Sunday, August 26, 2007

Brett Favre, Retire Already

The Green Bay Packers selected Tennessee defensive tackle Justin Harrell in the 2007 NFL Draft. The Pack's defense was pretty poor last year so the pick would seem to be an uncontrovesial one. Yet, as soon as the selection was made, I heard Steve Young ask, "What does this do for Brett Favre?" Yes, the experts all immediately wondered why Green Bay wouldn't draft an offensive weapon or O-lineman to help Favre. And they also wondered what Favre must be thinking. Why wouldn't the team do what was necessary to help him succeed? But what I want to know is the opposite. What is Brett Favre doing to help his team? Like actually retiring! He's played horrifically the last two years and Green Bay's got a QB, Aaron Rodgers, a first-round draft pick, rotting away on the bench for the third-straight year now. What is the point of rolling Favre out there again except to see him break some records. He's not helping his team by playing in 2007. He's hurting it. The numbers don't lie:

compattpctyardsYPATDIntRate
37260761.338816.4202970.9
34361356.038856.3181872.7



At the age of 38, it'd take a real leap of faith to think Favre's turning that around this year. No, the decline is real. Accuracy down, yards per attempt extremely low, fewer TD's and more INT's. Now two significant differences exist between Favre’s 2005 and 2006 seasons: completion percentage and interceptions. Last year his completion percentage dropped 4% to a career-worst 56.0%. However, he reduced his total from 29 to 18, causing a slight uptick in his below-average QB rating. So while his accuracy may have diminished at least he made better decisions right? Not really. Inside the pages of this year's ESPN Fantasy Football Magazine, K.C. Joyner, “The Football Scientist”, counts up every QB’s Near Interceptions and guess who led the NFL in that category in 2006? Of course, Brett Favre. Joyner credits Favre with an incredible 44 Near Interceptions last year. Just two other players even topped 25 Near INT’s: Rex Grossman (37) and Carson Palmer (33). Even accounting for Favre’s large number of passing attempts, he still ranked second in Near Interception Percentage to Grossman.

Given the actual number of total NFL INT’s thrown in 2006 compared to near INT’s, with average luck Favre might have been expected to toss 28 or more INT’s last year rather then his actual 18. Favre finished 30th in QB rating last year (counting QB's with 160 or more attempts). That's pretty bad. Look at who he was able to beat out: Charlie Frye, Brad Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, Jake Plummer, Joey Harrington, Vince Young, Bruce Gradkowski, Aaron Brooks, and Andrew Walter. That's some competition. Other than Young, who was a rookie and added a ton of rushing yards, and Harrington, pressed into service this year by Michael Vick's love of dogfighting, none of those guys will even be starting in 2007. Charlie Frye's who we're comparing Favre to now?

And it could have been worse. Had just 10 of those 44 near interceptions found their way into the hands of NFL defenders, then Favre would have finished second to last, ahead of only the hapless Andrew Walter. Favre played worse than his stats show! Green Bay fans look at him and see the 1995-1997 Favre but he's not that guy anymore; he's just not a quality starting NFL QB now. Sorry, it's true. As long as he plays he'll keep hurting his team. Retire already!

1 comment:

Tim said...

yea...someone must feel a little stupid now..