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August 6, 2004

How lucky we are

Patrick Reusse has written a few articles about this topic, one quite recently, which prompts me to share my own opinion: we are extremely lucky to have Daunte Culpepper as our quarterback. I mean, we are silly lucky to have him. What I don't understand is daunte.jpg how anyone can prefer Gus Frerotte or Todd Bauman to Daunte. It is just mind boggling to me. Consider this little tidbit:

A year ago, Culpepper completed 65 percent of his passes. That was a Vikings record. Even Fran Tarkenton, with those forward laterals to Chuck Foreman, never reached that figure. [And] Culpepper rated third in the NFL with a 96.4 quarterback rating.

He also started in the Pro Bowl and broke the Vikings record for rushing touchdowns by a QB in only his fifth year as a player, fourth as a starter! The guy is simply amazing!

Also consider the draft within which Daunte was taken. Five quarterbacks were taken with the first 12 picks. Let's take a look at where they are all at:
  1. Tim Couch -- backing up that stiff Favre for the Packers.
  2. Donovan McNabb -- starting for the Eagles and still trying to overcome the Chunky Soup jinx.
  3. Akili Smith -- not even in the NFL, unless he's changed his name
  4. Daunte Culpepper -- Vikings fans were stunned when he was selected (what about Kearse?), but he will lead us to the Super Bowl.
  5. Cade Mcnown -- also not in the NFL anymore.

So really, the only QB that can compare with Daunte from that draft class is McNabb. Let's take a look at their career statistics side by side:

G GS Att Comp Pct Yards YPA Lg TD Int Tkld 20+ 40+ Rate
G GS Att Comp Pct Yards YPA Lg TD Int Tkld 20+ 40+ Rate

Daunte and McNabb are arguably very similar players, but Daunte has a better overall passing percentage, more yards passing, a better yards per attempt average, 24 more touchdown passes, 9 more rushing TDs, and a much better overall passer rating than McNabb all in 12 fewer games. Again, his numbers are simply stunning, yet people still want to bench him. Wow! As Reusse says it is either just plain ignorance or racism.

The two beefs most people have with Daunte are his fumbles and interceptions. Daunte showed remarkable improvement in the INT department last year and only threw 11. Also consider that Fran Tarkenton is third in the NFL record books for interceptions thrown with 266. I don't hear many Viking fans complaining about Fran. Daunte's fumbles continue to be a concern, but he improved in that category last year, too, and I expect he'll improve again. And when you think about it, of his 16 fumbles last year the other team only recovered the ball 6 times. Is that really what we are worried about? Six? I tell you what, I'll take Daunte and all his flaws any day of the week over the struggles other teams are having to even find a QB even half as good as Daunte. Look at the Bears, or the Redskins, or Dallas, or the Giants, or the Bengals ... really the list goes on and on of teams that are struggling to find a QB that can play. Do you realize how lucky we are to have Daunte?

Posted by snackeru at August 6, 2004 8:14 AM | Vikings


As I have maintained for years, Daunte is a good QB. The comparision to McNabb is a bit misleading, though. Here's why: Culpepper has had Carter (2 yrs) and Moss (4 yrs) to throw to and has been on a team that is geared toward offense. Phily is a team built around defense and who exactly has McNabb had to throw to that was worth a lick? This year may be a better comparision now that Owens is there and McNabb is closer to a level field to Culpepper. Hard to say who is better at this time. I would say use the old standby switch. If Daunte and McNabb switched teams, would the numbers stay the same or would Daunte's numbers be similar to how McNabb's are in Philly and vice-versa?

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at August 6, 2004 10:28 AM

I knew you would bring that up! I just knew it! Yes, it could be argued that Moss, and to a lesser extent Carter, have helped to improve Daunte's numbers. But ever since Carter left, all Daunte has had is Moss. Reed, Alexander, Bates, etc. have all been huge disappointments as second receivers. So it could also be argued that Daunte has made this work with really only one decent WR who is constantly being double teamed. I would also argue that Daunte's view of the field in play is remarkable since he can always find Moss when a team decides to go single coverage on him.

You'll also note that I didn't dare compare Daunte to Favre. I won't go there until Daunte wins a Super Bowl. However, aside from all of this, I still think Daunte is a great QB and that Viking fans should do a better job of realizing that.

Posted by: Shane at August 6, 2004 10:49 AM

Well, I like to deliver when expected. Daunte has gotten better each year and is developing into a very good QB. Yes, his WR has just been Moss for the last 2 years (but come on, it's frickin' Moss, the best WR in the game I'll admit it). I know you won't compare him to Favre as that is just silly. The thing that will elevate Daunte closer to Favre is how he makes the "lesser" recievers better. Favre has not had a truly great reciever since Sharpe. Look at what he has done to Freeman, Driver, Chmura, Franks, heck even Schroeder was able to command big money when he left. Favre makes marginal recievers into Pro Bowlers. That is what Daunte has to do to really be appreciated, once he can do that, then I'll consider him a great QB as will the rest of the country.

By the way, he has to ditch that idiotic arm motion thing when he throws a TD. That may be part of the problem here.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at August 6, 2004 11:51 AM

Here you all go again! Daunte is the best up and coming quaterback in the NFL today. I mean come how often are you gone to find a quaterback 265 pounds who plays the game the way he plays it. Daunte is an amazing talent who just going to get better in his career, comparing him to mcnabb is just outrageous. If you look at the stats over the years for both players you see my point. Of course the whole world knows that Daunte has Randy Moss but still yet he makes other players better. He is a team leader and very humble. With a desire to be the best there is. An he has a very good shot at it, in my book. Don't get me wrong Mcnabb is also a great player, but he is not Daunte. And that's the bottom line cause I said so my negar!

Posted by: chris hampton at October 13, 2004 7:47 PM

Chris, ummmm this discussion was over 2 months ago. Catch up with the rest of the class, don't dilly-dally now.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at October 18, 2004 10:12 AM

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