Sunday, December 21, 2008

Skip Bayless, Oy Vey

Wha, wha, wha, wha, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..........................

Brett Favre has been one of the more polarizing players in the NFL over the past few years. From his "gun-slinging" ways to his recent departure from the Packers, it is either love or hate for Mr. Favre, and it has continued with his recent selection to the AFC Pro-Bowl Team. While Favre has his New York Jets at 9-5 and in control of their playoff destiny, there are some who feel that Phillip Rivers and Chad Pennington were more deserving than Favre. Recently, this was a topic of debate on ESPN's First Take with Jemele "Don't drop the H name" Hill and Skip Bay(clue)less.

It is no secret that Bayless has been a supporter of Favre since he left Green Bay--well, it could be that Bayless is rooting for Favre in hopes that the former Packers' QB's play will validate Skip's comments that Ted Thompson's allowing/forcing Favre to leave was the greatest blunder ever made by a GM...Ted Thompson is Bayless' Ray Finkle--so it was no surprise that Bayless defended Favre's selection, and even less surprising of how poorly thought out his argument was.

Though Favre's 17 INTs, lack of a 300 yard game and the fact that the Jets' offense has been pretty inconsistent were mentioned, Bayless wanted to concentrate on two things; the record of the Jets and the Packers. Huh? You see, Bayless only cared that Favre had his current team in playoff contention, and hammered on the point that the Packers went from 13-3 with an NFC Championship Game appearance in 2007 to 5-9 and out of the playoffs in 2008 after Favre left.

First off, how does the fact that the Packers have fallen off in 2008 from 2007 have any influence on how to view Brett Favre's 2008 season with the Jets? Two different conferences, two different schedules, two different teams around you. Second, Bayless completely over looks other factors that have caused the 8 game drop in wins for the Pack. Maybe if Bayless did a little more research and spent less time building his Ted Thompson voodoo doll, he would see that the departure of Brett Favre is not the sole reason, and arguably not the biggest reason, for the Packers less than spectacular 2008.

First, let's compare Favre's 2007 numbers to the 2008 numbers of the current Green Bay QB, Aaron Rodgers.

Favre: 356-535, 66.5%, 4155 yards, 7.8 YPA, 28 TD-15 INT, 95.7 Rating

Rodgers: 296-466, 63.5%, 3470 yards, 7.4 YPA, 23 TD-12 INT, 91.8 Rating

Projected: 338-533, 63.5%, 3966 yards, 7.4 YPA, 26 TD-14 INT, 91.8 Rating

Ahhh, I don't see where the Packers have been hurt by a significant drop in QB play. Pretty even numbers and in fact the Packers' scoring output this year (26.5) is just a shade under what they did in 2007 (27.2).

So, the question needs to be asked, if there has not been a drop in QB play, why are the Packers struggling? Well, there are two reasons.

First their defense is playing far worse this year than last. In 2007 the Packers were giving up 18.2 PPG (6th in the NFL) and 313 total yards (11th). This year the Pack defense is giving up 24.4 PPG (21st) and 344 total yards (24th). Kind of hard to fault Rodgers or credit Favre for the performance of the defense and how it has affected the Packers.

Second, look at the schedules. In 2007 the Packers opponents' winning percentage was 46%, and they played only 4 games against playoff teams--granted, the Packers were 3-1 in those games, but those were their only games against teams with a winning record. This year, the Packers have had a little more on their plate as far as who they've played. Thus far their opponents have won 55% of their games and have played 9 games against winning teams. Wonder how Favre would've done against the likes of Tampa, Carolina, Indy and a much improved Vikings squad this year instead of playing the 2007 versions of Denver, Carolina, Vikings, Chiefs and Raiders.

We also need to put into context the Packers' 5-9 record. Of their last 6 losses, 5 have been by a total of 15 points (the one other being the 52-29 blow out in New Orleans), and had another loss, to Atlanta, that was decided by 3 points. So it's not as though Rodgers hasn't had the Packers playing competitively for most of the season--not much solace to the Green Bay faithful I am sure.

So Mr. Bayless, I ask you, what is it about the 2007 vs the 2008 Packers that has allowed you to come to the conclusion that Favre is a legitimate Pro-Bowler? This is not to say Favre does not deserve to be on the Pro-Bowl roster, rather perhaps Thompson did not make a mistake going with Rodgers, and what is it about Favre (other than the fact that he plays on a team that may get his team into the playoffs) that makes him a Pro-Bowler?



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