Leslie Frazier is taking charge of the 3-7 Minnesota Vikings. He can't make them a playoff team, but he will be tasked with a job that will have an effect on NFL history — he'll have to get Brett Favre to end his streak of consecutive games started.
Favre, 41, deserves all the credit for showing guts and returning to the NFL, where he's been punished as much as any quarterback in the league. It was the right move for the Vikings to go get Favre this summer, as he had just put together one of the finest seasons of his long career. Now, in the midst of one of his worst, it's time to end it.
Favre's thrown 17 interceptions to just 10 touchdowns, he's been sacked 19 times and he has three fumbles. He's playing through injury for the umpteenth time in his career, but this time, it's hurting the team. Five of the seven losses have been by 10 or fewer points, meaning one bad decision or bad pass could've cost the Vikings a chance to win.
Frazier will no doubt be coaching from now until Jan. 2 with the goal of proving he's capable of being a head coach in this league. Jason Garrett is doing the same in Dallas, and with big names like Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden already being floated around, it's going to be a comepetitive market for head coaches this spring. It's in Frazier's best interest and that of the fans and players to try to do so with Tarvaris Jackson under center.
No, Jackson isn't the savior that this team needs, and yes, he'll be a guy who might have trouble even finding an NFL job next season, but he's the best option the Vikings have at this point in time.
How the Vikings can go about getting to that point depends on how well Frazier can convince Favre that enough is enough. The quarterback was honest enough on Sunday to say he was going to "re-evaluate" his situation, but that was more likely "Favre Talk" than it was anything of substance.
Favre probably has no desire to take himself off the field (he's really earned that "Gunslinger" nickname for a reason), so it becomes the 51-year-old Frazier's job to tell the veteran that Father Time has finally come for Favre.
Every weekend from September 1992 until this past Sunday, Brett Favre has lined up to play quarterback in the NFL. It was one hell of a run, but if the Vikings want to win and if Frazier wants a job, it needs to end soon.
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