Is this the beginning of the Favre fall-off?


It's become something of a tradition for Brett Favre(notes) to turn into an interception machine over the last five games of the season. It started four or five years ago and has persisted since: Favre will be perfectly normal and effective for the first 11 games of the season, and for the last five, he'll be Scott Mitchell. Here's the data:

As you can see, things usually get pretty bad right about now. Which is why Favre's two-interception game last night is so spooky.

As of last week, he was on pace to set an NFL record for most touchdowns per interception in a single season. Then he came out last night against the Cardinals, who ranked 30th in the league against the pass, and had probably his worst game of the season. It's the first time all year he's thrown multiple picks in a game.

So, was it an aberration, or is the gunslinging going bad, like it always does?

I said a few weeks ago that Favre's standard late-season nosedive, like Santa Claus in a year you spent punching baby pandas, just isn't coming. I'm standing by that, for the same reason I think Favre's having such a great year to begin with: the Vikings offense is so quarterback-friendly.

Unless the team nosedives with him, which I don't see happening, Favre will recover. He'll still have a running game to lean on, he'll still have big-time playmakers on the outside, and he'll still have a defense creating turnovers and putting him in great positions.

The Cardinals shut down Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen(notes) and pretty much everyone else last night. That won't happen on a regular basis, so Favre should be fine. It's also possible that issues relating to arm and shoulder health have contributed to the downward-spiral trend, and that off-season surgery fixed those. So if you're a Vikings fan, there's every reason to believe that things will be peachy keen down the home stretch.

If you choose to see things the other way, though, last night gave you plenty of ammunition to spew your doom and gloom all over the place.