Last season Brett Favre and the Vikings were lighting up the scoreboard. Brett, at 40, enjoyed his best career numbers as a pro.
He passed for a career-high 33 touchdowns, while throwing only seven “Favres!" The Vikings rolled through the regular season.
The Vikings have to figure a guy that age is going to run out of gas over the course of a grueling 16-game NFL season.
Those stats don’t really matter. There is only one goal in football and the Vikes fell just short of it.
This year they need to be smarter and think about holding Brett back a little bit.
They will be forced to in part because he has still not recovered from offseason ankle surgery. But a 40-year-old signal caller may require even more innovative measures.
They should plan to use Tavaris Jackson consistently as part of their offensive package, almost a co-starter.
The team should at least work on the Wildcat package a little more, allowing Tavaris Jackson to come in for three or four plays in a row every now and then.
Changing the pace and keeping the defenses off balance while giving Brett a break. It is a good way to eat some clock once they have a lead in ball games.
Jackson has been very professional handling the whole Brett Favre situation. Surely he would appreciate a consistent, albeit limited, role on the field.
He actually deserves it.
Even Percy Harvin has enough versatility to handle a snap in the Wildcat every now and then.
The Vikings have to add some dimensions to their offense. They cannot count on Favre having anything near to the year that he did last season (although they hope he does).
They have to approach the season ready for any situation. Why not be prepared in case Brett is forced out of action at some point of the season?
They can do put some innovative things in play with athletes like Adrian Peterson, Tavaris Jackson, and Percy Harvin in the backfield.
This will give defensive coordinators more looks to prepare their team for when facing the Purple Gang, instead of only focusing on ways to tee off on Favre.
Sure Favre is a competitive guy, and he won’t like the idea of a reduced role.
But they have to sell him on saving the big moments he has left in the tank for late December this time around.
He has accumulated enough stats to last a lifetime.
If Favre is being mentioned as a possible MVP candidate in 2011, then they are going to crumble again in the long run.
They already know what Favre can do on any given Sunday. He knows this offense and the receivers well. The Purps must preserve him all the way through THE Sunday in Dallas.
It gets tough in the postseason.
By the last drive of the NFC Championship game last year, Brett Favre was broken down. That last interception was out of exhaustion as much as anything else.
It was vintage Favre—trying to do too much.
Minnesota has to try to prevent that this year. They should borrow a page from the Raiders this regular season.
"Just win baby."
They will surely find it better to finish on top than to be a front-runner who falls short.