Thursday, September 27, 2007

Marino and Favre

It's somewhat ridiculous how similar the career numbers of Dan Marino and Brett Favre look. Marino played in 242 games, Favre 244, and here are how their career numbers average out per game:

Dan Marino: 20.5 of 34.5 for 253.5 yards, 1.7 TDs, 1 INT
Brett Favre: 20.9 of 34.2 for 239.2 yards, 1.7 TDs, 1.1 INT

The differences are pretty negligible: by the cumulative averages, Favre and Marino are virtually the same player.

Let's examine some other numbers to compare the two players.

Career High TD Passes in a Season: Marino 48, Favre 39
Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning join Marino as the only QBs with 40+ TD passes in a season; Marino is the only QB to do it twice, tossing 48 in 1984 and 44 in 1986.

Career High Passing Yards in a Season: Marino 5084, Favre 4413
Another big advantage for Marino; as I've written before, 5084 is a very sturdy record.

30+ TD Pass Seasons: Favre 8, Marino 4
This is the Favre record I'm most impressed with: it's just tremendous to have 8 seasons with 30+ TD passes, especially considering 4 is the second most. I'm more impressed with a high number of really good seasons than I am with cumulative numbers. Favre also has a total of 12 seasons with 20+ TD passes; Marino has 13.

4,000+ Yard Seasons: Marino 6, Favre 4
This is a pretty arbitrary number, since Favre has another 7 seasons with 3,800+ yards, and Marino has another 2 seasons with 3,900+ yards.

These are two very, very impressive careers: you can pretty much pick either over the other and justify it. Sure, Favre has the Super Bowl ring, but if Marino played with a #1 defense, and had Desmond Howard setting up field position, he would probably have such a ring too. And they're both winners: Favre has 149 wins as starter, Marino 147, and both have been known for fourth quarter comebacks. It's hard to make an argument that either Favre or Marino is clearly better than the other. Whether you prefer one over the other will depend on your allegiances and your personal preferences.

A few other notes:

While there is a lot of talk about Favre potentially breaking Marino's TD record and Blanda's INT record against the Vikings this week, did you know that Favre is just 10 attempts away from tying Marino for the career record in passing attempts? I'll be witnessing history! Egh.

While I dislike Favre immensely and like Marino immensely, I have to admit, it will feel special if I get to witness this record live, especially this record, which has meant a lot to me (remember, Marino broke Fran Tarkenton's record of 342 TD passes).

Really, I just want to see the Vikings win against the Packers. A Minnesota win over Green Bay gives me a feeling of physical euphoria that carries me joyfully through life; a Green Bay win over Minnesota drives me into the depths of anger and despair.


  1. Maybe in a few years Peyton will break the record at the Dome and you will witness it again. That's the only thing keeping me happy about this situation, Peyton is healthy and looks like he'll be able to break the records.

    This is what we do as fans- When Bonds broke the HR record we said it was fine because A-Rod(Or Jeter, I forget- I hate baseball) will break the record in a few years.

  2. Anonymous11:31 PM


    you hate Favre because he plays well. If only everyone else was bad and the mighty Vikings could reign supreme.

  3. Anonymous12:10 AM

    One of the more remarkable aspects of Favre's accomplishments is the fact that he played a lot of his games in far less than ideal conditions, which is when his remarkable velocity would really give the Packers an edge. Nobody was ever better at cutting through the gales of November, December, and January than Favre, and when the opposing qb would often be floating ducks that would dive or soar out of his receiver's reach, Favre would be throwing thunderbolts into his receiver's hands. The Packers have really done a nice job of acquiring and coaching receivers who handled those sorts of throws.

  4. "If only everyone else was bad and the mighty Vikings could reign supreme."

    Isn't that why we are fans? What else is there to cheer for?

  5. Nice piece always...

  6. you know what?? this is so funny, I had never thought about comparing the career numbers of Dan Marino and Brett Favre, and now that you pointed out, they actually look very similar, interesting!