Brett Favre Returns: 10 Predictions For His 2010 Season
Love him or hate him, Brett Favre is back and set to attempt another Super Bowl run with the Minnesota Vikings.
Favre arguably had the best season of his career last year, but fell short yet again in the NFC Championship game, throwing a late interception that cost his team their chance at winning it all.
Despite a myriad of mistakes by the New Orleans Saints, the Vikings found themselves on the losing end of a 31-28 final score last January.
Favre and the Vikings go into 2010 without any obvious weaknesses, especially after No. 4 found his way back to Minneapolis. There will be plenty of expectations from a variety of sources and mediums. Some will see them as a Super Bowl lock. Others say they will crumble in crunch time for a second consecutive year.
There is always chatter about Favre's return and what to expect from him during the upcoming season. Consider this my attempt to throw my hat into the proverbial ring and present to you 10 predictions for Brett Favre's 2010 season.
Minnesota Will Throw More Interceptions
I know what you're thinking...duh? Well, last season Brett Favre looked like a brand new man. The touchdowns were up and more importantly, the interceptions were way down.
Favre throwing seven interceptions is like Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade calling John Daniels Jack, it just seems unnatural and on some level, wrong.
Although I believe Favre will have a great season in what will likely be his first legitimate swan song, (don't hold me to that) he will throw more than seven interceptions this season. The gunslinger had never thrown less than 13 interceptions in a year prior to 2009 and I do not expect him to simply buck this trend.
He will throw 10+ interceptions in 2010 but Vikings fans need not worry because the next prediction will ease this little hiccup.
30 Plus Touchdowns Is Not a Pipe Dream
Brett Favre will throw 30 plus touchdowns again in 2010. Pick your jaw off the floor Ted Thompson. You made the right decision but Favre is no slouch and he looked like a 25-year old last year.
2009 was no fluke. Following surgery, Favre regained that effortless zip he has displayed for the last 19 seasons and that zip will lead to big numbers again as he enters his 20th season. Favre, in my estimation, will find himself on the plus side of 30 for the 10th time in his many years.
Sidney Rice is a year older and a year wiser and should contribute once he returns. Percy Harvin reportedly has found the source of the those migraines, Adrian Peterson is Adrian Peterson and Visanthe Shiancoe is the most underrated tight end in the NFL.
Plain and simple, Favre has weapons, legitimate weapons, and he will not hesitate to pull the trigger on any pass that promises the riches of six.
3,999 Passing Yards or Lower
You said what now? Brett Favre will throw for less than 4,000 yards in 2010. This prediction may come as a surprise to you, especially after the man passed for over 4,200 yards in 2009.
But Favre has only passed for 4,000 yards or more six times in his career and only three times in the last 10 years. Favre will have a great season like I said before but I see him passing somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,800 yards.
The Vikings have a great running game and will likely not see a healthy Sidney Rice for at least half the season, so passing yards will be harder to come by.
3,800 yards is nothing to sniff at though and his numbers will lead to wins.
The Ankle Will Hold Up
Plenty worry about the health of Favre's ankle including Favre, but I'm pretty sure that after 285 consecutive years...I mean starts, (I had to get an old joke in here somewhere) that he'll handle the injury just fine.
Favre is the NFL's Iron Man and more often than not, no matter the injury, he will perform as if he has a clean bill of health. More than anything, in my opinion, Favre's contemplation to retire every year has more to do with his mental health than his physical health.
The NFL season is a grind like none other and it leaves you both physically and mentally drained. Eventually the bumps and bruises, sprains and breaks, heal, but it often takes longer to mentally prepare yourself to go through all of it all over again.
Favre is honest to a fault. If the ankle is bothering him that badly, he'll let us know but as far as I can tell, the Iron Man will rise to the occasion again this year.
Favre Will Make Peterson More Versatile
Brett Favre has been known from time-to-time to make his teammates better and last year was no exception, especially in the case of Adrian Peterson. With Favre's help, Peterson will become even more versatile in 2010.
In today's NFL, versatility is everything and is almost becoming a requirement for running backs in the league. The West Coast offense demands a halfback who can pound the rock and make catches out of the backfield.
Peterson set a career high in receptions last year (43) nearly doubling his previous highest mark (21) with Favre under center.
Expect more catches for Peterson this year from the more mindful Favre, who looks for the check-down now, more than he ever has.
Again, Favre Will Win in Lambeau
Brett Favre will win another game in Green Bay this season, with or without the city's affection.
Favre returned to Lambeau last season to a mixture of boos and cheers. Affections towards him varied more than Deion Sanders' collection of suits.
Favre collected a victory and left town as either a trader or a lost son of Green Bay and this season, I expect him to collect another victory where he won so many before, just wearing a different color combination.
NFC North Division Crown Will Come But Not Easily
All of a sudden, the NFC North has become a very competitive division and, depending on who you ask, the Vikings may not even have the best offense or team in the old black and blue division.
The Lions (it pains me to say) and Bears haven't a chance but the Green Bay Packers are legitimate contenders for the crown. Aaron Rodgers is a superstar ladies and gentlemen. At 26 he may soon be considered amongst the NFL's elite.
The weapons Rodgers has are equal to, if not better than, Favre's and Rodger's numbers in '09 were very similar to Brett's. But for Packers fans, it ends with the offense.
Although Charles Woodson and company are respectable, they are nowhere near the level of Jared Allen's version of the Purple People Eaters. The defense, not the offense, will be the difference between a champagne shower and the showers for the Vikings in 2010 and I fully expect them to deliver.
13 Is a Lucky Number
The Vikings will earn 13 victories this season and homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. After Minnesota won 12 games in 2009, it isn't all that difficult to imagine them doing it again and getting a break here or there to earn a 13th.
I'm not sure if they will be outduel the Colts for the league's best record but 13 wins should be enough in the NFC and will definitely grant them a first-round bye.
Super Bowl Or Bust
As the Colts' Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report, I am likely to receive some flack for this, but the best team in the NFL last season was Minnesota and they will be again this year, except this time the Vikings are going to win it all.
I know, it is a fairy tale ending and fairy tale endings rarely happen in sports. But try and tell me that last year's Super Bowl champions' story was not something out of Cinderella? Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints were the rag tag river boat gamblers who gave a tattered city a reason to hope.
If the Vikings find themselves hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, it will not even touch that of last year's fairy tale but will end Brett Favre's career the way John Elway's did, with a Super Bowl ring.
It would be a perfect ending to an imperfect career.
The Swan Song: No, Seriously
This is it. No, really it is.
This will be Brett Favre's last season in the National Football League. He will take his gold watch and head on down the road.
Favre brings out a variety of emotions for people. Disdain, admiration, jealousy, empathy, you name it. He is a polarizing figure and that will likely never change.
I have been a Lions fan all my life, I have watched Favre shred Detroit's secondary to pieces more times than I would like to admit. I have never seen the Lions win at Lambeau, I have rarely seen the Lions get the best of Favre.
And yet, despite the number of times he has destroyed my hopes with a smile, he is the greatest player I have ever seen. He's not a better quarterback than Elway or Montana. He's made more than his fair share of mistakes and is not perfect by any means, but with the combination of physical skill, fearlessness, and exuberance I have witnessed him play with over the years, he is the greatest player I have ever seen.
The way Favre plays the game is the way most of us would. With a chip on his shoulder, recklessly throwing caution to the wind, letting it all hang out, all the while playing with a childlike vigor.
Many wish he would just retire already. They wish he would simply end the charade.
But for me, I will welcome him back every year, no matter what uniform he is wearing or how long it takes him to decide. One day, those same people will look back and realize they made a mistake.
Because honestly, they just don't make them like that anymore.