Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is Brett Favre Relevant(As a Player)?

Brett Favre has been many things to many people over the course of his career. Irrelevant has never been one of them. Whether driving for a game-changing score, or contemplating retirement, Brett Favre has always placed himself in the spotlight. Whether his media attention is deserved has been debated much over the past 2 years. However, few seem to question his relevance as a player. The assumption seemed to be that if he returned to the league, he would do so as an above average starter who could elevate a team's level of play. How fair is this argument?

Brett Favre has had a fantastic career, and will go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. However, what we will analyze here will be his ability now. Can he contribute meaningfully to team?

In 2007, Brett Favre played his last season with the Green Bay Packers. He had an amazing season, throwing for 4155 yards with a 95.7 quarterback rating. He also overcame his interception issues, throwing 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. In the offseason, Ted Thompson(one of the best GM's in the business) decided to name the younger Aaron Rodgers the starter ahead of Favre. Many questioned this move at the time, thinking that Favre was far superior. However, Rodgers put up very similar numbers in 2008 to Favre's 2007 numbers. He threw for 4038 yards with 28 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a 93.8 rating. Keep in mind that he was a first time starter, which generally reduces statistics.

What many overlooked was that Green Bay featured some of the best receivers in football. Donald Driver and Greg Jennings form a very talented duo. Coupled with a strong offensive line and defense, the Packers are set up to make a quarterback look good. The development of these players and units drove Favre's statistics upward from 2006 to 2007(in 2006 he had 18 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, and a 72.7 rating), and had a similar effect on Aaron Rodgers.

When he signed with the Jets, most people forecasted that Favre would be an improvement over Chad Pennington, who had only thrown for 196 yards per game the previous year. While Favre did throw for more yards and touchdowns than Pennington on a per game basis, he also threw more interceptions, and finished the year with a lower passer rating. Judging from the angry Jets fans by the end of the year, Favre was not the savior that he was thought to be. A mediocre group of receivers, led by Jerrico Cotchery and Laveranues Coles, was to blame for his poor season. In fact, Chad Pennington, when matched with an offense that suited his skills, had a breakout season, ending with a 97.4 passer rating.

From looking at his predecessors, who played to his level, or to whose level he played to, it appears that Brett Favre is a mediocre quarterback at best. He plays to the talent of his team, but he cannot make a team better by himself. On a team such as the Vikings, with no dominant receiver, he would likely appear to be mediocre. Although he would be a slight upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfelds, he would not be worth the one year contract and headaches that it would create.

Ultimately, the media hype of Brett Favre seems amazing in light of his current playing ability. Although he is not a bad player by any means, he is no longer able to carry a team on his back. As Jets fans would tell you, Brett Favre is simply not worth the effort, or the wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment