Exhale Jets fans, it's over (we think).
Brett Favre announced his intentions to retire from the National Football League for the second time in less than a calendar year, and this time it's likely for good.
After a hall of fame worthy career in Green Bay, Favre was able to manufacture a trade to the big apple last summer in a move that was as widely well received as it was criticized.
The blockbuster that brought Brett to broadway saw the highs and lows that seemed to define Favre's career, with Favre getting the team out to an impressive 8-3 start before playing poorly down the stretch and finishing 9-7 and on the outside looking in when the postseason began.
Favre's play during the first eleven games of the season had talk of a Jets Super Bowl run, while his performance during the final five games contributed to his head coach, Eric Mangini, losing his job.
His 2008 statistics weren't great, as he threw 22 touchdowns and a league leading 22 interceptions, but most fans will remember how he three just two touchdowns and nine interceptions in those final five appearances, during which it was revealed Favre was playing with a torn muscle in his throwing arm.
While the Jets failed to reach the playoffs with Favre, the franchise must move on without any regrets when it comes to acquiring the future hall of famer.
Fans will argue that the move forced the release of Chad Pennington, who led Miami to a division title and playoff appearance, but it was awfully apparent at the end of 2007 that Pennington had worn out his welcome in New York and that his success in Miami had as much to do with the system he played in than anything else.
Regardless, comparing the seasons of Favre and Pennington is unfair, as Favre had outplayed Pennington before getting hurt, and while healthy, the Jets were a first place football team and remained one through the first fourteen games of the season.
They say hindsight is 20/20, but bringing in Brett Favre wasn't a mistake, and if given the opportunity to do it all over again, you better believe management would pull the trigger.
Favre brought credibility to a team that was coming off an embarrassing 4-12 season, as well as stability at the quarterback position they hadn't had since before Pennington started suffering from his well documented arm woes.
You want to say the Favre experiment failed because the Jets missed the playoffs, I can't disagree.
At the end of the day, Jets fans (myself included) were hoping and even expecting to be in the playoffs following the first eleven games of the season, but blaming Brett for the teams collapse isn't fair.
His play was a big reason they struggled, but don't forget the defense couldn't stop anybody, and when the team went out west to play Seattle, the pass rush was non-existent against a Seattle offensive line made up entirely of back ups.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who was retained by new head coach Rex Ryan, was very questionable in his play calling and seemed to forget he had the very explosive and very effective Leon Washington at his disposal.
I'm as disappointed as anybody that the Jets once again found a way to keep themselves out of the playoffs, however don't include me among the people who were ready to send Favre packing at season's end.
The starting quarterback next season, assuming he is somebody currently on the roster (Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff and Eric Ainge) won't be as good as a 40 year old Favre, and the free agent options (Byron Leftwich, Jeff Garcia) don't have me salivating.
While Favre may have been unable to deliver following the rise in expectations his arrival brought with him, but nobody can question how hard he worked and how much he gave in trying to make the Jets into a contending, winning football team.
Although the Jets didn't reach all of their goals in 2008, most notably making the playoffs, the team was vastly improved from 2007, and a big part of that was the play of Brett Favre.
As the team looks ahead, they will look to find ways to keep the team competitive heading into 2009, and that will start with the quarterback position which the loss of Favre leaves as a giant question mark.
What shouldn't be questioned was the decision to bring Brett Favre to New York.
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