Monday, October 10, 2005

Favre's Playoff Credibility

Okay, I’m worked on a couple of stats for you to address the claim that Favre is now a bad playoff quarterback.

First of all, you make the assumption that Brett Favre has only gotten bad in playoff games since the start of this millennium (of course, they missed the playoffs in 1999 and 2000). I won’t even go into his stats before that time, then. Let’s take it one game at a time.


Favre’s regular season averages: 31 passing attempts per game, 61.6% completed, 245 ypg, 2 TDs/game, 0.9 INT/game, 94.1 rating

Green’s regular season averages: 19 attempts for 86.7 ypg, 3.8 receptions for 37 ypg, 0.7 TDs, 0.25 fumbles lost pg, 4.6 ypc

Misc regular season averages: : 105 rushing yards per game, 1.3 sacks allowed, 5 penalties per game for 41 yards, 3.25 sacks per game, 1.25 INT per game


Favre’s regular season averages: 34 passing attempts per game, 61.9% completed, 228 ypg, 1.6 TDs/game, 1 INT/game, 85.6 rating

Green’s regular season averages: 20 rushes for 88.6 ypg, 3.5 receptions for 28.1 ypg, 0.6 TDs/game, 0.18 fumbles pg, 4.3 ypc

Misc regular season averages: : 120 rushing yards per game, 1.7 sacks allowed, 6.7 penalties per game for 57 yards, 2.7 sacks per game, 1.5 INT per game


Favre’s regular season averages: 29 passing attempts per game, 65.4% completed, 210 ypg, 2 TDs/game, 1.3 INT/game, 90.4 rating

Green’s regular season averages: 22 rushes for 117 ypg, 3.1 receptions for 22.9 ypg, 1.25 TDs per game, 0.3 fumbles per game, 5.3 ypc

Misc regular season averages: : 159.9 rushing yards per game, 1.18 sacks allowed, 5.5 penalties per game for 43 yards, 2.2 sacks per game, 1.3 INT per game


Favre’s regular season averages: 33 passing attempts per game, 64.1% completed, 255 ypg, 1.9 TDs/game, 1.06 INT/game, 92.4 rating

Green’s regular season averages: 17 rushes for 77.5 ypg, 2.6 receptions for 18.3 ypg, 0.5 TDs per game, 0.25 lost fumbles per game, 4.5 ypc

Misc regular season averages: 119.3 rushing yards per game, 0.8 sacks allowed, 7.2 penalties per game for 59 yards, 2.5 sacks per game, 0.5 INT per game

All right, we good so far? By the way, notice how Favre’s numbers either held steady or improved in 2004, while nearly every other stat on every other squad declined?

Let’s keep going, though. This is about playoff games.

2001 (beat San Francisco 25-15, lost to St. Louis 45-17) RS: Regular Season, SF: San Francisco, SL: St. Louis.

Favre (attempts, yards, TD, INT, rating)

RS: 31, 245, 2 TD, 1 INT, 94.1

SF: 29, 269, 2 TD, 1 INT, 112.1

SL: 44, 281, 2 TD, 6 INT, 53.5

Green (attempts, yards, recpts., yards, TDs, fumbles, total rushing yards for all rushers)

RS: 19/86, 4/37, 0.7 TD, 0.25 fumbles, 105 yards

SF: 21/86, 2/12, 1 TD, 0 fumbles, 106 yards

SL: 16/94, 8/55, 0 TD, 1 fumble (plus two other fumbles), 118 total yards

Sacks (allowed, taken)

RS: 1.3 , 3.25

SF: 1 , 2

SL: 2, 2


RS: 1.25

SF: 1

SL: 1

Penalties (number, yards)

RS: 5/41

SF: 3/30

SL: 3/20

Verdict: In a playoff game, Favre matched or improved upon his regular season statistics, and did well. The rest of the team fared as well, also. Give Favre a positive point here for playing up to his lofty averages.

In the second game, Favre threw 6 more interceptions while attempting 13 more passes. Green rushed for good yardage, but the run was abandoned in the second half, giving Favre more opportunities to throw from behind. The penalties, interceptions, and sacks were not a major factor, but a Green fumble, as were the two others, were. Favre did play poorly in this game. We’ll give him a negative on this one. Favre is now 1-1.

2002 (lost to Atlanta 7-27) RS: Regular Season, AF: Atlanta Falcons

Favre (attempts, yards, TD, INT, rating)

RS: 34, 228, 1.6 TD, 1 INT, 85.6

AF: 42, 247, 1 TD, 2 INT, 54.4

Green (attempts, yards, recpts., yards, TDs, fumbles, total rushing yards for all rushers)

RS: 20/89, 4/28, 0.6 TD, 0.2 fumbles, 120 yards

AF: 11/34, 1/3, 0 TD, 0 fumbles (3 by teammates, though), 56 yards

Sacks (allowed, taken)

RS: 1.7 , 2.7

AF: 2, 0


RS: 1.5

AF: 0

Penalties (number, yards)

RS: 7/57

AF: 3/20

Verdict: Favre didn’t play extraordinarily bad, but was once again forced to throw 40+ times while a running game was now completely invisible. The defense forced no sacks or turnovers and allowed 192 rushing yards, 64 by Vick. Favre gets a push. He played worse than his average, but no more worse than every other squad on the team. 1-1-1.

2003 (beat Seattle 33-27, lost to Philly 17-20) RS: Regular Season, SS: Seattle Seahawks, PE: Philadelphia Eagles

Favre (attempts, yards, TD, INT, rating)

RS: 29, 210, 2, 1.3, 90.4

SS: 38, 319, 1, 0, 102.9

PE: 28, 180, 2 TD, 1 INT, 82.4

Green (attempts, yards, recpts., yards, TDs, fumbles, total rushing yards for all rushers)

RS: 22/117, 3/23, 1.25 TDs, 0.3 fumbles, 160 yards.

SS: 23/66, 5/44, 2 TDs, 0 fumbles, 78 yards

PE: 25/156, 3/16, 0 TDs, 0 fumbles, 210 yards

Sacks (allowed, taken)

RS: 1.1 , 2.2

SS: 0, 2

PE: 1, 8


RS: 1.3

SS: 1 (and a biggie)

PE: 2

Penalties (number, yards)

RS: 5.5/43

SS: 5/30

PE: 6/45

Verdict: Favre played a great game against Seattle, even though Green and the running game were very much stymied. You have to give him a positive for that one. 2-1-1.

Against Philly, it’s pretty easy to see that Favre played right along with his numbers with probably a lower completion percentage against a great defense. I’m tempted to give him a positive here, but because so many other aspects of the team also played well, I will give him a push. He certainly didn’t lose the game for them. This is a game the Packers should have won.

And, yes, some will say that one interception blew it. The interception would never have happened had the Packer played to win and gone for it on 4th and 1, and the defense hadn’t allowed 4th and 26. If you deduct a point from Favre for it, you deduct one from the defense, special teams, and coaching for the same, if not worse, stupidity. Push. 2-1-2.

2004 (lost to Minnesota 7-27) RS: Regular Season, MN: Vikings

Favre (attempts, yards, TD, INT, rating)

RS: 33, 255, 1.9 TD, 1.06 INT, 92.4

MN: 33, 216, 1 TD, 4 INT, 55.4

Green (attempts, yards, recpts., yards, TDs, fumbles, total rushing yards for all rushers)

RS: 17/77, 2.5/18, 0.25 fumbles, 119 yards

MN: 20/80, 2/16, 0 TD, 1 fumble (3 by teammates), 105 yards (only 6 rushes in second half)

Sacks (allowed, taken)

RS: 0.8 , 2.5

MN: 2, 4


RS: 0.5

MN: 0

Penalties (number, yards)

RS: 7/59

MN: 8/55

Verdict: This one, to me, is probably the biggest debate. Being at the game, the whole team didn’t appear to be in the game. The statistics suggest that the game might have been closer, but we know that the Vikings scored on a lot of one-play launches. Favre hurt the team with his 4 INTs, but he also was playing without his top 2 WRs, and was playing with 2 guys who normally didn’t play offense with him: Chatman and Thurman.

Does that excuse the 4 INTs? No. He takes accountability for them. They obviously impacted the game. But the team was down by only 2 TDs to start the second half, and they ran Green only 6 times AFTER he had run 14 times for 60-odd yards in the first half. Davenport fumbled three times. The defense not only forced no interceptions, but started getting into spats with each other on the field.

The sacks were up there, but many were at the end of the game, as Culpepper kept looking downfield to keep throwing more long.

You may disagree, but I mark this one as a push, less on the basis of stats, and more on what I saw at the game that day…a team that allowed itself to be pushed around and embarrassed, that looked lost and confused.

Yes, Favre was matching nearly every reg. season stat except the interceptions. But when the Packers cut the game to 24-17, the Vikings set out to stay on the field. They first managed a 4.42 minute drive in the fourth quarter for a TD. The Packers stall after two incomplete passes and a sack, then punt the ball, miss the muff on the play, and then watch as the Vikings run EIGHT MINUTES off the clock without scoring. On that drive they allowed a 3rd and 6 and a 4th and 1.

Favre didn’t get a chance to have a 4th quarter comeback. The defense has to take some bite on this one.

So, in retrospect, though debatable, I place Favre’s performance at 2-1-2. That means, in the Sherman era, he has played well enough to win twice, played poorly enough to lose once, and played down to the level of the rest of the team twice.

You want to chastise Favre for this kind of performance? Go for it. But if you want to place the blame for two of those losses in the right place, I’d be looking at the guy who is supposed to make sure every squad comes in and plays at top level. And that’s the coaches. That’s Mike Sherman.

I’ll say that Favre sucked it up in St. Louis. Admitted, conceded. You got me.

The two wins, he played efficiently. The two other losses, though…I don’t give him a “negative” unless he plays poorly while everyone around him is busting their arses off. And they didn’t. They came in flat and played without heart.

Here’s the one caveat I will give you on Favre. His mistakes are more glaring than any other quarterback. Tom Brady could throw the exact same interception, and no one would notice. But, because Favre makes plays that no one else makes, takes risks that no one else makes, the mistakes are very overt. But his interception-to-attempt ratio is in the middle of the pack, which is pretty good when you consider he was throwing 40+ times a lot last year.

He is also entertaining. Like it or not, I’d rather watch Favre put a bullet to Ferguson in the endzone with two guys within inches of the ball, instead of watching Craig Nall or Aaron Rodgers play run-run-pass-punt.