I've been seeing all over the forums and blogosphere lately a lot of folks mentioning that, given Favre's current struggles, that the Packers would have been no better off with him at quarterback, and in fact, would be lucky to have the five wins we do.
I totally understand where these folks are coming from, and don't fault them for it. It is was happens when you do have a frustrated fan base that is still stinging over the loss of Brett Favre, and it is interpreted as a cut on Aaron Rodgers (and in some cases, it actually is a cut on Aaron Rodgers). The "other side" then moves to counter those arguments by showing that Favre is actually playing significantly worse than Rodgers, therefore, we are far better off without him.
In a lot of ways, I don't argue that point. There's few bigger Favre fans than myself, admittedly, and I am still irritated with how the situation was handled this summer. However, I did not want Favre to return this year, nor do I want him to "come back". I don't disagree with the decision made by Thompson and McCarthy, but still am very critical of them in how it was handled.
The point I wish to make, somewhat in defense of Favre, is that you need to take into consideration that Favre requested a return to the Packers several weeks before the start of training camp (July 8), and requested a release or a trade well before most camps started.
After a soap opera of protecting legacies, $20 million offers, and media tit-for-tats, Favre was not traded until August 7th, and could not begin even trying to run a preseason game until the third week.
Given the Favre privately requested a return as early as March, he missed out on five months of training, learning an offense, and practicing with teammates. I'm not going to defend his decision to retire, then unretire...he takes full accountability for waffling.
My point is that a Brett Favre that would have continued to play with the team and in a system he was familiar with would likely have had a far different year than he had. Even if Favre had been allowed to join a different team prior to the start of training camps, it is likely he would have had to spend less time acclimating himself to his situation...an exhausting experience, I would imagine.
My point isn't to say that Favre would have the better option over Rodgers. I think Rodgers has had a fine season and, if anything, Thompson should be berated for not having a better team established around Rodgers after four full offseasons of rebuilding.
However, Thompson also chose to drag his feet and not give Favre an opportunity to play for the Packers or for any other team until halfway through training camp. To judge his struggles this season as an old dog trying to learn new tricks on the fly with a formerly 4-12 team isn't the same as judging a young dog who has spent three full seasons becoming very familiar with his teammates and system on a team that went 13-3 last year.
Take that for what it is worth. This isn't a pro-Favre or anti-Rodgers statement. However, for those who want to compare Favre to Rodgers, just realize that there is more to the picture than just the stats. For all the hullabaloo that Rodgers has handled a difficult situation this year, it seems pretty tame compared to what Favre has done.