August 07, 2008
So who won The War on 4? Personally, I subscribe to the Jeannette Rankin quote, "You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake," and I certainly feel like we've all been losers in this highly annoying, offseason-dominating, joy-draining saga.
But if there have to be winners and losers, I'd say that the Packers won, as they got Favre out of their conference, and Favre lost, as he ended up without his release nor in a Minnesota Vikings uniform, which is what he wanted out of this whole twisted deal. Oh, and I guess the Jets won, too, as they now get Brett Favre.
If it was up to me, the second Brett Favre was traded, I'd have posted exactly one sentence--"Brett Favre has been traded to (insert team here)"--and then swore I'd never type his name again for a month.
But that's not the way it works. Yes, Brett Favre is a Jet now, and the madness has been brought to an end. But you all still seem to have a tremendous amount of interest in #4, and refusing to talk about him doesn't feel like a real option at this point. So here's a quick series of things you should know about the upcoming '08 season and Brett Favre as a New York Jet:
• Brett Favre vs. Tom Brady will happen twice. The first time it happens will be in Week 2 in a 4:15 game on CBS, and the second time will be in week 11, on a Thursday night on the NFL Network. John Madden will be involved with neither game, which is probably a good thing, since it would likely result in the first documented case of a man's cause of death listed as "actually burst into flames with joy."
• His primary targets will be Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles. Cotchery's a young star and has caught 82 balls in each of the last two seasons. At age 30, Coles was slowed by a high ankle sprain last year, but he was effective before the injury, producing five games with six or more catches through the first seven weeks of the season. It's a pretty good duo, but if there's a downside here for Favre, it's that neither Cotchery nor Coles specializes in picking up yards after the catch, like pretty much every receiver in Green Bay did.
• The offensive line is a question mark. And the fact that it's a question mark is a good thing, as the only question mark involved last year was at the end of the sentence, "Are those real offensive linemen, or have the Jets just put jerseys on five tackling dummies?" According to the Football Outsiders rankings, the Jets ranked 30th in pass protection last year, and the following sentence comes from the Pro Football Prospectus, which you should own:
"Chad Pennington was knocked down on 18.4% of dropbacks, the highest percentage in the league for a quarterback with over 150 attempts."
Yikes. But the Jets did address the problem, with the free agent signings of tackle Damien Woody and guard Alan Faneca, who comes over from the Steelers. So at the very least, the line can't be worse than it was last year, and there's a good chance that it will be significantly better.
What else is there? There currently is no #4 on the roster, so Favre won't have to buy it from anyone. He'll still be wearing green, which should make the transition easier, visually. Favre fans will be trading in their cheeseheads for puffy toy airplanes they can wear on their head.
Also, Favre will be under the intense scrutiny of the New York media all year long, ensuring that none of us ever have to go a full hour without hearing his name every again. Hooray.
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