On Monday Night Football Brett Favre recorded touchdown passes No. 500, 501 and 502, the most by any quarterback ever. Favre also threw surpassed the 70,000 passing yards mark, which leads any quarterback in history. However, despite the records, the reality is that Favre has lost his magic.
He has lost the edge to comeback and to win games with his own intellect and skill when all of the odds are against him. This is what separates him from the elite. Quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady who are down late in games and consistently can pull their teams out of a hole when everyone else has given up.
No question, Favre is still a great quarterback. He will still win games against other teams. But when everything relies on him to win games, the Vikings cannot trust that he will make the right decisions to win.
The game-sealing interception for a touchdown vs. the Jets was the play that still sticks in my mind after the game. Another play I am reminded of was right before that play when a wide open Percy Harvin was overthrown. Instead, Favre made a very poor throw that once again revealed his age.
It is evident to me that Favre’s age has finally caught up to him.
In his 20th season in the NFL all of the bumps and bruises and surgeries that has never before slowed Favre down, when the game is on the line, has shown to be a major problem. Vikings fans still remember the poor pass Favre made in the NFC Championship game in the closing seconds of regulation. Deep in the Saints territory with Ryan Longwell waiting in the wings to kick the game-winning field goal and send the Vikings to the Super Bowl, Favre’s pass was intercepted by Tracy Porter. The game went into overtime, the Saints won the toss, and the Vikings' chances were over.
Desperate to revive last year’s magic ride, Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, and Ryan Longwell, traveled down to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to beg their “invincible” quarterback hero to come back one last time. They lured Favre with manipulation, telling him, that he owed them and the team to make one last comeback. Sitting at 1-3, I am wondering if Allen, Hutchinson, and Longwell are regretting their decision.
Favre’s tank is on empty. Last season was the perfect season for Favre to retire. There was still some mysticism to his play. The old man could still dazzle and defy the odds, and when that last bit of magic ran out in the NFC Championship, it was time to call it a career. But now, at 41 years old, Favre has to struggle through one final grueling NFL season.
The nail in the coffin on Favre's career is his conduct towards Jenn Sterger, the former New York Jets game hostess. An Internet report that ran last week accused Favre of sending racy text messages and lewd photos to Sterger, which he has yet to fully deny.
Favre has shown both a lack of professionalism and morality by his actions. These actions, additionally, may result in a lengthy suspension, forcing the Vikings to turn to the bench to fill the spot at quarterback. This very well could spell doom for the Vikings season.
The Vikings need to start looking at new options. If they don’t think that Tarvaris Jackson will be the one to take them to the next level, then they need to release him and find someone who will. This year, the Vikings drafted Joe Webb in the sixth round of the NFL draft, maybe he could be the answer.
I can remember a diehard Packers fan’s opinion of the release of the Green Bay legend after the 2007 season ended that he favored the Packers decision. At the time I was amazed at his loyalty to the Packers front office, and that he didn’t stick up for Favre after all those years. But now, I realize that he was onto something. Favre would have continued to come out of retirement year after year, each year aging and getting worse and prohibiting the waiting back-ups from maturing into their role as a starting quarterback.
Look at the Packers today. They have no worries concerning their future at quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is sprouting into an elite quarterback in the NFL. He has all of the makings of Packers greatness in the years to come. In contrast, the Vikings look foolish for failing to develop their waiting quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson, and relying on a deteriorating fossil who is holding their team back.
The Vikings front office needs to cut their losses and admonish the coaching staff to do their job and develop the up-and-coming future of the franchise, not continue to enable those whose careers are over to drag down their team.