Don't Blame Brett Favre for Vikings Loss. If Anything, Blame Tyrell Johnson

Andy AugerContributor IJanuary 25, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Pierre Thomas #23 of the New Orleans Saints scores a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against Tyrell Johnson #25 and Madieu Williams #20 of the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

You can view this article on my blog here.

We have seen this before, potential game-winning passes thrown by Brett Favre that are picked off.

With Green Bay in 2007, that was his fault, he messed up horribly and cost them the game; they were in overtime already and his interception directly led to the other team nailing the game-winning field goal.

This time it was different.

It takes a very rare quarterback to have the mental toughness of Favre to be effective after getting hit with the force of about 15 SUVs, first off. Minnesota played a horribly sloppy game, fumbling six times, and losing five turnovers; the best team did lose this game, but by its own hand.

Favre was responsible for two turnovers yes, but neither directly resulted in a New Orleans touchdown. Two other turnovers were directly responsible for points by the Saints, neither involved Favre.

At the end of the game, they were penalized for having 12 men on the field, seemingly taking them out of field goal range; the penalty wasn't on or because of Brett Favre.

On third down the call was a pass play in a situation where the offense only needed to grind out three or four yards to put them back in field goal range. They have one of the NFL's best rushers in Adrian Peterson, who was responsible for 75 percent of the Vikings points...questionable decision by Brad Childress to pass?

Of course there is no denying it, Favre's pass was a bad decision, but there were factors out of Favre's control that led to a pass in the first place. Maybe he thinks of taking off and running if he doesn't get hit 15-20 times?

Regardless, the interception leads to overtime, but not a loss at this point.

The Vikings lose the toss, and make the Saints offense work their tails off, and Vikings safety Tyrell Johnson had a chance to potentially end the game on his own, letting a tipped ball juggle right off his palms.

That would have been a change in possession, but because he is not Brett Favre, everyone is going to scrutinize his interception, and not the missed pick that laughed at Johnson as it fell to the floor.

After failing to haul in a potential change in possession, Hartley boots one in and sends the Aint's to the Super Bowl; his missed interception directly led to the Saints advancing further downfield.

Can't say I am not content, I am a fan of all four teams, so it was a unique conundrum, but the Saints and Drew Brees deserve their shot; Favre already has a ring.

Brett Favre is not done, regardless of what this article says, or whether or not you blame him or not, that interception is going to bug him into another year with the Vikings.

He is going to take some time off, realize he feels the same as last offseason, take the $10 million, and lead the Vikings to another NFC North crown.

The media will make a circus, the rumor mill will churn, and people will think he might be done, but he has no incentive to quit as a quarterback on a team who was fingertips away from the Super Bowl.

Remember Minnesota, you're not in this game without Brett Favre. He led you to this game with one of the best seasons of his career. You are within an arm's reach of the Super Bowl with Brett Favre, and a fringe playoff contender without him.

I hope educated fans realize that the sole blame for defeat cannot be laid on the arm of Brett Favre. If you are going to make Favre the scapegoat, then you need to throw Tyrell Johnson under the bus as well for your reasoning to be anything near rational.