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Showing T-Jack Some Love

The Packers won both of their games against Minnesota in 2006 and if they want to have any chance at the playoffs in 2007, then they will need to win both games against Minnesota again in 2007. There are a number of factors why Minnesota could be improved in 2007, but it all comes down to QB Tarvaris Jackson. Their defense isn't dominate, especially their pass defense and pass rush, and it can't carry them. They will be able to run the ball, but Jackson will have to improve a dismal 2006 pass offense or else their one dimensional offense will find itself bottled up.

Len Pasquarelli wrote an article about Jackson which discusses his work ethic, his "good, live arm", and his status as the number 1 QB entering the season. Gonzo at Daily Norseman thought the article was complementary and is excited about Jackson as the starter in 2007.

There are a few reasons not to be jumping on the T-Jack bandwagon. First is the Football Outsiders college quarterback projection system (shame on Gil Brandt). In a nutshell, David Lewin's research says the two main indicators that a college quarterback will be a successful NFL quarterback is the number of games started and his completion percentage. Although Jackson started 36 games at Alabama State, he only completed 55% of his passes during his college career. However QB Donovan McNabb  only had a 58% completion percentage in college and he has become a pretty decent NFL QB.

Another problem for Jackson are his lackluster offensive teammates. Their offensive line was average according to Football Outsiders last season, they didn't impress in either game versus the Packers in 2006, and nothing was done to improve them during either the draft or in free agency. Free agent TE Visanthe Shiancoe might be a hell of a blocking tight end, but it seems unlikely that he will single handedly improve their average offensive line. However they did a hell of a job adding some talented rookies in their draft class, the only negative comments at this point are that RB Adrian Peterson still isn't healthy and WRs Sidney Rice and Aundrae Allison are very talented, but very raw football players, who probably won't be able to contribute until 2008. WR Travis Taylor hasn't had a very successful NFL career, but losing him to Oakland is a little surprising since he probably had the best season of his career in 2006. Free agent WR Bobby Wade played well in Tennessee during 2006, but his career prior to last season was a train wreck. This might be a potent offensive team in a couple of seasons, but it looks very young, inexperienced, and likely to struggle in 2007.

It would be very surprising if Jackson and his offense plays well in 2007, this offense won't really be ready until 2008 at the earliest. But Packer fans should forget about how awful he looked in his first NFL start in Green Bay because Jackson does have some promise and he could be a quality NFL quarterback.