BJK offers the following in response to my recent post about the erratic gunslinger, Brett Favre:
Of course, you're leaving out that Favre also played his worst football with a torn biceps tendon that went improperly diagnosed because his team didn't want to perform an MRI during the season (which would force them to disclose the injury).For the record, I don't expect there to be much drama regarding his coming back, because - and here's a welcome change - the team actually wants Favre to return for the next season. No arbitrary deadlines and no showy handwringing by management over whether he comes back."Brett Favre singlehandedly lost most all of the huge games he ever played in"I guess the Super Bowls weren't huge games, since your post only goes back to 2001.And, just to say it, Favre's 07 season tops Rodgers in '08 in nearly every category, despite having roughly equivalent talent around him. Hell, the 2008 Jets were even a win better than you had predicted at the time of the trade, despite their horrible QB.
I shall address some of these points briefly.
Favre's medical condition - Favre is choosing to play through whatever medical condition he's got. Accordingly, he agrees to accept whatever affect that may have on his performance. I'm not going to cut him slack because he plays hurt. He can always bench himself if he wants.
Favre's Super Bowl win from 12 years ago - Irrelevant in terms of judging present performance. But we'll address this all in the numbers.
Favre '07 versus Rodgers '08 - We have no basis to form judgments about Rodgers, since it was his first season. Favre, however, has provided us with context. We'll get to it.
My predictions - I indeed put the Jets one game under where they ultimately finished, and correctly predicted that they would not make the playoffs. I'll take that as a win.
So on with the analysis...
Favre turned 30 during the 1999 season. How convenient, since it means that we can effectively break his post-30 and 30-and-under career phases by decade. To control for outliers, I've thrown out his best season and worst season in both decades, as determined by QB rating. So 1993 and 1995 are nowhere to be found, nor are 2005 and 2007.
Here's what we've got...
What we find is interesting in that, but for a 14% drop in touchdown production, Favre's numbers are basically the same. There is no statistical category for his increasingly bad judgment.
What is most noticeable, and even predicable, is how Brett Favre has completely hit the skids following his 35th birthday.
If you look at all four seasons, what you see is a quarterback whose numbers are declining precipitously from earlier in his career. His touchdowns are well down from his career average (and over 25% from his numbers last decade). His interceptions are way up (nearly 25% higher than his numbers last decade). And his QB rating is measurably lower.
Also worth considering is Favre's post-season record. Favre is 12-10 in the post-season. But this decade, he's just 3-5, and bad decisions by Favre are the biggest factor in all five losses. Favre's teams haven't managed to win successive playoff games since the 1997 season. Contrast this to the 1995-97 period, when Favre-led teams won two or more playoff games in each season.
This should provide some additional perspective. Here are the records of all NFL QB's with 15 or more playoff starts.
When all is said and done, Brett Favre is going to be remembered a lot more like Dan Marino than Montana, Aikman, Brady, or the other guys who knew how to deliver in the clutch.
Considering all this, were the Packers smart to trade Favre in the wake of his diva-esque offseason antics? Hell yes. If one believes that numbers don't lie (I'm usually in that camp), one can see an irrefutable downward spiral in Favre's career. 2007 will certainly be viewed in hindsight as an enjoyable fluke, a blip up in what has otherwise been a declining track.
The Packers organization had nothing to gain by keeping Favre on the field because, as we saw with the Jets, Favre's old body has nothing to offer late in the season. One can find analyses elsewhere online that bear that fact out as well. Favre just can't close anymore. He runs out of gas.
People can defend Favre all they want, but they can't change his numbers. His single Super Bowl win puts him next to Trent Dilfer, Doug Johnson, and one behind such legends as Mark Rypien and Jim McMahon. His postseason record is more Marino than Montana. His disastrous big-game decisionmaking has sent the Packers packing in the playoffs five times this decade.
Favre, like Marino, ran up a bunch of records based on longevity and not on his ability to win the big game. He's tough, I'll give him that. But besides that, he's not much else. Solid QB? Sure. Hall of Fame worthy? Of course.
One of the greats? Nope. Only if you can't help but see the world through green and gold-colored glasses.