And there was a time that I was in total amazement, watching the great gunslinger of the '90s pick apart teams with his laser passes and crazy pocket scrambles. And there was a time I loathed his name, as well as Desmond Howard, for years after he trounced the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
But now, the fervor for Fav-re in New York has reached new heights, and I am convinced that the success of the Jets has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with their star QB.
Favre Throws, Jets Lose
When Favre throws it a lot, the Jets lose. They are not built to throw the ball. At least not the way Favre tries to throw it.
The Jets are 3-2 when Favre throws for 30+ passes, and they barely beat Kansas City. Remember, Favre had three interceptions in that game, and two of those turnovers became two touchdowns for the Chiefs (one on following drive, the other on defensive touchdown after INT).
The Jets are able to win without Favre because their O-line is able to keep defenses off the line of scrimmage. Although not the biggest line in the league, they have very talented and strong players holding the fort for Thomas Jones and Favre's pocket.
Alan Faneca and Damien Woody are legitimate Pro-Bowl talents, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold were former first-round picks. The line hasn't given up a sack since Week Eight.
When Leon Washington and Thomas Jones get into the offensive mix, especially with draw plays and screens, the Jets' offense is dangerous, and there is little need for Favre's gun-slinging tactics with a mobile line able to block up-field for their half-back playmakers.
Greg Cossell of NFL Films spoke yesterday with Fox Sports' Steve Czaban and mentioned the real success of the Jets lie within their backfield playmakers, and to keep Favre conservative.
Hey Brett! David Bowie & Freddie Mercury are Calling You
When the line does break down, Brett has the amazing ability to make plays on the scramble. The sad part is, Brett has the tendency (My bias would call it stubbornness) to throw into coverage instead of tossing the ball away.
When he is under pressure, he will make stupid plays. Period. This has killed him against the Patriots, Raiders, Chiefs, and Chargers, and the Giants in last year's playoffs. Only in Kansas City was he able to redeem himself with his clutch drive to win the game.
Favre in Green Bay was able to scramble for big plays because of two things he doesn't have now:
1. His youth: I loved him (except when he played the Patriots) when he was younger, but he isn't as good as he was. He still has the gun, but his nimbleness and reaction time are a tad bit slower than his earlier days.
2. His Go-To Guy(s)
Although one can say that the Jets' offense has a little "West Coast" in it, you have to look into the exact style that Favre and Mike Holmgren ran in Green Bay and the immense talent he had around it.
Favre lived and died off of players he was accustomed to. Bubba Franks, Mark Chmura, Dorsey Levens, Ahman Green. He was addicted to his tight ends and running backs. Although Donald Driver, Bill Schroeder, and Antonio Freeman burnt up defensive secondaries, Brett Favre had that short-yard go-to guy that gave him comfort in the pocket.
He doesn't have any experience with anyone on the Jets. He hasn't grown accustomed to his backfield companions. He has lost his addiction with Thomas Jones, Chris Baker, and Justin Keller. Bubba Franks is still around, but he is nowhere near the No. 1 tight end on the Jets' depth chart.
Without those offensive weapons and experience with his teammates, Favre's ability to make great plays are stifled, and only make it more dangerous for him to dictate the offense.
The Jets are dominant without Brett Favre. It is sad to say, but Favre is more of an asset to their offense when he isn't throwing the ball trying to win games. Chad Pennington on the other hand...
See Also: Preview And Prediction: Pats Vs. Jets Tonight @ 8:30pm