Brett Favre: How Does His Return Impact The NFC North?

Jeremy Lookabaugh Correspondent IAugust 18, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings waves on the field against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 31-28 in overtime. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The saga of wondering when, not if Brett Favre will come back and play a 20th NFL season is finally over. 

The 40-year-old quarterback returned to Minnesota on Tuesday, arriving in a private jet, along with fellow Viking teammates- guard Steve Hutchinson, defensive end Jared Allen, and place-kicker Ryan Longwell in attempt to win that elusive Super Bowl Championship. 

Longwell told ESPN's Rachol Nichols in a text message that Favre told the three that he would play this season.

The Vikings are a playoff team without Favre, but with the return of the Hall of Fame quarterback, is Minnesota the favorite in the NFC North and possibly the entire NFC? 

If the Vikings believe this, they will be let down. Favre complained about his ankle all off-season. He will turn 41 in October.

He cannot duplicate what he did last season. Favre threw 33 touchdowns, with only seven interceptions. He never threw fewer than 13 interceptions in a season. He had a career-high completion percentage of 68.4%. Favre threw for 4,202 yards.

The stats he put up at 40-years-old are incredible. Favre deserved the NFL MVP last season, not Peyton Manning.

With that being said, there is absolutely no way he can put up these numbers for two consecutive seasons.

The Vikings traveled to Hattiesburg to convince Favre to come back to play. They waited through mini-camp and after the first preseason game for him to give them an answer. Minnesota believes he can bring them a Super Bowl, but he just can't.

Favre will play with a hurt ankle, history tells us that. The man has made 285 straight starts (309 including playoffs). But will this injury,along with his age influence his play down the stretch like it did with the Jets.

Minnesota is a playoff team, but they will struggle to win the NFC North. The Green Bay Packers (11-5) a year ago are much improved. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has the tools to be an MVP caliber player. He will prove why the Packers made the right decision to move forward.

Rodgers threw for over 4,400 yards, with a passer rating of 103.2 and 30 touchdowns. He will lead the Packers deep into the playoffs and their pass defense simply will not be as bad as they were a year ago.

The Chicago Bears also improved. They signed former Vikings backup running back Chester Taylor as well as one of the best defensive ends ever to play the game in Julius Peppers. Jay Cutler will also cut back on a horrendous interception total (26) with new offensive quarterback Mike Martz.

The NFC North will look as though Favre did not decide to come back and Tavaris Jackson was at the helm. Green Bay will win the division with Minnesota coming in a close second, followed by Chicago and then Detroit.