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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Sharper Analogy, For those who feel Favre hurts us



by losangelis
PackerChatters Staff


I did some thinking lately. The latest barrage of Favre-is-bad really made me sit and think about the arguments. As usual, I can only express myself intelligently in analogy, so allow me to go...

Last season, the argument was presented that Favre threw too many interceptions for us to win, and we needed a more efficient, safe passer, like Tom Brady.

This argument suddenly hit the skids when it was pointed out that Tom Brady finished with 14 interceptions (which was above the magic interception total, which was then raised slightly).

Then, the argument switched to Favre threw too many interceptions in the POST-season (not to be confused with the regular season, where it apparently now was okay to throw interceptions).

Now, it being the regular season, the argument has come back, except what we hear now is that Favre shouldn't throw ANY interceptions. Why? Because he is a highly-paid leader that eats up too much salary cap room to throw interceptions.

I gave this some thought.

True, he is a leader, and should be expected to live up to his pay. After all, every player for the Packers who has signed a lucrative contract in the past several seasons has lived up to that contract, with the exception of Favre, of course.

Ha. Done.

Interceptions are an accepted part of the game. Even the most thrifty of passers must still expect to throw one at least every other game, and most nearly one a game, if not more.

Last year, Brett Favre finished fifth in interceptions in the league (17). However, he finished 14th in interception percentage (3.1%). That's about middle of the pack, and goes to prove that Brett is again throwing the ball too often. By the way, his percentage was better than Matt Hasselback's, Ben Rothlisburger's, and Michael Vick's, and Tom Brady's was 3.0%.

In addition, he was 10th in passer rating (92.4), 5th in yardage, and 4th in touchdowns.

Yes, yes, yes...the anti-Favre excuse-o-meter kicks in. He had a great o-line, he had all-pros all around him, the sun was in all the other quarterbacks' eyes.

His one bugaboo, however, seemed to have some positive balance. Towanda made the comment earlier today that 2 goods for 1 bad isn't good enough. Luckily for Brett, with an interception percentage of 3.0%, his percentage of goods/bads is much better than that.

Anyway, I digress. The Sharper analogy.

Last season, the Packers ranked 15th in giveaways (27). About middle of the pack.

Last season, the Packers ranked LAST in takeaways (15). That's LAST, if you missed it.

So, let's do the Favre analogy on last year's defense.

It is suggested that, because Favre is an overpaid leader, that his interceptions make us a worse team.

So, let's look at last year's miserable defense, which, if interceptions and turnovers are the end-all, be-all, should be just as important to us winning games as making other teams lose.

(Of course, this isn't actually true. Turnovers only affect Brett Favre and the Packers.)

So, we had an overpaid defensive leader last season, who did not produce many turnovers. Yep, Darren Sharper, a former all-pro, a former team leader and playmaker, had 4 only interceptions. Sure, two were returned for touchdowns, but screw it...he didn't make enough of them.

He's an overpriced player making too many dumb plays and not enough turnovers.

And remember, turnovers make the world go round.

So, what do we do? We get rid of him. Ha ha! That will show him, that overpriced leader, that if you don't get enough turnovers, we will use that money elsewhere!! Ha ha! We win!

Except...

We now have 0 takeaways in two games. If you are an expert mathmatician, you can calculate we are on pace to have 0 takeaways for the year. More math: that is less than the 15 we had last season.

BUT...at least we're not overpaying the person to NOT make interceptions!!!!

Yes, sir, Nick Collins will drop interceptions that fall into his lap! But, he's not being overpaid to do it, so it's okay.

Mark Roman will fall on his face being faked out by a tight end still 10 yards away, but at least we're not overpaying for it!!!

In other words, we're happier with low-priced mediocrity. Right?

This is the odd disease I fear with Brett Favre. People are on some sort of agenda to prove his four interceptions this year make him such a liability to the team, that they are unwilling to take into account the positives that he contributes.

But, we can also get rid of Favre. And Rodgers or Nall can come into the starting role and throw 14-17 interceptions themselves.

BUT...at least we wouldn't be overpaying for the interceptions!!!


Good grief! Are we shopping for our players at Wal-Mart???

Do you honestly think that Nall is going to be able to do any better if asked to pass 44 times a game? Do you honestly think Rodgers is going to not throw interceptions when the running game is abandoned, and defenses can sit back and wait for the ball? Do you honestly think either guy can truly lead the team in a better way than Favre?

Do you honestly think that Brett's two interceptions were the sole reason we lost last week?

This latest argument from the Favre Hate Agenda is simply ludicrous, and as soon as this is read, the agenda will switch to something else to paint a black mustache on the face of #4.

Does he take up a good chunk of salary cap room? Absolutely.

Did the Minnesota Vikings prove that if you go out and spend $15 million dollars on defensive free agents, your team is instantly better? Well, in the offseason, sure, but funny how money doesn't buy a good team when you actually get on the field. Or leaders.

I've always said that Favre shoulders a good share of blame in a loss. He takes some blame for two throws he'd like to have back against the Browns.

But to classify what he did in the second half as "garbage time" is biased and unfair.

To say his interceptions are hurting the team is true. To say they are the biggest reason this team is losing is complete and utter bias.

I have no problem with people stating opinions about Brett, suggesting that he's washed up, too old or crippled, too distracted to lead the team. Who knows, you might be right. I just wish this team had half his fight in them.

But you better be prepared to place Aaron Rodgers under the same intense microscope that Favre is under. I know I will place the same expectations on Rodgers that people do on Favre, counting his every misread and dumb throw, keeping a tally of his interceptions, and posting his efficiency rating in my signature.

I really don't care how much salary cap room he takes up. If a quarterback is to blame for the entire loss if he throws an interception, then that is the expectation for the heir apparent, too.

If that sounds unfair and immature, you're absolutely right.
Comments:
For myself, it has nothing to do with the money, and it has everything to do with the expectations. I personally would NOT have the same expectations of Rogers that I do of Favre. Favre is a seasoned vet who knows how to do it right. I would give any first time starter waaaay more latitude. Again, money not being the issue, but experience and the fact that Favre has proven himself. The problem is, since Holmgren left, Favre hasn't been seriously coached, and thus continuously makes bonehead plays trying to press the issue. He himself admits that he grapples with playing it safe because he feels his time is almost up. Well, the Packers are not the team they used to be, and Favre's mistakes can now be killers. So as the team has changed, Favre must adapt to IT, not father time. THAT'S what a proven seasoned vet should do. At least, those are my expectations of a 3 time league MVP. Can't say I feel the same abaout Rogers.
 
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