Nov 26, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre addresses the crowd during halftime of the NFL game against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The 2008 season for the New York Jets was one for the ages. There was a lot of highs and lows, but here are the top five greatest moments from quarterback Brett Favre.
The inaugural kickoff of the 2016 season is the Pro Football Hall of Fame game on Sunday, August 7th. But the night before, the enshrinement of one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history Brett Favre was truly something special.
Favre was the perennial gunslinger through the 90’s and the 2000’s, dazzling fans with his rambunctious personality and his impressive skill-set. Favre spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers, after initially being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.
Another thing that infamously became associated with Favre is the retirement jokes. Favre retired a handful of times, before inevitably changing his mind time after time.
Once the Packers decided they were moving on with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, their Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Favre became expendable. The Jets jumped at the opportunity to add a player of Favre’s caliber to the fold, which led to these top five memorable moments.
Next: 5. Favre makes a statement
5. Favre makes a statement
The Jets got their first look at the exchange they made when they traded for Favre, when they played the Miami Dolphins Week 1. The reaction from trading for Favre, resulted in the Jets releasing quarterback Chad Pennington, who was picked up by the Dolphins.
Favre lit it up early for the Jets getting two first half touchdowns including a bomb to Jerricho Cotchery. Despite the incredible heat of Miami, the Jets were able to overcome the obstacles and show the potential they had as a team.
The Jets put a lot of pressure on themselves with this news and the Jets media ran with it. Broadway Brett became a thing, he appeared on the cover of Madden that year, and the Jets were primed for a deep NFL Playoff run.
This opening game for the Jets had it all, it showed Favre’s rocket arm, a clutch Darrelle Revis interception to seal the win, and of course an opening day victory for Favre and company. The expectations were high and after a Week 1 victory, the hype train was louder than ever heading into the rest of the 2008 season.
Next: 4. What could have been
4. What could have been
Not all of these greatest memories are cheery, but this one in-particular is something Jets fans will always think about when reminiscing about Favre’s tenure with gang green. The Jets had the same hope they had in 1999 when they entered the 2008 season, Super Bowl or bust.
The late season collapse for the Jets didn’t make a whole lot of sense, all they had to do was win two out of the final five and they would’ve clinched a playoff berth. The Jets were unable to do that as Favre threw eight interceptions to only two touchdown passes in the final five games of the season.
The bigger what could have been came the next season when Favre was released from the Jets and he went over to the Minnesota Vikings. Favre went on to have the best season of his career, on a very similar type of team with the Vikings.
Favre’s late season collapse started to make sense, when in September of 2009, the NFL learned that the Jets were aware that Favre injured his arm in the eleventh game of the 2008 season. They fined the Jets $125,000 for not reporting the injury in any of the Jets’ five final games (they went 1-4 through his injury).
Next: 3. Favre ends an undefeated streak
3. Favre ends an undefeated streak
The Jets came into the game smoking hot, riding a four-game winning streak with all the confidence in the world. But the Titans were hotter, opening up the season 10-0 with their own version of smash and dash with running backs Chris Johnson and LenDale White.
Although the Titans came into the contest as the best team in the NFL, the Jets came into the game with a sound game plan and it showed. The Jets would go on to romp the Titans 34-13, highlighted by Favre’s two touchdown strikes.
The Jets were on top of the world sitting at 8-3, with their eyes set on the Super Bowl. Rightfully so, the Jets were a veteran team with a former Super Bowl quarterback on the roster and a soft schedule to finish up, or so they thought.
The victory against the Titans ended up being bittersweet when looking back, because after that victory (which was the Jets fifth victory in a row) they only won one more game over the final five. Which ending up being one of the biggest late season collapses in the history of the Jets franchise.
Next: 2. The Jets topple their arch-rival
2. The Jets topple their arch-rival
Anytime the Jets and the New England Patriots play, it usually ends up being a classic. That was very much the case in an overtime thriller, when the Jets pulled off the impossible.
The Jets were battling the Patriots for first place on the line, which has happened several times over the years. This is one of the best rivalries in the NFL and there are always story lines for these games.
This was the second prime time game of the season for the Jets and in the first one earlier in the season, the Jets got embarrassed by the San Diego Chargers. So a lot was on the line here for the Jets, beyond just first place in the AFC East.
This game was huge for the Jets’ confidence for the rest of the season, previous to this victory, the Jets had lost 13 out of the last 15 contest against the Patriots. So for Favre to win this game the way he did, in overtime, against this opponent, only one Favre memory could be greater in a Jets uniform.
Next: 1. Favre's career high six touchdown passes
1. Favre’s career high six touchdown passes
The highlight of Favre’s time with the Jets happened early in the 2008 season. In Week 4, the Jets were reeling after back-to-back losses, but were lifted up by Favre’s magical performance.
Favre torched the Arizona Cardinals for multiple scoring strikes, three of which by way of fan-favorite wide receiver Laveranues Coles. Favre was on point all game long amassing 289 yards passing, including the aforementioned six touchdowns.
The other thing that makes this game so memorable is the fact that the Cardinals would go on to advance all the way to the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With this win, the Jets only lost one game in the following two months in the middle of the season.
Favre’s time with the Jets was marred by hidden injury, false hope and a look at the potential this team had as a Super Bowl contender. Favre proved that he still had plenty in the tank, but at the same time, the Packers currently possess one of the top quarterbacks in the league in Rodgers, so it ended up being a win-win for both sides.