Let’s first start by observing that, now it’s over, Brett Favre‘s streak of 297 consecutive starts is an unbelievable accomplishment. It would’ve been nice for him to extend it to 300, if only for aesthetics. But throw in his post-season games and that streak extends well beyond 300, to 321.
It is truly an amazing feat; more impressive than Cal Ripken‘s iron man streak of 2,632 consecutive baseball games played because durability needed for longevity in baseball does not compare to the durability needed to withstand the physical pounding NFL quarterbacks take week in and week out.
And Favre took that punishment, playing through concussions (though he shouldn’t have), a separated shoulder, torn biceps, a broken foot, and, most impressively, a broken thumb to his throwing hand.
Remember when Brad Johnson tried to play through an injury to his throwing arm? The ball sailed vertically rather than horizontally.
But I can attest, the older you get the less resilient your body becomes and the more frequently the injuries seem to occur. At some point, you’re gonna break down. It appears that point has arrived even for Brett Favre.
Some are suggesting that it’s somehow ignoble for Favre to end his career this way. Bullshit.
Johnny Unitas. Joe Namath. Hall of Famers who left the game in the same fashion, battered, bruised and beaten. The only thing the twilight of their careers proved is how much they loved the game. The same is true for Favre.
Even as a Packer, I secretly enjoyed watching him play both because he was so damned good but also because he always gave the full measure of his effort.
The only question now remaining is whether or not he’ll play another game…
…and you got to think that Leslie Frazier desperately wants Favre to finish out the season because he’s seen Tarvaris Jackson and Tarvaris Jackson is who we thought he was.
Brett Favre gives Frazier the best chance to win and, more importantly, the best chance to keep his team from taking the rest of the season off. The frustration among his teammates with Jackson’s play yesterday was evident.
So can we finally agree that TJax is not the answer?
He’s had five years to progress and he simply hasn’t. And please don’t tell me he hasn’t had enough practice. Because Favre has been hurt so much this year, Jackson has gotten the majority or reps in practice practically all season long. Oh, yeah; he got almost all of the reps during the pre-season, too.
During his five-year career, Jackson has played in 36 games, starting 20 of them. That’s enough experience to at least show progress!
All he could muster during a full game of work was a drive that resulted in three points. And on that drive he threw perhaps the lowest jump ball in the history of football on a play that should have been a fairly easy touchdown.
He once again demonstrated no accuracy on the long ball, leading Bernard Berrian out of bounds down the sideline.
He knocked knees with Adrian Peterson on a botched exchange and he failed to catch one shotgun snap, killing a drive.
He threw a perfect pass to a linebacker, killing another drive and failing to capitalize on Greg Camarillo‘s 52 yard punt return.
If you’ve been wondering why we haven’t seen any screen passes of late, you need look no further than the play during which Jackson missed a wide open Toby Gerhart on a screen play.
And he consistently hung his receivers out to dry by either putting the ball in congestion for them to go get it or by throwing softballs that allowed defenders time to close the gap as the ball arrived.
Which brings us to Joe Webb.
Webb is clearly very raw but if Favre is not coming back, we know what we have in Jackson, and the Vikings have been officially eliminated from the playoffs, I guess I’d rather watch Webb than Jackson because then at least we’d have hope that our quarterback could progress.
One indication that Webb might at least have more potential at QB than Jackson is the rope he threw late in the game on a 15 yard out route. It was actually about a 25 yard toss when you account for the 10 yards Webb was behind the line of scrimmage.
The ball was a bullet and got to the receiver in no time, allowing the defender no chance to make a play on the ball and keeping his receiver from getting decimated. And that’s a lot more than you can say for Jackson.
It’s been said that Joe Webb is the best athlete on the team. So if not at quarterback, let’s at least put him in the game to see what we’ve got as an athlete.
It’s time to free Joe Webb.