Monday, November 21, 2005

Is Brett Favre the true modern Marino?

In the last few years, Peyton Manning has hit roadblocks in the postseason: the Patriots. Because of his inability to beat the Patriots, he has been branded as this generations big numbers/no big victories QB. Brett Favre is beloved by everyone, and gets a free pass on telecasts because he won a Super Bowl, and "loves the game". Favre is most likely retiring this year, and he will retire as one of the best QBs of all time. (I have a top 3 list for all time: 1. Johnny Unitas 2. John Elway 3. Joe Montana. If I dig deeper, the list could change.) Lingering on with the Packers, Favre has tainted his legacy a bit. It's not like he is throwing more INTs now than he did in the past, it's when he throws them. The timing absolutely murders his team. In last year's Jacksonville game at Lambeau, Favre threw multiple INTs in the red zone. In the playoffs, Favre was picked 4 times by the Vikings at Lambeau. He has made bone-head decisions that have cost his team points and, in some cases, victories. One could argue that his career's path has been like a former QB now on CBS' studio show.

The INTs are a product of his God given arm strength and athletic ability. He suffers from having a cannon of an arm and thinking that he can fit any ball into any window of space at anytime. Another current QB who suffers from this is Drew Bledsoe. In NFL history, another QB suffered from this Big Arm syndrome who has extremely similar numbers in the playoffs: Dan Marino. Manning gets the Marino label, but his INTs are not from forcing throws; it's usually pressure induced and great plays by the secondary. He doesn't make the bone head plays that Favre makes which feel like late career Marino INTs. Late in his career, in tight games, Marino would want to make the big play and force balls that 10 years earlier could squeeze through, but time and injuries took a little zip off the ball and secondaries pounced. This is the exact same thing that has happened to Favre. Teams stuff the run to put the game in Favre's hands and make him throw into coverage. Look at Favre's and Marino's playoff stats; they are creepy in their similarity. They both had early career success in the playoffs followed by truly horrible performances. The career regular season stats are similar as well: TD/INT ratios of 1.63 (F) vs. 1.66 (M), 7.1 ypa (F) vs. 7.3 ypa (M), and completion percentages of 61.7% (F) vs. 59.4% (M). Favre's career has the one thing that eluded Marino, a Super Bowl win. Maybe this is why he escapes the Marino comparisons but Manning receives them.

Tonight he suits up against the Vikings on a national stage for probably the last time. Maybe he can turn it around and have the Packers end the year on a high note. For the good of the league, Green Bay and Favre, I hope that it does happen.

1 comment:

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