QB controversy stays on back burner

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2011 - 12:20 PM

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is sticking with Donovan McNabb.

The numbers paint an ugly picture. Through four weeks of the 2011 season, Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb hasn't provided much return on investment.

In late July, McNabb signed a one-year contract worth $5.05 million to join the action in Minnesota. Here in October, he has yet to deliver a victory.

All the statistical reports the NFL generates also have given plenty of ammunition to armchair critics, who believe the numbers show the six-time Pro Bowl selection on an obvious decline.

Heading into Monday night, McNabb ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards per game (170.0) and 22nd in both completion percentage (58.6) and touchdown passes (four).

In the passer rating department, his 80.9 mark puts him in the bottom half of the league -- tied for 17th with Denver's Kyle Orton.

Add the visual evidence from four games and there's little to indicate a McNabb resurgence is on the horizon. Yet first-year head coach Leslie Frazier says he is not pulling the plug on McNabb and inserting rookie Christian Ponder. Not yet, anyway.

Frazier declared Monday that McNabb will be his starter for Sunday's home game against Arizona. But Frazier's reasoning was less a ringing endorsement for McNabb and more an acknowledgement that he sees bigger problems to fix first.

"Based on these four games this season, we are not at a point where we are making a quarterback change," Frazier said. "There are a lot of things we need to correct on our football team based on the fact that we are 0-4. But at this point, a quarterback change isn't one of those changes."

Oddly, Frazier seems incredibly upbeat overall, even after his team fell 22-17 Sunday to a Chiefs team that had lost its first three games by an average of 27 points.

Frazier said his initial film review of Sunday's stumble gave him reason for optimism, even if he is considering making some depth chart tweaks later this week.

"As dire as it may seem," Frazier said, "I do believe we are on the verge of getting things headed in the right direction. I really believe that."

When pressed to identify specifically what impresses him, Frazier spoke only in generalities.

"There are some things I want to share with our players that I want them to understand and get a sense of where we are right now based on what's going on in our league and also where we are as a football team," Frazier said.

In the Vikings locker room, defensive tackle Remi Ayodele translated Frazier's message.

"When we watch our film, we're doing some great things," Ayodele said. "We're just not doing those great things at the times we really need to. In crunch time. But it's not a lack of effort. Some teams when they're losing, it's lack of effort, guys not really trying. You watch our film, our guys are hustling and trying to do their jobs. It's just a few little miscues."

That's certainly true for McNabb, who showed admirable patience and an understanding of the game plan in Kansas City. He involved Percy Harvin throughout the afternoon and frequently took advantage of tight ends Visanthe Shiancoe and Kyle Rudolph, who combined for nine catches for 102 yards.

But then came the miscues. A holding penalty on Phil Loadholt in the first quarter negated a first-down pass to Bernard Berrian. An illegal shift in the third erased a 16-yard completion to Shiancoe.

And on the Vikings' final four offensive plays, McNabb rushed throws that never reached their targets.

Just like that, a winnable game slipped away.

But McNabb will get another chance.

Harvin supports Frazier's decision, still a believer that McNabb's veteran leadership can steady this sputtering team. Vikings defensive end Brian Robison was also on board, believing Frazier's loyalty to McNabb sends a strong message.

"We're not looking toward next year," Robison said. "For him to stick with Donovan shows me he has trust in the players we have here right now."

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San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 101 4th Qtr 2:36
Golden State 121
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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