Tag Archives: Brett Favre

NFL Week 12 Picks

Welcome to a Childress-Free Week 12!

Chilly’s gone, and I imagine Brett’s … happy? So happy, in fact, that he apparently got sick and may have pneumonia. I just got vaccinated against pneumonia. Apparently I have a better doctor than Brett.

Still, Brett doesn’t have Brad to blame any more. Neither does the rest of the team.

The Only Problem Brett Favre Has

They had a “dysfunctional” locker room. Dunno how this helps them on the field, but we’ll see. The only problem Brett has left is the sexting or whatever the hell was going on with Jenn Sterger.

1pm

  • WASHINGTON -2 over Minnesota. Brett Favre “might” have “pneumonia.” Minnesota “stinks.” The Vikes are 0-5 on the road and have yet to cover. Why start now?
  • Pittsburgh -6½ over Buffalo. The Bills’ 2 Game Win Streak ends today I think.
  • HOUSTON -5½ over Tennessee. Let the Rusty Smith Era Begin!
  • Jacksonville +7½ over NY GIANTS. Whoa. How are the Giants 7½ point favorites over anyone, anywhere, when they turn the ball over like that? Plus I think both teams want revenge against Tom Coughlin.
  • CLEVELAND -9 over Carolina. In consideration of Panther fan, I don’t have the heart to look up the last time the Browns were 9 point favorites.
  • Green Bay +1½ over ATLANTA. Atlanta has to lose at home some time, why not now? This week’s GAME OF THE CENTURY!

4pm(ish)

  • Tampa Bay +7½ over BALTIMORE. I’m not convinced either team can score 7½ points, so I’ll take the underdog.
  • OAKLAND -3 over Miami. I feel bad for Miami, but it’s their own damn fault they haven’t had a quarterback in over a decade.
  • Kansas City -2 over SEATTLE. Either Seattle’s a fraud or Kansas City is. Possibly both.
  • St. Louis +3½ over DENVER. The Rams are going to win a road game, I just know it!
  • Philadelphia -3 over CHICAGO. As a true Philadelphian, I am simply waiting for the Other Shoe to drop and watch a completely miserable Eagles game. On the other hand, this is the Bears and Jay Cutler we’re talking about here. The line moved ½ point in the Bears direction during the week.

Sunday Night

  • INDIANAPOLIS -2 over San Diego. Teams somehow, sometimes, just find ways to win when they really shouldn’t.

Monday Night

  • ARIZONA +1 over San Franciso. What is the point of Flex Scheduling if you can’t move a stinker like this one? Eh, I have a couple episodes of “Fringe” DVR’d.

Brett Favre Is A Bad Quarterback Now

Once Upon A Time …

Last year, Brett Favre played lights out – a career year – in quarterbacking the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. This year, Brad Childress begged Favre to come back (according to reports just Google it or trust me), perhaps thinking that this was the year the Vikings would finally break through and lose the Super Bowl again to break their tie with Buffalo as the losingest team in Super Bowl history.

Well, that’s not gonna happen, because Brett Favre stinks this year. Now that you’ve fired Childress, maybe Minnesota will finally figure out what anyone who’s watched football since 1997 knows: Brett Favre will end your season with an interception.

Last year, he only threw 7 all season. Still, he heaved up an interception in New Orleans to end the season. Just as he has done against Miami, Seattle, the NY Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles. And maybe more. That’s just off the top of my head. In fact, Brett Favre Interceptions That End Seasons even have their own facebook page, right here.

Brett Favre

This Man is Not a Starting NFL Quarterback

This year, the story is even worse. My favorite statistic of all is: wins. If you win, I could care less about the other numbers. So first off: he ain’t winning. I don’t understand why that’s not enough to make a change at quarterback, but, OK. That’s the coach’s call.

Only wait, in the case of Favre, it apparently isn’t. Childress was shown the door earlier this week. And remember how Eric Mangini was shown the door after the Jets collapse in 2008? Coach – and team – killer. Imagine the mess that would have ensued in NY had Favre taken the Jets to the AFC Championship that year.

By The Numbers

Let’s take a look at Favre’s QB Rating. It stinks. I mean, really stinks. Name a quarterback who isn’t Matt Moore, and Favre’s rating is worse. 32nd. His rating through 10 games is 69.8. This puts him below such luminaries as  Alex Smith and Derek Anderson. The man is a full 10 points behind Shaun Hill. Don’t believe me? Here are the QB Ratings at NFL.com.

He has thrown more interceptions (17) than anyone else in the league. He has lost 5 fumbles. He’s given the Other Team the ball 22 times. Let me write that out: Twenty-Two times.

Might As Well Have Forfeited Two Games

Forget time of possession. Let’s just talk number of possessions. Surprisingly, I found it difficult to find an authoritative article on the matter. But buried here in this Advanced NFL Stats article, the author figures the average is 11.5, so I’ll run with that.

That means that Favre basically has given away nearly 2 full games worth of possessions.

What To Do?

I’ve no clue. If the Vikings don’t like Tarvaris Jackson, why is he on the roster? I had to go do some investigating to find out that the other quarterback on the roster is one Joe Webb, a 6th round draft pick. Coincidentally, I discovered that no less than Fran Tarkenton suggested publicly that Joe Webb should be starting. Might as well, I think.

I sure don’t think there’s any point in paying Brett Favre $1 million per game to finish 5-11. He’s done, has no part in the future, and I can’t imagine he’s worth a damn in the locker room.

Cut him and let him join Randy Moss in Tennessee. They seem to be having some Quarterback Problems, too.

Donovan McNabb – By The Numbers

Trade Reaction

Reaction to the recent trade of Dovovan McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Washington Redskins has been every bit as polarized as the fans’ feelings about McNabb himself. Beloved or hated, a Franchise Savior or an overrated and petulant primadonna.

Eagles fans seem just as divided as to why the Eagles didn’t capture a Super Bowl title during McNabb’s reign as the starting quarterback. Was it McNabb’s inaccuracy and his inability to come up big at crunch time? Or was it Andy Reid’s Ego and Arrogance, inflated to proportions that would make Arachne gasp?

By any statistical measure – other than number of championships – Donovan McNabb is the best quarterback ever to play for the Eagles. I’m inclined to defer to Ray Didinger, who says here that Donovan is second to Norm Van Brocklin in Eagles’ history. Still, he’s been pretty damn good for a long, long time.

The trade was made for myriad reasons; it isn’t simply about McNabb’s skills. It’s a money move, a future move – it’s time to turn the page. It’s difficult to find anyone who – once they set aside their emotions – could disagree. Whether Kevin Kolb is the answer no one can say. I’m cautiously optimistic, but of course I’m an Eagles’ fan.

But in Philadelphia, Donovan’s had 10 seasons as the starter, and we just couldn’t seem to get it done with him.

Crunching The Numbers

One of the more startling numbers that jumped out at me is Donovan McNabb’s winning percentage. The usually reliable Len Pasquarelli argues here that  ”[Kolb] will struggle to approximate the .651 winning mark McNabb accomplished in 11 seasons with the Philadelphia franchise.” Donovan won 10 (of 14) games just last year, a mark of .714. (On the misery index, let us consider that the Detroit Lions won just 9 games in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons combined.)

But in the NFL, you are either rising or falling. Is Donovan on an upward trajectory? Does he have his 5 best years ahead of him or behind him? Let us marshall the evidence. For this breakdown, I left out the 1999 season. While Donovan did see action, he wasn’t the full year starter, it was his rookie year, and Andy Reid’s rookie year. And also that makes 11 seasons and a weird breakdown. So I used the last 10 seasons, during which he was the Day One Starter.

2000 to 2004: 5′s First 5? Fine!

Donovan’s first five years were awfully good. A gaudy .740 winning percentage and a Super Bowl Appearance. During that span, Donovan missed 6 games due to injury. The Eagles made the playoffs each of those years, reaching the NFC Championship game 4 consecutive years. He ran for 2,146 yards during that time and scored 120 points. He appeared in 13 playoff games, going 8-5.

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 GP W L Pct.
11-5 11-5 7-31 12-4 13-22 73 54 19 .740

Note 1: McNabb missed the final 6 games of the 2002 season, but returned for the playoffs.

Note 2: McNabb was a healthy scratch for the final game of 2004, as the Eagles had wrapped up home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

2005-2009: The Middle Years?

From 2005 through 2009, Donovan missed 17 games due to injury. The Eagles made the playoffs 3 of those 5 years, one of which was not with McNabb (2006). He ran for 790 yards and scored 48 points. He appeared in 4 playoff games, going 2-2.

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 GP W L Pct.
4-5 4-53 8-6 9-6-1 10-4 624 35 27 .564

Note 3: Jeff Garcia went 5-1 to lead the Eagles to the playoffs, and won a Wild Card game.

Note 4: I didn’t include the Tennessee Game. My memory says that game was long lost before McNabb got hurt, but let’s just leave it out, just in case.

“Feeley and Garcia did just as well… McNabb is the Problem!”

I took a look at the seasons where Feeley (2002) and Garcia (2006) took over due to injury. Both of them led the Eagles into the playoffs and both performed reasonably well. After all, the bottom line is: WIN. These guys did and the Eagles didn’t seem to miss a beat.

“Feeley and Garcia did well because they ran more … Reid is the Problem!”

Not so fast. I broke each of those seasons down, and looked at how many pass attempts were made by McNabb prior to injury and attempts made by Feeley and Garcia after the injury. To get an “average,” I divided that by 60, which is pretty close to the NFL average of offensive plays per game (See also: Pro-Football-Reference.com and Advanced NFL Stats ). Again, the comparison was done within the same season only.

Not surprisingly, in 2002, the Eagles threw the ball 46% of the time with Feeley, with McNabb, 60%. Similary in 2006, McNabb was throwing 58% of the time, and Garcia 45% of the time.

The NFL average in both seasons favored the pass: in 2002, 55%-45%, in 2006, 53%-47%. So the Eagles, doing quite the opposite, did quite well.

But what does this say about the play calling? Regardless of who calls the plays, the head coach – especially in Philadelphia – has significant input. Yes, people, it says here that the Eagles need to run more.

Summary

A lot of pundits mention Donovan’s 5 NFC Championship games. What they fail to mention is: only 1 in the last 5 years. It was time. The numbers support it, the performance supports it. Could McNabb have been more successful with a more “balanced” attack? Yes, I think the numbers support that as well. But in the end, in the big games, Donovan has come up short. And his contract expired in 2011, and Reid’s in 2014.

So it was pretty easy to see who was going.

The Eagles have historically been pretty savvy about knowing when to let go of a player. As much as it hurt to see Brian Dawkins leave, he didn’t beat the Eagles in their game last year, and the Broncos only finished 8-8. And with the youth movement clearly under way, it was time to hand the starring role to the youngster. Welcome to the Kolb era: may it be slightly more successful than the McNabb era.

And did I say the Eagles should run more? Can’t hurt to mention it twice.

Post Script: But to a Division Foe?!

The Washington Redskins seem to make a big splash every offseason. Once upon a time it was Steve Spurrier; last year it was Albert Haynesworth. This year, it’s Donovan McNabb.

I don’t think it’s worth worrying about. As Brett Favre proved, if you want to play in division, you’ll find a way. All the Packers got out of that deal was a 6-10 first year with Aaron Rogers and the #83 pick in the 2009 draft. For Brett Favre. A 3rd Round pick, #83 overall. And of note: that pick didn’t come from the Vikings, who still had all their picks – it came from the Jets. So you essentially gave Favre to the Vikings at no cost to the Vikings.

By contrast, the Eagles, also going with the young quarterback this year, got a 2nd (#37 overall), and a conditional 3rd or 4th pick next year. That’s 2 draft picks. And that’s 2 draft picks the Redskins won’t have.

Some camps say never trade in division. I say do what’s best for your own football team, and the rest will take care of itself. Considering the history of the Eagles and Redskins over the past decade or so, I’m willing to give the Eagles the benefit of the doubt here.

Goodbye, Donovan

So Goodbye, Donovan. Thanks for a great ride, a fun time, and for being a damn solid citizen. My family have been big fans – after all, my son’s name is Trent Donovan. Good luck in Washington.

But not too much.