Favre Is More Than Numbers

It’s been a few days but nothing new is being said about Favre’s 2009 finale.  All that is being said is he threw away his team’s chances with another late game interception.  The media is quick to point out 2 INTs as useless stats to fill in the blanks regarding their favorite story – Brett Favre being the reason the Vikings lost.  Favre’s 2 interceptions are not the stats that really mattered.  It was the 3 fumbles by his teammates that denied the team the opportunity to face Peyton Manning in South Beach.  Yes, the interception was not Favre’s brightest moment from Sunday’s modern day thriller, and his last 2 conference championship late game interceptions will not be his lasting legacy as some are proclaiming it will be.  Keeping the Rebel Ref tradition alive of recalling the action and not just the result, the Vikings’ loss was not Favre’s fault.  The game should not have come down to that final Vikings drive.  The Saints should have been put away long before that.

The Vikings could have punched their ticket to Miami, but the Saints defense was completely focused on tomahawking the ball out of their grasp.  A scouting report made the Saints’ priority to force fumbles even if it meant missing tackles.  It worked and of the 5 Vikings turnovers but the 3 fumbles is what hurt them the most.  None of which were Favre’s fault. He was indeed credited with a fumble to Adrian Peterson in the red zone but it was Peterson who muffled that exchange. Of the 3 lost fumbles the most damaging one of them all was Percy Harvin’s fumble deep within their own territory.  That particular turnover allowed the stalled Saints offense to score the go ahead touchdown after several 3 and out series.

Two important numbers the media conveniently leave out are 0 and 56.  0 & 56 being that even if Favre would have thrown the ball away on that last possession, the sad reality Ryan Longwell had about a zero chance to hitting a 56 yard field goal at this stage of his career even giving or taking a few yards.  It just makes interesting conversation with the “what if” scenarios but even if Favre would have run he wouldn’t have gotten very far.  He’s good at slipping defenders and making adjustments to make throws in the pocket, but running for yardage after getting abused for 60 minutes…at age 40…how far do you think he would have gotten before he was swarmed by a pack of black & gold defenders?  Seriously, maybe 2 or 4 yards.  So instead of a 56 yard field goal, Longwell might have had a few yards less but no guarantee by far.  Also consider the horrendous kicking we’ve seen lately even from the game’s greats like Nate Kaeding and Neil Rackers.   The possibility was there but it was no lock no matter how much the media implies it.

The media is ignorant too.  Let’s forget the numbers for a minute because the sad notion that this game further illustrated Favre’s legacy as a QB who cripples his team with late game interceptions is injudicious.  Watching this game you were reminded of Favre’s legacy.  He is one tough S.O.B who absorbed a beating that no other quarterback in the league could have endured.  He got the crap kicked out of him all night long.  Peyton Manning never gets touched and his pansy ass would have been out the 1st time after being crunched in a Saints sandwich.  They don’t make ’em like #4 anymore.  He kept coming back and deflating the Saints with big time clutch throws.  He played the game with passion, power and precision just like he has done every Sunday for 19 seasons.  Even at an age where lots of retired pro’s are broadcasting, he continued to dazzle us with a paralyzing array of skill.  That is the lasting image I got from watching him against the Saints.

Favre didn’t lose the game for the Vikings as the media’s love affair with numbers suggests.  He played well and the people look into the numbers too much.  Numbers are for baseball guys.

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