Brett Favre: Factor or Non-Factor?

ExJx BrooksContributor ISeptember 22, 2009

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 16: Defensive end Jared Allen #69 of the Minnesota Vikings holds his helmet high and celebrates a score against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on November 16, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

It is the opinion of some people that the Minnesota Vikings' plan is to simply hand off the ball and have said that Brett Favre is pretty much a "Non-Factor." Although Adrian Peterson is the cornerstone on which this team is built upon to solidify a good run to the playoffs and possibly farther, to say Favre is a non-factor is absurd.

Someone has to get Adrian Peterson the ball! If Favre continues to make good decisions and good reads, his responsibilities will increase and he will be a weapon they can use more.

I agree that this is AP's team and that he (and the defense) will be the decisive factor in their success.

Not having to worry about poor QB play is definitely what they are trying to get out of Favre, and for the most part Favre has done this so far.

Some have stated that Favre being a non-factor is key to Minnesota's success, if so then what happened last year when Jackson/Frerotte were a non-factors. Better yet, what happened the first three years of Peterson's career when Jackson/whoever the backup was were non-factors. Based on what has been said, the Vikes should be three-time champs.

There is a reason that they signed Favre. They needed a QB who could throw downfield and make plays to COMPLEMENT AP. I'm pretty sure Brad Childress isn't risking his job on Favre to just have him hand it off.

The real keys to Minnesota's success is as follows: continued stellar play from the D as a whole and the cohesive play of Favre and AP. The whole point of Favre is not just to scare teams, but to open up the options and give the team a more balanced attack.

There are going to come times this season where the opposing team will shut down AP to some extent and Favre will have to step up. Being a non-factor will not get it done.

Great teams (Super Bowl Teams) are made from multiple contributions and several players on both sides of the ball stepping up when called upon.

The only reason Favre didn't have great numbers in either of the first two games is because they didn't need him to. There was no need for him to make big plays or to take any risks, but for him to be smart, which Tarvaris Jackson has proven not to be able to do consistently.

Favre is famous for doing the little things basically only he does, like faking a pass after handing off or acting like he has the ball after handing it off. No one I've seen does these things anymore. They may not show up on the stat sheet, but they are effective to some extent.

The Vikes need to spread out the D, and then we will really see AP flourish, and Favre is the guy they hope will be able to do this. Running the ball a majority of the time is not going to accomplish this.

Some people are saying just the threat of Favre going deep is enough and that is ridiculous. Keep him tied up all season and eventually opposing D's will catch on. It would be like telling a two year old you're going to punish them if they keep doing something, but never following through with the punishment.

Playing the way some have suggested (basically just handing off the ball) ALL the time is going to make this team one dimensional which has been their problem since AP has been there. Plus, I don't think that AP's success the past two weeks has been completely on him anyways.

Cleveland has the same team they had last year and they just flat out suck, but they managed to pretty much contain the offense as a whole through out the first half.

Detroit was the worst team in the league last year being the first team to go 0-16. They are also in a rebuilding year and they forced a fumble from AP in the first quarter which basically set them up for a 10-0 lead until midway through the second quarter.

Now play a good defense and see how far you get using Favre basically to snap and hand off the ball. If this is the case, why not fire Favre and give AP the remainder of Favre's contract. 

Favre has to make plays to get this team over the hump. That's what they signed him for. To be the missing piece to an already well-oiled machine. He is a key ingredient to this teams success, but at the same time I agree AP is the guy that this team's future this year lies with.

If Favre has a below average year and only throws for 2000 yds 10 TDS and no INTs, Vikes don't make playoffs. I don't expect him to throw for 4000 yds and 25 tds or anything, but I do expect the Vikes to utilize his skills when AP can't get it done and vice versa.

Yeah AP's great, but put him up against a D that continues to play the way Cleveland did in the first half for an entire game. They won't win anything using the run-only strategy.

Here's a rundown of the Cleveland game, for those of you that thought AP was just out right dominant (and I'm not trying to take anything away from his performance. I do believe he was fantastic).

First of all, if Favre doesn't throw that TD, the game final would have been 27-20 Vikings, making what AP did in the fourth relevant, but that also could have changed the entire game completely.

That would have made the game 20-20 after Brady Quinn threw his only TD and would have put pressure on the Vikings' offense to produce. It also makes for a pumped up Cleveland Browns D. It would have changed the game to where the Browns could have come away with the win.

Better yet, if anyone feels Favre was such a non-factor, then they need to read some box scores.

When Favre threw that TD to Harvin the score was 17-13 Vikings. Browns final score was 20, so if Favre doesn't complete that pass to Harvin and the Vikes don't score anything else Cleveland Wins 20-17. If anything Favre clinched the win and if nothing else at least made it harder for the Browns to come back.

In relation to the final score if the game played out the way it did, except the Vikes score nothing else after Favre's TD pass, Vikes still win 24-20. So Basically everything scored after that pass was really insignificant in relation to the Vikes winning.

Some say it's all AP, okay, well here's AP's run down for the first half:

He had 9 carries for 25 yards (2.77/carry) and 1 TD. Okay, so he scored, but let's break it down even more.

He had 25 yards on 9 carries as stated before, but in those 9 carries he had 2 carries for no gain and 1 for -2 yards. So there is three chances for him to CARRY this team on his back ALL by himself wasted.

Now okay so he scored a TD and Favre supposedly had nothing to do with it. Well let's break that drive down. The Vikes started on Cleveland's 23 yard line so they were already close.

Here's the drive recap.

1-10-CLE 23 (12:56) B.Favre pass short left to C.Taylor to CLV 21 for 2 yards

2-8-CLE 21 (12:27) B.Favre pass short right to A.Peterson to CLV 3 for 18 yards

1-3-CLE 3 (11:54) N.Tahi left guard to CLV 1 for 2 yards

2-1-CLE 1 (11:17) A.Peterson left guard for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.

So although AP did contribute to the drive it was Favre's pass to AP that got the drive where it needed to be, then the rushing portion which is spoken so highly of came into play when he had to rush for one yard into the end zone, the only time he touched the ball in a rushing capacity in the drive.

I want to break the game down even more for you. Here's a look at AP's stats by the end of the third quarter.

The third quarter was better and included another 1 yd td rush by AP.  AP added 10 carries for 51 yds bringing his total to 19 carries for 76 yds and 2 tds.

That's 4 yds/carry, not bad but not great. Of course, if you give it to AP every time, basically what has been suggested, you'd be going for 3rd-and-short every time based on that average. The Vikings didn't do so well on 3rd-and-short last year.

The drive that AP scored on the Vikes started on their own 45 and all of his rushes were for less than 6 yards and he only touched the ball five times for 15 yards. After a couple rush attempts from Chester Taylor and a 3rd-and-10 13 yard pass by Favre to Shiancoe and a 16 yard penalty by Cleveland, which brought them to the four-yard line, Peterson capped it off with a three-yard run, a no gain and then a one- yard TD.

With the help of bad play by Cleveland and again the help of a Favre clutch 3-and-10 13-yard pass, AP was able to score again.

At the end of the third quarter the score was 24-13. The pressure was off the offense. All Favre and AP had to do was manage the clock.

So basically after 75 percent of the game was over and the pressure was off, and Cleveland was wore out (they are no good to start anyways) and fighting to win the Vikes D stepped up and stopped all but one attempt at scoring. It was then when AP gained 66 percent of his yards, 104 yards including a 64-yard run for a TD.

Although the stats looked great on paper, the few things Favre did helped setup AP to finish with great numbers in a game that could have been a disaster for AP. I mean based on what was done the the first half AP was on pace to rush for 50 yards and  and maybe a second TD.


Detroit Lions

Without going into extreme detail, Favre was 23/27, 155 yards, 2 TDs, 0 ints. AP had 15 carries for 92 yards and 1 TD. AP also lost a fumble which setup Detroit with the first points of the game.

In the first quarter, AP was fairly silent, except for the fumble that cost the Vikes three points, rushing 4 times for 9 yards.

In the second quarter, AP rushed for 33 yards on 4 carries including a 22 yard run to ignite a drive where Favre took them 50 yards down field for a touchdown to cap off a 72 yard drive. So here Favre brought the Vikes back with the help of AP.

In the third quarter, AP rushed for 44 yards and 1 TD. He also had a few good runs in combination with a few Favre passes to help get the Vikes into field goal range to tie it up early in the quarter. 

AP's TD came on a one-play TD drive where he went 27 yards midway through the quarter to score the go ahead points, the possession was made possible by a fumble recovery by Chad Greenway. From there, it was all over.

In the fourth quarter AP had 7 yards on 2 carries and 0 tds. Kicker Ryan Longwell solidified the win with a FG early and Favre put it out of reach when Matt Stafford threw a pick to Chad Greenway which left the Vikes on Detroit's 16 yard line. Favre got it in the end zone in three plays.

Yes, AP is freaking sweet, but when the game is on the line no one is running the ball every time when you are averaging 4 yds/carry. You are passing it. If you are down by more two scores or more come half time you are not strictly running the ball after a first half showing of 25 yds and a TD.

I'm sorry I really highly doubt that the Vikes will just stomp everyone with that running game. So I'm sure Favre will have to go deep eventually in a tight game. They do play Green Bay twice this year, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are also on the schedule. I'm pretty sure they will have more D for this very good offense than Cleveland and Detroit.

Honestly its hard to tell what this team is REALLY capable of thus far. They've played two of worst teams from last year. One of those teams held AP to a 4yd/carry average through three quarters, and Cleveland is not very good (0-2 thus far).

I mean that is still a decent average, but what happens when they play Baltimore week six, Pittsburgh week seven.  Both teams are known for their rush defense. I think we'll see Favre become more of a factor in those games than these nay-sayers want to admit.

What I see in Minnesota is a very good one-two punch in Favre and Peterson. If you can't get it done with AP, hopefully Favre can or the combination of the two should keep defenses guessing.

So far Favre has been consistent and hasn't turned the ball over. They haven't needed Favre to go all out yet, and not just because of AP, but mainly because this defense is a beast and the caliber of teams they have played.

Let's not turn Brett "The Iron-Man" Favre into the Brett "The Non-Factor" Favre. If it happens it will be on him not us.

WAR Buckeyes taking it to Toledo.

WAR the Pack bouncing back next week.

WAR my daughter being freaking hilarious while I try to write this.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind I am a die-hard Packers fan and this article and others before it come with a bittersweet taste to me. I have been a Favre fan his entire career, but talking up a division rival is not as easy as it seems.


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