Turning point: Jackson is perfect

Tarvaris Jackson has been the subject of a lot of rumors that he is heading out of Minnesota, whether by trade or release. He made a strong case why the team should keep him Friday with a big performance that, by NFL passer rating numbers, was perfect.

There are times when an individual effort creates a shift in tempo and pace of a game. But when that player is someone who is being rumored to be heading elsewhere in the next few days or weeks, it's even more pronounced – as beleaguered quarterback Tarvaris Jackson put together a pair of drives that created the turning point of the game.

With the Vikings trailing 7-0 in the first quarter and starter Brett Favre's evening done after two uninspired drives, Jackson took the field to a resounding chorus of boos that eventually was drown out by a more supportive contingent. He did little to change the negatives in his first drive, having a 43-yard pass to Jaymar Johnson nullified because he was a full three yards past the line of a scrimmage when he let go of the pass. But that would change as Jackson stayed in the game.

Told he would play the second and third quarters, he didn't have the look of a man being shopped to other teams. If so, he gave other teams a lot to look at in one of the most impressive drives of the preseason.

Pinned on his own 8-yard line following a block in the back on the kickoff after the Vikings had fallen behind 10-0 with 11:02 to play, Jackson went to work. After Adrian Peterson picked up a first down with runs of 9 and 6 yards, Jackson got the sticks moving with a 6-yard pass to Sidney Rice. After three more Peterson runs, Jackson completed a 5-yard pass to Rice and, faced with a third-and-2 from the Chiefs 47, he zipped a pass to Bobby Wade for 15 yards and a first down.

Two plays later, Jackson was faced with another third down, this time a third-and-9. Jackson sold a deep pass and flipped a screen to Chester Taylor, who rumbled 16 yards for a first down. One play later, Jackson was flushed from the pocket, read the defense well and connected with a wide open Shiancoe for a 13-yard touchdown, cutting the Chiefs lead to 10-7.

Following an excruciatingly long Chiefs drive in the third quarter, Jackson took the field late in the third quarter for what he knew would be his final drive of the game with the Vikings trailing 13-7. After opening the drive from his own 20 with a 14-yard pass to Jake Nordin, penalties backed the Vikings into a second-and-15 situation. Jackson showed patience in waiting for wide receiver Nick Moore to clear for a 7-yard gain. Still needing 8 yards for a first down, Jackson sidestepped a pass rush and saw Darius Reynaud running uncovered behind the defense and connected on a 64-yard touchdown.

When all was said and done, Jackson had completed 12 of 15 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns, giving him a perfect passer rating of 158.3 for the game.

For a player who has his future with the Vikings in severe doubt, Jackson came out and played the way that the coaches have been looking for over the last three seasons and, in the process, may have created more than just a turning point in a game, but perhaps a turning point at a potential crossroads in his career.


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