The Vikings played their fiercest rival in a game they had to win to keep their dim playoff hopes alive. Not only did they lose, they were destroyed. Embarrassed. Torn apart.
The legend of Favre is dead, and Aaron Rodgers killed it.
Favre returned to play in the 2010 season because he wanted to win a Super Bowl. That won't be happening. The Vikings won't be in the playoffs, probably won't be a .500 team, and won't get another positive contribution from Brett Favre. Even if Favre were capable of playing the quarterback position well (and there is zero indication that he can), there's still nothing to gain for the Vikings.
It's time to get Tarvaris Jackson(notes) in the lineup. It's probably way past time. With Sunday's waxing at the hands of the Packers, the focus shifts to 2011. Get Jackson on the field in order to let him develop or to see if he's the guy you want to lead the team next year.
Even if you don't buy the "let's play for next year" philosophy, and are still clinging irrationally to some hope that the Vikes can run the table, finish at 9-7 and luck into a wild-card spot, then guess what? Tarvaris Jackson's your best shot at that, too.
If Favre were to remain the starting quarterback, it wouldn't do anything other than turn the Vikings into a vehicle for a Brett Favre goodbye tour. Vikings fans deserve better than that. The other 52 guys on the team deserve better than that. They deserve a coaching staff and a quarterback that gives them the best chance to win every week, and they deserve an organization that will do the best thing for the future of Vikings football.
If head coach Brad Childress won't sit Favre, then fire Brad Childress [UPDATE: Childress was fired Monday]. I don't enjoy calling for a coach's job, but there's no way Childress is going to be employed as the Vikings head coach next season, so what's the downside to replacing him right now (especially if you're hiring a new head coach from within), and letting Tarvaris Jackson, Adrian Peterson and a new coach get a head start on gelling for next season?
This all needs to end right now. There's nothing left to gain for anyone. Even if Favre were to miraculously string together some good games, it won't do anything to get the Vikings in the playoffs. It would just be empty Brett Favre ego stroking. And under the infinitely more likely scenario that Brett Favre continues to play like one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, what's the point in further embarrassing one of the all-time great NFL quarterbacks?
It's not my intention to be mean-spirited here. Brett Favre isn't at fault for every problem the Vikings have, and this all is clearly hurting him, too.
Putting Favre on the sideline is the kind, compassionate thing to do. This entire season, on and off the field, has been a disaster for the man.
What do you want to see? Favre's historically great career ending with him standing on the sideline, trying to pass some of his knowledge to a younger quarterback? Or do you want to see this mess dragged out for six more games, where we'll probably see about 10 more Favre interceptions and more embarrassing sideline sniping and arguing like we saw Sunday?
It's over, Vikings. Let it be over with whatever small amount of dignity is left.
- Brad Childress
- Tarvaris Jackson