It’s music to my ears to hear Brett Favre say at his post game press conference, “I’m just one piece of this puzzle. At some point we have to go on and focus on what we’re trying to do as a team and not one person.” Could it be that we are getting a guy who will make the high percentage throw like Pennington, but has the rocket arm to scare defenses away from taking chances? If so, Favre could cement his legecy at the end of his career the same way John Elway was able too. We know they both had huge arms, but both struggled especially in big situations when they tried to shoulder too much of the load.
I can appreciate all the Jets fans enthusiasm for Favre’s big arm, but those of us who have followed his career know it has also been his greatest downfall. Since 2002 he has been arguably the worst playoff quarterback in the league. Last year though, it seemed like he was able to settle down and take what the defense gave him (in the regular season, at least). That is exactly what he did in his first action against the Skins! As Jayvers said in his last blog, a Phelpsian performace. He absolutely looked cool under pressure and made all the right decisions. The only difference is Phelps is in his physical prime and we’re hoping Favre is entering his mental prime! His performance was a stark difference from the Favre we’ve seen 4 of the last 5 years. Favre was also quoted before the game to say that he just wanted to go out and manage the game. This is a HUGE difference from the Brett of old!!! He wanted to make the right reads and get the right guys the ball. We know these receivers are not homerun hitters, but Brett seems to admire their toughness and ability to break tackles. That style of play from Brett could be the perfect match! SI’s Don Banks saw this transformation as Favre broke Dan Marino’s TD record last year saying, “It was his answer to all the doubters who have weighed in on his declining game in recent years. It was Favre changing a play, and at the same time proving he has changed his game just enough to rediscover a whole new chapter of late-career success.” Very exciting!!!
It would’ve been nice to see if David Clowney could’ve been the one deep threat of the group, but I for one think the only way the defense is going to have success is if the offense chews up the clock. We all know this group isn’t built to win a shootout, so the check downs and short passes were the perfect blend for Brett to facilitate a nice looking drive in his first showing. Let’s be real, the Jets are chasing the Pats and there is no way to outscore them now that Moss is there. The only chance to beat them is to follow the Giants blueprint from last year’s Superbowl:
1: Run the ball effectively so Brady and Moss are on the sideline for an extended period of time.
2. Keep the defense fresh so when they are on the field they can go balls to the wall in pressuring Brady.
3. Be physical with Moss, and when they decide to run, wrap up and hope for a mistake!
Most people look at Favre as someone who has compiled all sorts of stats, but has never really been the elite QB in the league dispite the MVP’s. Many people say those stats have come because he takes more chances than the rest of the QB’s out there. Tops in TD’s, Tops in INTS. I would argue that most people would start their franchise with Manning, Brady or many of the other top QB’s over the years, rather than Favre in his prime. This opportunity with the Jets could be his chance to show that he really is one of the GREATS!!! This is his chance to show he belongs in the same breath with the Montana’s. If he is able to lead this team with the intelligence that Elway was able to lead the Broncos at the end of his career, than he can put a stop to all the critics (myself included) once and for all!!! The key now is for the rest of the team to rally around him and take the pressure off him. We’re all rooting for you Brett, I just hope the rest of the team is not standing around waiting for something to happen. It’s going to take a full team effort to support the Age-less wonder.
Bottom line, if Favre continues to play this new game he’s developed over the last year, then he will stick it to all the critics… including the Crypt Keeper (John Clayton).