Vikings Must Be Crazy to Start Ancient Brett Favre
In six games, he has thrown 10 interceptions and fumbled four times. He's been sacked 14 times.
His QB rating is 68.0, a depth usually reached by only Al Davis draft picks. His off-field distractions have literally become a "Saturday Night Live" skit.
Does that sound like somebody you'd start Sunday against the Patriots?
Only if you are delusional, desperate or just plain dumb. If Brett Favre takes the field in New England, we'll know for sure that the Minnesota Vikings are all three.
Either that, or Jenn Sterger has incriminating text photos of Brad Childress and she's blackmailing him into starting Favre to help her pending civil suit.
Unless Grandpa Favre is faking his limp, there's no way he can fulfill the duties expected of an NFL quarterback. Even if he had the best ankles this side of Kate Beckinsale, he shouldn't be in the lineup based simply on performance.
People, the emperor not only has no clothes (according to Sterger). He has no mobility, no timing and no idea where defensive backs are these days. Despite such evidence, the Will-He-Start drama has been this week's big NFL mystery.
That's because he's Brett Favre. And being Brett Favre means you operate under different rules, perceptions and expectations.
You can throw a couple of bonehead interceptions a game, as long as you toss in a magical scramble and dramatic touchdown. When other quarterbacks do that, it's grounds for impeachment. When Favre does that, it's Brett being Brett.
We've long been conditioned to take the good with the bad, because the good was so fun to watch. Throw in the scruffy beard, Packers pedigree and flair for the moment, and Favre became football's Clint Eastwood.
Only now when he grabs his .357 Magnum, he shoots himself and the Vikings in the foot. The numbers don't lie. On the list of breathing quarterbacks, Favre tops only Derek Anderson, Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen.
That's using official NFL statistics. If you go by Advanced NFL Stats, an unofficial system the uses factors like Win Probability Added and other geeky metrics, the Vikings would be better off with Sterger at quarterback.
Favre is 39th out of 39 quarterbacks when you measure how their performance impacts their team's chances to win. His turnovers have led directly to 51 points for Vikings' opponents.
Is there any doubt the Vikings have a better chance with Tarvaris Jackson? Between Adrian Peterson, Randy Moss and Percy Harvin, the Vikings have the weapons. There's no way Jackson can play worse than Favre, so why not see how the offense does with him?
I'd hate to think it's because of the streak. Favre has started 291 straight games and played in 315 in a row. Those are NFL records, but at this point, who cares? Does anyone remember whose record he broke?
Favre proved his Iron Man credentials about 150 starts ago. The streak should have stopped last year in New Orleans.
Favre could have spent this fall on his tractor back in Mississippi and nobody except his wife would have cared about those text messages to Sterger.
Favre also would have gone out appropriately. A great season ended with a killing interception in the NFC title game, while still proving that at 40 he is the new 30 when it comes to good-old-boy QBs.
Now he's proving 41 is the new 79. I don't blame the Vikings for taking another chance on the old guy, but the truth is as pronounced as his limp.
With Favre, teams have always had to take the good with the bad. Now they just can't take it anymore.
It's time that people respect Brett Favre for what he is on the football field. As for the off the field ... well that might be a different matter. So says LeCharles Bentley in this episode of NFL Two-a-Days.