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Favre

There are plenty of reasons not to like Packers GM Ted Thompson, but unlike many of my fellow green-and-gold bleeders, I don’t think letting Favre go was one of them. Favre’s perennial will-he-or-won’t-he retirement drama had become a huge distraction, and the team was going to have to find a new QB, whether it was in 2008, 2009, or 2010. With Rodgers in his fourth year, now was the ideal time to see whether or not he’s good enough to be the starter. The numbers should speak for themselves:

QB G Rat Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD Int Sack YdsL Fum FumL
Favre 16 81.0 343 522 65.7 3472 217.0 6.7 22 22 30 213 10 2
Rodgers 16 93.8 341 536 63.6 4038 252.4 7.5 28 13 34 231 9 3

Rushing:

QB Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD
Favre 21 43 2.7 2.0 1
Rodgers 56 207 12.9 3.7 4

Belied by the Jets’ 9-7 season versus the Packers’ 6-10 season, Rodgers had a better year than Favre in every Statistical category except fumbles lost (3 against Favre’s 2, though Favre fumbled more times) and completion percentage. All told, Rodgers was responsible for nine more touchdowns than Favre — six more passing touchdowns, and three more rushing touchdowns — while throwing nine fewer interceptions. In fantasy football terms, you did 90 points better if you had Rodgers on your team than if you had Favre.

Now the stigma attached to Rodgers is that there were several games where the offense had the ball late in the game with a chance to tie or win, and they didn’t get it done. And there’s some validity to that. But in most of those cases, they never would have been in that situation if not for terrible defense and special teams. As it is, the Packers were fifth in the league in scoring, at 26.2 points per game (Jets: 9th, 25.3), despite being 17th in the league in rushing, at 112.8 yards per game (Jets: 9th, 125.3), and despite having the most penalized team in the league in terms of yards, 984 yards on 110 penalties, an astounding 61.5 yards per game in penalties (Jets: third best in the league, just 569 yards on 77 penalties, 35.6 YPG). The Packers were also 5th in the league on third down, converting 44.2% of the time (Jets: 14th, 41.1%).

Meanwhile, the Packers’ defense was 26th in the league against the run, allowing an average of 131.6 rush yards per game (Jets: 7th, 94.9), and 23rd in the league in points allowed, at 23.8 (Jets: 18th, 22.3). If the defense hadn’t scored an NFL-best 7 defensive touchdowns (Jets, T-3rd, 5), a lot of those games would have been a lot worse.

Special teams, however, is where it gets really ugly: the Packers tied the Ravens for worst in the league in return yardage, 20.1 yards per return (Jets: T-14th, 23.1); they were 27th in punting average, at 41.4 yards (Jets: 23rd, 42.9); and 28th in punts downed inside the 20, at 15 (Jets, 27th, 16).

Looking at the numbers and the particulars of the two teams, it’s clear that the Packers have many problems, but the QB position isn’t one of them. The Jets finished with a better record than the Packers, but they were statistically better in almost every category except QB play, where the Packers were clearly superior.

So enough ragging on Rodgers and pining for Favre already. Rodgers played exceptionally well, especially for a first-year starter on — let’s face it — a bad team.

7 Responses to “Favre”

  1. Blake Says:

    You know…questioning the legacy of Farve is akin to questioning the Pope. 😛

  2. Pete Allen Says:

    I seriously doubt that Farve would say
    questioning his legacy is akin to questioning
    Il Papa. But I live not too far from Farve,
    and the rumors from the West End are that
    Farve’s shoulder was hurt a few games back,
    resulting in a weak throwing arm.

    There will have to be a lot of investigation,
    and more thought, before a 2009 decision is
    made.

  3. Rustmeister Says:

    Favre is the antithesis of a team player. The sooner he retires, the better off the NFL will be.

  4. tgirsch Says:

    Oh, come on. Compared to a T.O. or a Jeremy Shockey or a Chad Johnson, Favre is a dream. He doesn’t walk on water by any stretch of the imagination, but I haven’t heard any of his ex-teammates or coaches describe him as not being a team player.

    In his prime, the NFL was a lot more fun to watch with him than it was without him. Even last year, that was the case. But there’s just not much left in the tank.

    I, too, have heard about the shoulder thing, and that should tell you most of what you need to know right there. Healing a 40-year-old shoulder to get it into NFL shape? Doubtful. Again, when he was younger, he had enough raw strength and talent to overcome an injury like that. But age wins out, sooner or later.

  5. workinwifdakids Says:

    Was that about sports or something?

  6. Ken Says:

    The other thing about St. Brett of Favre that isn’t often said out loud is his propensity to vapor-lock late in important games. That pick he threw against the ‘Jints last year was hardly the first such….

  7. tgirsch Says:

    Oddly enough, that’s the criticism currently being leveled against Rodgers. ESPN apparently did a big thing where they compared the numbers on the two from just the fourth quarter, and Favre apparently scored substantially better there.

    When Favre was at his peak (or, more importantly, when the team around him was actually good), he’d win you three you should have lost for every two he lost you that you should have won.