The League

Brandon Benson
Packers Blogger

Brandon Benson

Brandon Benson is the lead blogger at Acme Packing Company.

Favre Still Magic

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When the Green Bay Packers walk onto the field in Minneapolis on Monday night, they'll not only be facing their division rivals but one of their team's legendary players. And probably every announcer on TV will be gushing with praise for Brett Favre and what he brings to the Vikings. But how much of that is true?

For the last several seasons, Favre has been an above average quarterback. Over the last decade, he's led the league in TD passes (2003) and had a couple of truly great seasons (2004, 2007). While mixing in some disappointing ones (2005, 2006, 2008). His career was really two separate careers. The first one began in 1991, stretched through three MVP seasons, and ended some time around 2000. He had a big arm and was surprisingly mobile. Back then, he was played like QB Tony Romo and QB Ben Roethlisberger do now.

Today his arm isn't as strong and he can't toss away would be pass rushers. But the decline has been slow, and he remains basically the same player he's been for the past few seasons, despite the fact he'll be turning 40 later this year. He can't carry a team on his back anymore, but when he plays on a good team, he can make them great. The Vikings are currently unbeaten at 3-0, and Favre has a QB rating over 90.

And someone has finally gotten through to him after all the years he's been a Gunslinger. He only has one interception through his first three games. Maybe it's his coaches, or maybe it's just Father Time and Favre has figured it out for himself. Instead of trying to force something into the hands of a receiver downfield, or just heaving it down the sidelines for a possible big play or pass interference penalty, he's content to find his checkdown receiver and punt the ball away.

As I watched the Vikings lose last season in the playoffs, I realized that QB Tarvaris Jackson just wasn't their answer at quarterback. Despite his physical talents, he can't make anything out of nothing. He can't scramble on a busted play and find an open receiver. Favre won't provide a big improvement over Jackson's stats over the course of a 16 game season. But Favre can make something out of nothing. He's already proved that in their win last week over San Francisco, when he avoided the pass rush, moved to his right, and threw a perfect pass into the back of the endzone to WR Greg Lewis for a game winning TD with only seconds left. It wasn't the play called, and it wasn't something that had ever been ran in practice.

Favre can't turn a losing team into a winning one, and he isn't solely responsible for their 3-0 start. But he has given them something they didn't have before; a chance at a comeback in every game they'll play in.

By Brandon Benson  |  October 5, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre , Green Bay Packers , Minnesota Vikings Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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