaluating his post-game stance on the quarterback position? \"When you're 0-4, you don't want to stay status quo. You've got to look at what we're doing, how we're doing,\" Frazier said. \"It's not that you have to make changes, but just take a look at what you're doing and see what can we do better than what we're doing to avoid not winning next week at home.\" It's debatable if Ponder will perform any better with an offense that has other flaws, but at 0-4, the fans are looking for a reason to watch, and \"status quo\" isn't so inviting. 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