Tag:Aaron Rodgers
Posted on: September 28, 2009 1:41 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2009 6:33 pm


The Viking Ship - Week 4: Hey Packers, Remember this guy?

By: Christopher Torola

If you're a Viking, Packer, or just plain good football fan this game has been circled on your calender since #4 put on that purple jersey. Before we look at the match up, it is probably a good idea to remind those in Green Bay why they miss Favre. Two weeks ago the Packers were marching down the field in the last seconds of a game against the Bengals. They had no time outs but Aaron Rodgers was leading the way, moving the team down field for that final shot at the end zone. They came up short. Now jump forward to yesterday, week 3, the Vikings against the 49ers. In a game that San Francisco had been able to hold Adrian Peterson in check, or at least as much is possible with Adrian Peterson. The Vikings have 89 seconds, no time outs, and 80 yards to score. Brett Favre and team masterfully work their way up the field, taking what the defense is giving them. With 12 seconds left on the clock Favre scampered to the right and threaded the needle to the Greg Lewis, who made a leaping grab in the back of the end zone, dragging his back leg for the score and the win. Lewis is 5th on the Vikings' wide receiver depth chart and was only in the game because of an injury to the punt returner Darius Reynaud.

By now we have all seen the "We'll never forget you Brent" T-shirts. Yes I know that says Brent, thats the joke. Its funny to me when I hear those who referred to Favre as "the best quarterback ever" talk about how washed up he is. Admittedly, it's also fun to hear all those Vikings fans starting to fall in love with him after a lifetime of distain. At least I can stand by what I always said when he wore the Green and Mustard, "I can't stand him, but I would love him if he played for my team."

This Monday night we get to see for the first time, Favre taking on his old team. This will be an interesting game with plenty to watch. 

- Brett Favre against the Packer's poor pass defense. There is currently only 5 teams in the NFL that have allowed more passing touchdowns than the Packers. You have to imagine that they will be salivating to get picks on their old QB. If this causes the corners and safeties to try jump some routes, it could lead to big plays, and Favre proved last week that he can still throw the long ball.

- The Metrodome vs Green Bay QBs. Favre had some of his worst games at the Metrodome early in his career. Aaron Rodgers' first game at the dome didn't go so well either. He was 15-26 and only 142 yards and no touchdowns. The game was still close thanks to 3 Green Bay picks, one for a score, and a Packer's punt return for a score. That being said, Aaron Rodgers is starting to blossom into one of the elite QBs in the NFL. Look for a possible big game out of Rodgers in what could possibly turn into a high scoring affair.

- Adrian Peterson vs the Pack. His first game against the Packers he was hurt and ended up missing time. His last game he went for 225 total yards including the game winning touchdown. Peterson has been somewhat kept in check the last two games. This year the Packers have given up only one score on the ground, but are near the bottom third in the league when it comes to rushing yards allowed. Look for another big game from Peterson, as the Packers may focus too heavily on Favre.

- The continued maturation of Percy Harvin. After his 101 yard kick off return for a score, Harvin is the first Viking to score a touchdown in his first 3 NFL games. Yes, that is something that Randy Moss did not do in his record setting rookie year for the Vikings. Brett Favre was quoted as saying, "It's pretty electric when he gets it. You just need to find a way to get the ball in his hands." When your quarterback feels that you need to get the ball in your hands... it's a good thing.

- Ryan Grant vs the Williams Wall. If I am not mistaken, Ryan Grant was the last player to run for 100 yards on the Vikings, Nov. 11th, 2007. Grant has only 3.7 yards a carry so far this year and may not pose much of a threat, but when looking at rivalry games like this you never know what to expect, and the Vikings run defense has shown some signs of weakness lately. 

- Vikings O-line vs the Packer pass rush. It should not be overlooked that the Vikings have guys on the line that are first year starters... and it is showing. Favre has ben sacked 9 times this year, and has been hit seemingly every third pass play. Green Bay has only 5 sacks this year, but may have their ears pinned back for a chance to get their hands on the Silver Fox (Jarred Allen's nickname for Favre).

This has the makings of a great game, and should be hyped up all week... at least once the sports shows are done hyping up the game winning drive. I expect this to be a close game, but the home team should prevail. Look for Adrian Peterson to attempt to exert his will on the big Monday Night stage. 

Posted on: July 10, 2009 3:01 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2009 7:35 pm

My Top 10 Quarterbacks going into 2009.

Top 10 QBs

By: Christopher Torola

 Drew Brees - Is the NFL's answer to the spread offense. Last year he threw for over 5,000 yards and connected for 34 touchdowns. Since arriving in New Orleans it has seemed that Brees and head coach Sean Payton have been completely on the same page. This year Brees should also have a healthy Marques Colston and a full off-season to work with tight end Jeremy Shockey. Combine that with an O-line that only allowed 13 sacks in almost 650 passing attempts along with the fact that his running back, Reggie Bush, is a better weapon catching the ball than he is rushing it and you end up with the NFL's top QB heading into the 2009 season.

Peyton Manning - is always at or near the top of current QB lists. His ability to dissect defenses at the line mixed with a strong arm and the sure hands of Reggie Wayne, along with blossoming new comer Anthony Gonzalez, make Peyton my number two QB for this year. He is several years removed from his 40 touchdown days, but still has one of the best O-lines, is another year removed from his surgery, and what has to be an improved running game will only help his passing numbers this year.

Philip Rivers - Broke the 4,000 yard mark for the first time last year. As LaDainian Tomlinson declines, Rivers has begun to take the reigns as the team leader. AT 27 he is still a young QB. He has a great competitive drive that may come off as cocky, but he is developing a game to go with it. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns last year totaling 34. The only concerns here are that uber-tight end Antonio Gates is another year older, Vincent Jackson doesn't have the surest hands, and Chris Chambers hasn't really lived up to expectations... but that, like his unorthodox throwing style, hasn't stopped Rivers yet.

Kurt Warner - is another year older, but does that really matter when you are tossing the ball to the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin? Last year he proved that he could still throw for 4,500 plus yards and 30 touchdowns, and all that was done with no running game to speak of. He got his team almost as deep into the play-offs as possible. He is likely to start performing at a lower rate some day, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise.

Ben Roethlisberger - Has never had amazing numbers, but did throw 32 TD's in 2007. He also just won his 2nd Super Bowl and is only 27 years old. He is as clutch as they get, thats right Brady. He may also be the games best playmaking QB. As a big man he is able to keep plays alive much longer then they should be. Team that with a rocket launcher arm the the ermgence of Santonio Holmes and you have Big Ben, number 6 on my QB list.

Tom Brady - Although some may think me crazy for putting him this low on the list, I had a hard time putting him this high. He is coming off of a serious knee surgery, and was already not very mobile. It may also take him some time to recover his throwing strength and rhythm.  That being said, he still has Randy Moss and Wes Welker to catch the ball. He has always made good reads, and he knows how to win. I doubt he will ever throw 50 again, and i can almost guarantee he won't hit 40 this year, but his history is too good to place him any less then 6th on my list.

Donovan McNabb - Has consistently been one of the NFL's best passer. He has also consistently been hurt. He has also consistently had little talent at the wide receiver position since the infamous departure of Terrell Owens. He made it to the 2nd round of the play-offs last year with the help of always steady Brian Westbrook and new comer DeSean Jackson. As long as Westbrook continues to catch the ball out of the backfield, Mr. Chunky Soup will remain a top flight QB.

A Healthy Brett Favre as a Minnesota Viking. This may be the Viking homer in me, but I am basing this off a few things. If he plays for the Vikings, that means his surgery was a success. When healthy last year with the Jets he still looked like a top QB. The year before he took the Packers to the NFC championship game. Playing for the Vikings he would be souronded by talent in a great O-line, Bernard Berrian, emerging tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and rookie play-maker Percy Harvin. Combine those players with the NFL's most explosive running back, Adrian Peterson, and Vikings receivers should see a lot of single coverage. Put all that together and old number 4 comes in at number 8 on my list... and that is only because he may not actually play.

Aaron Rodgers - had a few extra years of study behind Favre and in his first season as the starter, it has seemed to pay off. He threw for over 4,000 yards and connected for 28 TDs. He also ran for 4 more. If he improves his red zone offense he could be a force to be reckoned with. I still feel he is at least a year or two away from becoming one of the top passers. In all fairness, I despise the Packers and had a hard time including Rodgers on my list, so he may be lower then he should be.

The number 10 spot falls to Tony Romo. It may just have been an off year where he missed a few games due to injury, but he also lost his best receiver in Terrell Owens. Some say the Owens loss is a good thing, but look what has happened to other QBs the years following his departure. Romo did get Roy Williams, but he has never been T.O. That leaves Jason Witten as Romo's top target, and eventually opposing defenses will learn to double team him. I would have ranked Romo higher, but he always has a second half crash, and until he can prove he can handle the pressure, he will stay in my top 10, just towards the bottom of it.
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