The Vikings extended their winning streak to five games with a 20-13 victory over Chicago on Monday night, but there had to be some concern despite the result.
Second-year quarterback Tarvaris Jackson
, who appeared to be making substantial progress in recent weeks, took a definite step backward in the victory.
Jackson completed 18 of 29 passes for 249 yards but he did not throw a touchdown, was intercepted three times, lost a fumble on a botched exchange and had a porous 50.0 rating. The Bears generated 10 off their points off of interceptions.
These aren't the type of numbers the Vikings offensive staff, or Jackson, wants to see as a likely postseason berth draws closer.
"Anytime you win the football game it is great," Jackson said. "Obviously, I am not happy about how I played but at the same time we got the W and that is all that matters. It's a Vikings win. So at the end of the day, Tarvaris, three interceptions, but the Vikings win and that is all that matters."
That might be true for now, but if the Vikings are going to make any noise in the postseason they certainly can't have Jackson making these types of mistakes.
LB Heath Farwell on keeping Bears return ace Devin Hester in check on Monday night: "You have to pick your poison with him. You do not want to kick it deep and have him line it up and get going. So we just tried to mess with the rhythm and we did a good job of covering. Both the punt team and kickoff team did a great job of covering."
DE Kenechi Udeze on the importance of winning a Monday night game before a national television audience: "It was great. It was the first time this year, so it was good to come out on a national stage and get a win. It showed that we are a dominant defense and a good team overall."
QB Tarvaris Jackson knew the Bears were geared up to try to slow running back Adrian Peterson after he rushed for 224 yards in the previous meeting between these two teams in October. "The Bears have a great defense and anytime a guy runs for 224 yards against you, you are going to come back the next day and try to prove that you can stop them," Jackson said. "We knew they were going to try to stop our run just like everyone else and we just wanted to hit plays in the passing game. We did hit plays in the passing game, but we had three turnovers. If we eliminate those turnovers, it's a totally different game."
CB Antoine Winfield injured his left pectoral in the second quarter. He sat out the final two quarters and was replaced by rookie Marcus McCauley.
WR Sidney Rice suffered a sprained ankle. Both he and Winfield will be day to day this week.
RT Ryan Cook briefly had to leave Monday night's game because of stomach illness. He was replaced by Marcus Johnson.
WR Troy Williamson was cleared to play after being examined last week at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., but ended up among the inactives. Williamson had missed time because of headaches related to a concussion he suffered in late November against the New York Giants. But the decision to sit him Monday had nothing to do with his health.
S Mike Doss returned to the active roster one game after sitting out because of a hamstring injury. Veteran S Tank Williams (MCL) remained on the inactive list.
Tarvaris Jackson showed that he is still a young quarterback who is going to have his ups and downs. He is still winning games, but his performance on Monday night left something to be desired.
Tarvaris Jackson showed that he is still a young quarterback who is going to have his ups and downs.