Brett Favre is putting together a monstrous year.
I still think Manning will edge him out in final MVP voting, but one more weekend like this and I have to re-think that notion. He has taken a massive strain off the team by making it omni-dimensional.
Yet with all the accolades, and the great things it seems to spell for this season, I can’t help but wonder if his role will backfire long-term for Minnesota.
As a forty year old retiree, he was brought in to be a game managing savvy vet, think a slightly better version of Baltimore’s Trent Dilfer. Put in 200 yard games, make one or two throws like his 49ers hail mary, and let Adrian Peterson steamroll defenses that now have to put eight instead of nine in the box.
What has come to pass, instead, is a season that could easily go into the books as Brett’s finest.
He is routinely using the artillery on his shoulder to fire up three hundred yard, multi-touchdown games. He has done so while making next to none of the mistakes usually attributed to his ‘gunslinger’ mentality.
The more he tears apart defenses, the better the Vikings playoff outlook is. So why the concern?
Brett may hmm and haw. He may even play next year. But sometime soon he will retire and stay that way.
The Vikings would be a much better team when that time comes if they were relying on him to do the basics and little more. Their young stud Peterson will be around for a long time. His style may make him highly susceptible to the running back age-30 wall, but he will have plenty of years before that time.
It seems the stronger Favre’s performances, the more Peterson is fading into the background. If you take away the long run/fumble by AP in the game against the Lion’s, he has not had a 100 yard game since week 6 against the Ravens. More telling is that four of the last five weeks he has averaged below four yards a carry.
This paired with his tendency to fumble showing itself strongly the last few weeks, makes me wonder how much of the difference is a focal attention on stopping the run, and how much is a growing commitment to the pass?
With a subpar passing attack last year he averaged over 4.5 yards per carry in nine of his seventeen games. To date, with team needing to focus some extra defensive attention on the passing game, he has averaged above that in four of eleven games. 53 percent of the time compared to 36 percent. A fairly significant drop.
With a game-managing Favre, the team would be in a much better position to go replacement shopping.
Many teams can find quarterbacks that are good, but not necessarily pro bowlers. In asking Favre to be the hall of famer he is, are the Vikings inviting a letdown when he is gone?
I know this is not a big deal this year, and whatever is putting up points and wins should be considered the ‘right’ way. But I wonder if Brett Favre of the first six weeks (224.5 ypg) is better for Minnesota in the long haul than the Brett Favre of the last five (305.4 ypg).
Bottom line: Does Minnesota really want Favre to make himself irreplaceable?