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!