Friday, November 30, 2007

Breaking News: Farve remembers he's 50

Brett Favre (pronounced Fav-re in my book) answered the questions on America’s Mind last night, and some with a resounding yes. What questions you might ask? Simple, Am I over-rated (a little bit), Should I have retired 3 years ago when my QB rating dropped into the 70s (yes), Do I really deserve all of this MVP consideration that I am getting (absolutely not).

I know, I know, disrespecting Brett Farve is a sin, or at least it would seem so in Bristol, CT where Mr. Painkiller Addiction is revered as “Godlike” by every analyst. “He is the greatest Quarterback ever to be involved with the game, period, no one deserves to hold his jock.” Or so I have heard year after year for the last decade and a half.

Now, do I think that Brett is one of the top quarterbacks of all-time? Statistically, I say yes, he has records to back up that statement. Is he a Hall of Famer? Absolutely, no doubt in my mind. But if you really take a look at Mr. Farve he is likely the most selfish quarterback to play the game. You can look at next Sunday for proof when he steps on the field injured with a separated shoulder and has a subpar performance but plays anyway because he’s “tougher than woodpecker lips” (a quote I recall from him about 8 years ago). He’ll cost his team the game but keep his streak and tough image alive. You can look at his countless mistakes where he tries to make something out of nothing and winds up turning the ball over. The fact that, though he is having a resurgence this year, he should have retired after his 4-12, 2005 season is glaring evidence. To look at that season and say something is wrong here maybe Brett should hang it up. It actually goes further back though for BGB.

“Big Game Brett” in the last decade does not have the most amazing numbers especially in the post season. In fact since the Cheeseheads won Super Bowl XXXI after the 1996 season Brett really has barely been average let alone a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback. In the year following their SB XXXI victory, Green Bay lost to the Broncos in Farve’s 2 Turnover performance leading to 10 Denver Points. Since then there haven’t been a whole lot of high points for Brett. The following season throwing for 23 INTs and losing on a 2 INT performance against SF in the NFC Wildcard game. In the combined next two seasons Farve accumulated 39 INTs to 42 TDs as well as 18 fumbles (of which 9 were lost) and no playoffs either year for the Pack. In 2001 The Packers returned to the playoffs after Farve’s seemingly resurgent year, passing for 32TDs and only 15 INTs (and 16 fumbles/6 lost) and Farve’s 2 TD 1 INT performance in the 1st round sent them to play the offensive super power, the St. Louis Rams. Those same Rams picked off Farve 6 times in the 2nd to last time the Pack made it past the 1st round in the playoffs. The next year he threw 16 regular season picks, and added on 2 more in a 1st round loss to Atlanta. In ’03 the Pack got out of the 1st round in OT against Seattle but lost in a close OT game against the Eagles in the 2nd round. ’04 was the last time Brett would see the postseason and a QB rating higher than 73 flaming out with a 1 TD 4 INT performance against a Minnesota team that had 11 interceptions all season. During this stretch of post-season futility Farve’s numbers are 149/249, 1,804 yards, 11 TDs, 5 INTs, 3 fumbles, 2 lost and a HoF caliber 70.1 QB rating.

Heading into the 2005 season the Packers sensed Brett was in the waning years of his career after declining numbers and efficiency and decided to take a top quarterback in the draft, Aaron Rodgers from Cal was the answer. Rodgers could learn under Farve for a year and be the future of the franchise. Unfortunately for him he had to sit back and watch Farve up close declining. In Rodgers’ rookie season the Pack went 4-12 and Farve had his worst statistical year as far as QB Rating (70.9) goes since he entered the league ending with 9 more interceptions (29) than TDs (20), and 10 fumbles, 7 of which were lost. It was at this time that Farve should have stepped down and let Rodgers take over for the good of the team.

Unfortunately for the city of Green Bay, in 2006 he came roaring back to show that it was a fluke bad season and in a stuffing display of mediocrity, finished with 18 TDs tied for the lowest since joining the Packers in ’92 and 18 INTs for a whopping 72.7 QB Rating. Tag onto that the 8 fumbles with 5 lost, and a mediocre 8-8 record without a shot at the playoffs. In Comparison the QB who many thought was among the league’s worst last season, Rex Grossman, threw for 23 TDs and 20 INTs and an overshadowing 73.9 QB Rating, along with 8 fumbles, 5 lost and a 13-3 regular season record, capped by a trip to the Super Bowl.

Sure he’s having a decent season right now, but last night is the perfect example of what he is capable of. Always trying to make the big play. The Pack are down by 3 and Farve forces a deep bomb on 1st and 10 that gets picked off. Now down 20-10 Farve continues to try to make something bigger happen to get back into the game, after two deep incomplete passes on 1st and 2nd and 10 he finally connects on a deep pass on 3rd and long, then proceeds to throw his second INT of the night. Luckily for Cheeseheads, Farve goes down with a shoulder/elbow injury and Aaron Rodgers enters the game. Down 17 Rodgers takes the game slowly and starts the comeback, the rushing game starts to pick up, Rodgers starts completing passes and brings them within a score and in striking distance until former Kitty Kat Nick Folk connected on a 25 yarder (which he could barely make with consistency in Tucson, and yes I am still bitter) to seal the game by 10 with less than 3 minutes remaining.

Rodgers: 2 ½ quarters, 18/26, 201 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Farve 1 ½ quarters, 5/14, 56 Yards, 0 TD 2 INT

If I’m a Packer-fan I’m hoping Farve’s consecutive games streak ends, and Aaron Rodgers gets hot going into to post season.