December 21, 2009
Those who adore Brett Favre(notes) with every fiber of their being (i.e., every football broadcaster who has ever lived) and those who would like him to go the heck back to Mississippi and leave us alone after this season (i.e., everyone who would like to see the NFL Network talk about anything else for once) would agree on one thing: Be it age or any other factor, there were concerns about Favre dropping off at the end of the season as he did with the Jets last year. Starting in Week 13 of the 2008 season, Favre didn't have a single-game quarterback rating higher than 61.4. And after four straight games of 112.5 quarterback rating or higher from Weeks 8-12, there seems to be another unlucky 13 going on here. In his last three games, Favre hasn't hit a rating of 80, and he's been decidedly average despite a near-full component of offensive weapons.
By the third quarter of Minnesota's Sunday night loss to the Carolina Panthers, head coach Brad Childress had reportedly had his fill. Several reporters, including Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press and Judd Zulgad of the Minnesota Star-Tribune indicate that Childress tried to bench Favre in the third quarter, when the Vikings were up, 7-6. Zulgad said this on his Twitter page:
Favre sat (in) conversation on sideline looked heated in third (quarter) because Childress wanted to take Favre out. The QB declined to come out.
"Yeah, there was a heated discussion, I guess you would call it," Favre said after the game. "We were up 7-6 at the time. No secret, I was getting hit a little bit. I felt the pressure on a lot of plays. We had seven points. So I think everyone in the building was like, ‘They're not moving the ball, they're not getting points.' Brad wanted to go in a different direction and I wanted to stay in the game.
"We were up 7-6. Yeah, it's not 70-6, but we're up 7-6. So I said, ‘I'm staying in the game, I'm playing.' I don't know if it was exactly to protect me, or we had seven points, I'm not sure. That's his call. But we talked it out. We didn't have time, I didn't have time to sit there and say why or what. My response was, we've got to win this ballgame and I want to stay in and do whatever I can. Now, unfortunately, I didn't do that, but that was my intention."
Well, that's as maybe, but this will give some serious ammo to all the "nonbvelievers" who think that Favre holds himself above the game and can't stand him for that very reason. It doesn't matter whether Favre, or Zygi Wilf, or the ghost of Johnny Unitas, thinks Favre should be in the game. Coach takes you out, you're out.
It puts Childress in a rough spot, as well. The Vikings have gone from threatening for the one-seed in the NFC to hoping they stick and stay at #2. The last thing they need is this kind of drama, with everyone taking sides, and Childress' authority usurped. They'd better do everything possible to put this thing to bed very quickly.
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