How Brett Favre Should Be Remembered: The Cinderella Story of 2007
It was the spring of 2007 and the quarterback who had been under the helm for the Green Bay Packers for the last 15 years was coming off his worst two seasons of his long tenured career. The last two seasons, Favre had complied 47 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 71.8.
Critics had said that Favre had lost a step and retirement was imminent.
When Favre committed to return for a 16th season, many believed he was strictly playing to pad his stats in order to become the NFL leader in every statistical category. He was one win shy of John Elway’s quarterback victory record, 3,861 yards shy of Dan Marino’s career passing yards, six touchdowns shy of Marino’s total touchdowns and 134 pass attempts behind Marino’s all-time career pass attempts.
The future Hall of Famer with a Super Bowl ring and three MVP awards was looked upon as washed up as the Packers failed to make the postseason the previous two years, compiling a pathetic record of 12-20. Yet what was to come for the Green Bay Packers' 2008 season was something unexpected and magical that reminded people that the 37-year-old still had the talent he had when he won the league MVP three consecutive times 10 years ago.
With the help of a ball-hawking defense and crucial special teams, Favre was able to lead the Packers to a 5-1 record without the help of a running game that averaged a poor 3.26 yards a carry.
In Week 3, Favre was able to lead a comeback from a 21-17 deficit versus the Chargers with a 57-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings with 2:13 left to reclaim the lead and win the game. That touchdown tied Dan Marino’s all-time record of 420 touchdown passes. He would break that record the next week in Minnesota with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jennings.
After the bye week, the Packers squared off against the Broncos on Monday night. That game ended in an overtime win on the first offensive play with an 82-yard play-action bomb to Jennings over Dre Bly.
The next week at Kansas City with the Packers down 22-16, Favre tossed a 60-yard touchdown strike to Jennings with 3:13 left. The Packers were 7-1 after that game.
Green Bay went on to win its next three games. That involved a 34-0 shutout of the Vikings and a blowout of the Lions where Favre compiled 20 consecutive completions and broke Marino’s record as the all-time leader in most career games with three or more touchdowns (63).
The regular season ended with a 13-3 record that earned Green Bay the second seed in the NFC playoffs. The Packers hosted the Seahawks, yet were trailing 14-0 early due to two Ryan Grant fumbles. Green Bay kept its cool as Favre tossed snowballs and three touchdowns along with Grant’s three touchdowns and 201 rushing yards that led to a 42-20 win.
Though the season ended a game short of the Super Bowl (the next week in an overtime loss to the Giants), the Packers had a magical run that surprised people who had seen the team win four games two years prior.
Favre’s last year as a Packer was statistically one of his best years ever. His completion percentage was a career-high of 66.5 percent with a career-high average 7.8 yards per attempt. His 15 interceptions were the fewest since 2001 and his quarterback rating was a 95.7, the highest since 1996.
Though Favre’s "unretirement" and media circus has put a damper on his image, hopefully in five years when he is inducted into Canton, people will remember him for his on-the-field performances rather than the controversy that surrounded him during the offseasons.
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