Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Against Favre

See "The Risk of Favre," where I argue that signing Favre means Super Bowl or bust in 2009, and probably just pushes the team's real QB decision back one year.

And see "Favre does not push the Vikings over the edge," where I argue that Favre is not a reliable playoff quarterback who makes a good regular season team a serious Super Bowl threat.

Let me bring it all together one more time before Favre joins the Vikings.

The Vikings should not sign Brett Favre.

Favre turns 40 years old this season.  He throws a lot of interceptions (20+ in three of the past six seasons, leading the league in two of the past four seasons).  He hasn't had a meaningful playoff run in a dozen years, and Favre's lasting playoff images of the '00s are interceptions and home losses.  Experience hasn't lowered his interception rate or made him reliable in the playoffs.

The Vikings, like the Packers and Bears, have an easy schedule in 2009.  Each of these teams gets four games against the NFC West, a home-and-home with the Lions, and the Bengals and Browns: each of these teams should go at least 6-2 against that slate (and if one of these teams goes 8-0 against this slate, then just splits the home-and-homes with the other division games, that team wins at least 10 games).  The Vikes have a good shot of winning at least 11 games in 2009, regardless of who is at quarterback.  In fact, if they are any sort of good team at all they should go at least 9-7, regardless of quarterback.

It just doesn't make sense to me.  Sage Ronsenfels' biggest demerits are lack of playing time and like Favre, turnovers.  But he's 31 years old, and in the last two seasons completed 64.2% and 66.7 % of his passes.  He's certainly an upgrade over Gus Frerotte, who went 8-3 with this Viking team in 2008 despite throwing a bunch of interceptions and generally sucking.

Certainly Brett Favre could lead the Vikings to an 11-5 season or better in 2009.  But so could Sage Rosenfels!  And since, as I believe, Favre is not a reliable playoff quarterback, I don't see any reason for the Vikings to sign him (except to boost ticket sales, and since the Vikings do risk blackouts, especially if they struggle early, that may be a significant factor).  Perhaps he gives the Vikes a slightly better chance in 2009, but then he probably retires, and then what?  The Vikes spend 2010 finding out if Rosenfels is good enough instead of 2009?  I'd rather find out about Rosenfels now.  He might be a good enough quarterback to make a team with a great running game and a great defense a contender over the next few seasons.  He might--I don't know.  But I don't really think he makes the 2009 Vikings significantly worse than Brett Favre would.  

Stay away, Vikings.  Set a deadline of yesterday, and move on.


  1. Anonymous7:50 AM

    Here Here! I'm with you on this one, Joe! I've been singing this song since the original talk of Burt Furve, I just don't have a forum to sing to an audience, ha. Brett WAS great, but I've seen that look on his face in playoff Lambeau, screaming out, "Get me off this field - It's freezing out here"! Just not the same Brett, not the same passion, not the same results; Except for the interceptions, those never change...Heetcpa, Orlando

  2. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Farve just craves attention. He is a distraction to the Vikings right now. Give it up and go out to pasture! Let our team go with what we have. Peter King and John Madden will just have to live without it. Any other player doing this would be made fun of by the media. He is becoming a joke.

  3. Anonymous10:24 AM

    I think Brett Favre healthy is much better than what the Vikings have. I also think the chance of Favre staying healthy the whole season is low.

    What I don't understand is the idea that Rosenfels is clearly better than Frerotte. His career stats are worse, and he used to be Gus's backup. What evidence is there that he will be better?

    For that matter what evidence is there from Rosenfels' stats that he'll be better than Jackson? Worse career stats, and played with a better receiver corps.

  4. Rosenfels completed a very high percentage of passes in the last three seasons. I've expressed concern that's a result of Gary Kubiak's offense, but certainly Frerotte has never completed a high percentage of passes (54.7% career passer), and Jackson has had accuracy issues, too. Watching Rosenfels last season, he seems like a guy that can stand in the pocket and make the throws you expect a pro quarterback to make. That's not outstanding, but better than Frerotte or Jackson, in my opinion.

    I could be wrong; I may be too optimistic about Rosenfels (though his Texan teammates were high on him). But I'll stick to my skepticism about Favre's impact for now.

  5. Anonymous12:44 PM

    I am a Vikings fan in Atlanta. I support strongly the Vikings picking up Favre, assuming he is healthy. I think that a lot of the opposition in Minnesota is based upon a regional objection to having a Packer on the team, rather than a football objection. The bottom line is that a healthy Favre is better than the current QB's, and that is not remotely arguable. Our weak link is QB, and Favre can help firm this up. He may not be the savior, but he is a clear upgrade, and thus we need to do it.

  6. "I think that a lot of the opposition in Minnesota is based upon a regional objection to having a Packer on the team, rather than a football objection."

    I think that a lot of the support in Minnesota is based upon his name being "Brett Favre," rather than a football-related support.

    The whole "Brett Favre is better than our current QBs and I refuse to argue" attitude is what bugs me the most about this affair, even with the "if healthy" proviso tacked on.

    1) What guarantees do you have that a 40-year-old quarterback with a gimpy arm will be healthy?

    2) Favre was (I assume) healthy for most of 2005-2008. He was good one of those four years. Why will he be better now that he's older?

    3) Then there's the attitude. Brett Favre isn't just a "me first" guy, he's a "me second, me third, and me fourth" guy, too.

    If you can't defend your point and want to just say, "no argument," when other people clearly disagree, then you must not have a point that can stand up to scrutiny.