In Defense of Brett Favre

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In Defense of Brett Favre
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Packers fan on Monday is happy.

Packers fan feels like Monday is “I told you so” day.

Packers fan told Vikings fan that Favre would blow it.

Packers fan told Vikings fan not to fall in love with Brett Favre.

Packers fan told Vikings fan that Favre would break his heart like he had done to Packers fan so many times, most notably in the 2007 NFC Championship Game.

But Packers fan is missing the big picture.

Without Favre, the Vikings weren’t in the NFC Championship Game.

Without Favre, the Vikings probably weren’t even in the playoffs. (Has Packers fan never seen Tarvaris Jackson?)

Without Favre, the Vikings wouldn’t have swept the season series with the Packers.

Without Favre in purple, the Packers would have won the NFC North in 2009.

Without Favre in purple, the Packers would have had an easier road to Super Bowl XLIV.

Am I saying that the Packers would be headed to Miami were it not for Brett Favre signing with the Minnesota Vikings? No.

The Packers' defense, which self-destructed all year against big-name quarterbacks, couldn’t get past the Cardinals and wouldn’t have gotten past the Saints either. And they certainly couldn’t have, as the Vikings defense did, held Drew Brees to fewer than 200 yards passing.

Heck, the Packers' defense in 2009 couldn’t hold Tampa Bay rookie quarterbacks to fewer than 200 yards passing.

Packers fan laughing on Monday is either ignorant of two things or ignoring two things.

Favre, by making division-rival Minnesota much, much better, got his revenge on Ted Thompson in 2009.

And Favre is not, although it’s easy to point to one admittedly stupid play, the reason the Vikings lost Sunday.

The Vikings lost Sunday because their offensive line couldn’t protect Brett Favre from getting the beating of his life.

The Vikings lost Sunday because Adrian Peterson is the most turnover-prone player in the league since Daunte Culpepper ruined many a Minnesota fan’s Sunday afternoon.

On top of the three fumbles that he was fortunate to recover, Peterson should get credit for that botched handoff exchange inside the New Orleans five-yard line that almost certainly cost the Vikings a touchdown.

The Vikings lost Sunday because their special teams couldn’t resist giving up a big play, in this case a 61-yard kickoff return that four plays later gave the Saints their first lead.

The Vikings lost Sunday because of two killer fourth-quarter fumbles by their normally sure-handed receivers Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin.

The Vikings lost Sunday because of a stupid penalty that put them in the third-and-long situation that made Brett Favre feel that he had to throw to get extra yards for Ryan Longwell’s should-have-been game-winning field goal.

The Vikings lost Sunday because they picked the wrong side of the coin at the commencement of overtime.

The Vikings lost Sunday because of a very questionable pass interference call in overtime that put New Orleans in field goal range.

Was Favre blameless on Sunday?

Absolutely not. His interception with seven seconds left to play in regulation was the most disastrous play in a day loaded with disastrous plays for the Vikings.

But Favre’s season, and that of the Vikings, was far more triumph than tragedy.

Although I would go broke betting on what Favre is going to do next, it seems relatively safe to say we’ve probably witnessed Favre’s final year as a Minnesota Viking or active player for any team in the NFL.

And that’s why Packers fan should be happy on Monday.

Because without Favre in Minnesota, the Packers become the team to beat in the NFC North.

With Favre in Minnesota, the Packers would remain a wild-card contender with a promising young quarterback.

A young quarterback who, when given a chance to win a game for his team in this year’s postseason, blew it.

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