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Grin and Brett it

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff December 29, 2008 09:07 AM

Just think, if Brett Favre hadnít tossed that interception last January in what was supposed to be his final game as one of the most overrated players in the history of the NFL, we wouldnít have to endure any 2008 reflections topped with the image of David Tyree somehow hanging onto Houdini Manningís pass.

You could say Favre hijacked a potentially perfect 19-0 season for the New England Patriots with that one toss.

Of course, he also went on to hijack our entire summer with the ridiculous, ďWill he/wonít he?Ē return saga, one that eventually landed him with the easily duped New York Jets, who shipped Chad Pennington off to greener pastures, which turned out to be a division title for the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins are in. The Pats are out.

You can thank Favre for that too.

Depend on Brett Favre? Pats fans should have known it was over before it began. The Jets' quarterback was not-so-surprising 20 of 40 with three interceptions on a day when a New York win meant everything for the Patriotsí playoff hopes. He led the league with 22 interceptions in 2008, which isnít even a career high for Favre, who tossed 29 picks in 2005.

Today, New England, 11-5 during a thoroughly enjoyable season, sits home while a jaw-dropping seven of the 12 NFL playoff entrants move on with records equal to or inferior to the Patriots'.

No 11-5 team since the 1985 Broncos has missed the playoffs -- which, coincidentally, was the last year an 8-8 team won a division (Cleveland) as the San Diego Chargers did last night with a 52-21 pasting of Denver.

Football season in New England, nearly 11 months after the quest for perfection ended with a choke job in the desert, came to a halt yesterday with an 2008 campaign nothing short of valiant. Still, there will be no Wild Card Weekend traffic on Rt. 1.

You could blame Bill Belichick for his game management in Indy for this; perhaps the Patriots defense for not picking up on Miamiís Wildcat formation the 54th time it was run in Week 3. Maybe your disappointment is directed at the team not going for two against the Jets instead of playing for overtime. Perhaps you side with the reality of injuries depleting the foundation of the team, and toss your hands up to football fate.

But on day like this, itís too easy not to get riled over the ďlegendĒ that is Favre.

Iíll never quite understand the national fervor over a guy like Favre, a player at the top of his game a decade ago, with one flash of his former brilliance in 2007. Yet his presence hovers over the NFL with a reverence normally reserved for deity. With the Cowboys and Favre now both out of the playoffs, I can only assume ESPN will go off the air for a few days with nothing to talk about.

The worst thing that could have happened for Favreís legacy was his rebound season of a year ago, one that prompted him to retire, un-retire, and probably will repeat the same process once again. If Favre had a season similar to 2006, no way we would have had the soap opera of last summer. He would have gone away quietly we assume. Either that or heíd return with few teams interested in taking him on.

By the way, of the teams that put themselves into the Favre sweepstakes, itís interesting to note that only the Vikings, they of possible tampering charges, are bound for the postseason. Even with their quarterback issues this season, how badly would he have messed them up? Adrian Peterson, the star running back for the Vikings would be the NFC answer to Thomas Jones, the best back the league had to offer the second half of the season, yet one who inexplicably disappeared from the Jetsí game plan the last month of the season.

Thatís also when Favre became Favre, the stuff of legend. Choking in big-game situations.

If thatís one of the gameís greats, then forgive me if I donít hop on board the Canton bandwagon. True, all-pro ďgunslingersĒ like Favre, Marino, Bledsoe are going to throw their share of interceptions from time to time. But itís the managers of the game behind the line that impress me. Brady, Elway, Montana. Thereís a reason those guys have multiple Lombardis.

Even Favre has to thank Desmond Howard for his trophy.

And so now, we sit and wait for this unwelcome story line to continue. If Favre announces his retirement, it will only be a matter of time before the rumors begin to swirl that heís dipping back into the pool. If Favre sticks around another year, weíll have to sit and wait to see what sort of changes he deems necessary in New York. Because heís more than a QB, heís an overwhelming presence that seems to take a choke hold on everything around him. The world stops for Brett Favre, and so too do the chances of those around him.

Last year, that was the Packers. This year, itís the Jets. Both times, the Patriots suffered collateral damage.

Imagine, the lasting image of 2008 could have been Favre tossing his final pass in the NFL, an interception to Asante Samuel (who holds on this time), sealing a 19-0 Super Bowl season. Instead, Favreís final play might just be the illegal forward pass he threw during last nightís desperate attempt to drive the field in the final minute.

Somehow, that is fitting. For all his admitted greatness, his career has been one highlighted by pivotal blunders. Today, he sits home while the Dolphins prepare for the playoffs.

And for the Pats, what-ifs galore fill the room.

76 comments so far...
  1. ESPN may go off the air. Hilarious. Peter King and John Madden are crying right now over Fav-ruh being out of the playoffs. What a magical season for Miami. The greatest turn around in NFL history. I think the Jets want Chad back.

    Posted by Bob Griese December 29, 08 10:00 AM
  1. Favre doesn't just have Desmond Howard to thank for his title - he's also got to give it up for Reggie White and that defense. If I'm not mistaken, that was either the number one or number two ranked defense in the NFL that season - and for good reason! They rendered the best edition of the Bledsoe/Martin/Coates Patriots offense totally impotent.

    Posted by J.P. December 29, 08 10:25 AM
  1. More class from a Patriot fan. Don't give credit to the Dolphins for a spectacular turnaround, just cry and whine like a school girl who lost her dolly. Maybe you want to look at Bill Bellichick and his 2 playoff games in 6 seasons without Tom Brady. Can you say "overrated?" Pats fans are the whiniest, most pathetic group of fans in the sports world, keep whining, enjoy the playoffs.

    Posted by Joe December 29, 08 11:38 AM
  1. Lol @ Joe. I think he's really Joey Porter in disguise. RAH, THE FINS HAVE BEEN DISRESPECTED! FEEL MY WRATH!

    Posted by Todd December 29, 08 11:47 AM
  1. No, Joe, this article is spot on. I think Eric, just like most other sportswriters and fans right now, understand that sometimes the cards just don't fall your way. As frustrating as it is to see an 11-5 team miss the playoffs, I've heard surprisingly little whining about the Patriots season. All things considered, they gave fans very little to whine about this season.

    The point of this article is to remind everyone just how obnoxious Brett Favre really is - something that can probably not be done often enough.

    And I don't see how - considering that they survived all the way down to practically the last snap of the season in their tough division, and considering the unbelievable number of injuries - any of this could possibly indicate Bellichick is overrated. It's clearly quite the opposite.

    Please, Favre fans, think twice before posting comments. The guy stinks.

    Posted by JeffR December 29, 08 12:07 PM
  1. Spectacular generalization there, Joe. Clearly you haven't met any Cowboys fans. Who's not giving Miami credit? Even you would have to admit missing the playoffs at 11-5 is tough to swallow.

    Posted by Matt December 29, 08 12:36 PM
  1. What I found funny and leveling my expectations before the Jets/Dolphins game was this fact, the last time the Patriots were waiting on someone else to help them into the playoff, it was Brett Favre needing to beat Chad Pennington only it was the Packers versus the Jets. And the Jets and Chad Pennington won. So...duh, we can't depend on others and I think we just curse a coin toss that caused us to lose to the Jets in overtime. And wonder what on earth is in the water in Florida to cause the Dolphins to do the same thing that the Rays did and that if the Giants mess up, wouldn't it be odd to have the Eagles versus the Dolphins in the Super Bowl (Phillies versus Rays in World Series). Unlike there, though, I think I would root for the Dolphins because only the Chargers are more fun to watch.

    Posted by Kate December 29, 08 12:39 PM
  1. Yes! I'm so glad someone wrote an article that points out the main reason for a lot of NE's misfortunes. I totally agree that favre is a drama queen and indeed he does have this choke hold on nearly everything around him. Let's just hope he'll call it quits because I'm tired of his antics. On the other hand, I feel happy for Chad; he got to leave the stinkin jets, beat them for a playoff berth, and seems like he enjoys himself more now that he's out of ny.

    Posted by STZA December 29, 08 12:41 PM
  1. Joe-

    Way to advertise your stupidity and igorance. Overrated? How about 3 Super Bowl wins and a 4th Super Bowl berth as a head coach. Then add 2 more Super Bowl wins and a 3rd Super Bowl berth as a defensive coordinator? Your an idiot.

    Posted by citylivin December 29, 08 12:43 PM
  1. Hey Joe, well said! NE fans are a bunch of cry babies ans sour grapes. It's "every body else's fault but ours". If the Patsies took care of business in the first place, they wouldn't have to rely on the Jets or Favre or anyone else for that matter.

    Posted by Mike December 29, 08 12:44 PM
  1. Mr. Eric Wilbur, I am tearful with glee at your most appropriate entry. For years I have been extolling the overratedness of one Brett Favre. His poor performance has caused much collateral damage for the Pats, including the 2002 finale when Green Bay needed to beat the Jets and Favre was so Favre in that game too.

    On the other hand, the Pats should have known better. The penalty on David Thomas in Indy. The Jabbar Gafney drop in Indy. The phantom holding call on Vrable againt the Jets on a third and 5. The Slater kickoff muff. Oh well. Lessons learned. Let's hope Tank Williams is healthy next year. I don't think Rodney's coming back.

    Posted by Fred Zout December 29, 08 12:45 PM
  1. Whine Whine Whine! Thats what I hear everytime Favre beats the Pats like he did earlier this year!! If Pats go 12-4 there is no worry what the Jets do!!

    Posted by j December 29, 08 12:46 PM
  1. 11 months after the choke job in the desert? Really? I guess you and I were watching 2 different super bowls EW. I guess if the underdog wins it was to be a choke. I thought it was just a great game and the best team on that day was the giants. It was sad to see the outcome, but the game was well played on both sides.

    Posted by tonyg December 29, 08 12:48 PM
  1. At least Magnini was fired....so there is some joy in Foxboro.

    Posted by Ginger December 29, 08 12:51 PM
  1. Only a Pats fan would whine about a rival team's player not performing

    Posted by Sean Carver December 29, 08 12:52 PM
  1. Don't forget how Favre shafted the Patriots in 2002 by not being able to beat the Jets in week 17. A Pack win would've given the Pats a playoff berth. Favre was the best weapon the Dolphin's had yesterday! Good luck Miami. We'll see you next year.

    Posted by Steve December 29, 08 12:54 PM
  1. Eric, please stop calling last year's Super Bowl a choke. I think the Giants season this year has pretty much proved that to be moot. And yes, I am a Patriots fan.

    Posted by Dogg December 29, 08 12:56 PM
  1. Not only the most overrated quarterback in NFL history, but the most overrated professional athlete of all time. The sap can't even spell his own name right -- either it's pronounced Fah-vreh, or possibly Favor, or it's spelled Farv.

    Hey Brett, I know you're an experienced quarterback and all that but I still have a tip that can improve your game. If you look at the players on the field, you'll see that some are wearing shirts of one color, some of another. Look down at your chest. Your shirt is green. You should throw the ball only to guys wearing green shirts, and be careful not to throw it to guys wearing white shirts. Try it! It will definitely improve your results.

    Posted by cervantes December 29, 08 12:58 PM
  1. If the Dolphins have Indianapolis on their schedule like the Patriots, the whole discussion would be moot

    Posted by bikerfiddler December 29, 08 12:59 PM
  1. Eric,

    I agree entirely. Brett Favre is the most over-rated quarterback of all time. A good, sturdy player. Fun to watch. But he isn't a winner the likes of Montana, Brady, Bradshaw or Staubach.

    Posted by Vermonter17032 December 29, 08 01:00 PM
  1. Have any of you seen Brett Favre play before 2005? I love these idiot Boston writers who claim to know what other teams and players are doing. If it does not affect the Patriots in some way, then they do not care. This idiot writer is not a football fan. For anyone to say that John Elway was a game manager, has no clue about anything football related. Look up John Elway's TD to INT ratio and see how it compares to Favre. It is almost identical. Also, if Elway never played with Terrell Davis, he would have been considered the biggest choker of all time. In Favre's two super bowl appearences, he outplayed both QB's[Bledsoe and Elway] Look at the numbers. Oh, and the person who commented that Favre owes his superbowl win to Desmond Howard? Favre was the MVP of the league that year
    moron!!!!!! Desmond Howard really turned out to be such a stud! What idiots

    Posted by Scott D December 29, 08 01:00 PM
  1. JeffR well said. This guy has done nothing but choke at big games. It happens time and time again. I don't see what ESPN and these other outlets see in this guy that we don't see but he has been and avg QB at best. Stats shouldn't get you noticed SB rings should and if it wasn't for Reggie White, Desmond Howard and Bill Parcells this guy wouldn't of even won that game. Great Season Pats

    Posted by Sal S December 29, 08 01:01 PM
  1. As a Bear fan living in the Midwest I have watched Farve closely over the years and, given his terrible playoff record, was actually disappointed he left the Packers. You see, as long as he was behind center, the Packers were not going to win the Big One. Yes, he made some incredible thows early in his career and his string of games started may never be equaled, but when it comes down to who do you want as QB in the Big One, he's not anywhere on my list. Think Unitas, Montana, Brady, even Bart Starr, but Farve? No way.

    Posted by B. Nagurski December 29, 08 01:05 PM
  1. Great write-up. The Pats had an excellent season all things considered. Favre is a choke artist. Totally overrated in fact. The last month of season may be the worst any quarterback had this season (and that's including Detroit). Pennington must be laughing his head off. They cut him for some old washed up has-been.

    Posted by Mansfield_Dude December 29, 08 01:12 PM
  1. Watson holds on while NOT getting hit against the Jets and Gaffney holds on for 7 against the VColts and we are a 1 seed. The future is in your hands, or in the Pat's case was in your hands . NE England has no one else to blame.
    By the way cut Watson, can't find the first down and his next blown assignment will get a QB killed.
    Take Maroney with you, this offense seems to be a great fit for Sammy Morris.
    Walley Walpole

    Posted by Walley Walpole December 29, 08 01:12 PM
  1. 2002! Oh yeah once again Green Bay 28 Pats 10

    Posted by j December 29, 08 01:13 PM
  1. J, you must be the craziest luni in the group home.

    Posted by allriledup December 29, 08 01:14 PM
  1. Let's not forget that Brady has Vinatieri to thank for 2 of his trophies. That being said, here's the Pats fan's predicament....latest news is that Brady's ligaments are "loose" and with those past infections will likely need more surgery and still probable to miss 2009, if not career-ending altogether. If Brady's career ended that glorious day in September, how would Brady's career stack up against Favre in the eyes of the sporting world (sans New England fans)? How funny would that be if Favre came back for another year, and Brady was done? HA!

    Posted by Pete December 29, 08 01:17 PM
  1. Before the JETs game...all I could think of was: "Favre hasn't one a big game in a very long time."

    Posted by Jeff December 29, 08 01:27 PM
  1. Just a quick correction, there will be Wild Card Weekend traffic on Rt. 1, it will just be 1,500 miles south of Foxboro.

    Posted by betheballdanny December 29, 08 01:27 PM
  1. We are not whineing ....we are just saying Favre sucks !!!

    Posted by zeeman December 29, 08 01:29 PM
  1. Pete, nothing I would love more than to see Favre return to the Jets.
    You show some real class hoping Brady's career is over-but then I guess that shows how much he is feared-unlike your boy Brett these days.

    Posted by dave December 29, 08 01:34 PM
  1. Favre may end up in New England next year!!!!!! SWEET!!!! What a back up to Cassel. Favre's stats don't agree with you that he sucks! yes he throws some stupid picks sometimes but the last time I checked the record book most records were in his name!!!

    Posted by j December 29, 08 01:37 PM
  1. If Brady's career ended today he would be a first ballot hall of famer... What an embarrassing legacy to have huh Pete?! What a moron

    Posted by Jason December 29, 08 01:41 PM
  1. Brady is a bum, and his career is over. He was simply too fragile for the NFL. Classic Darwinism.

    Posted by Pete December 29, 08 01:42 PM
  1. There are plenty of players in the NFL I think are gutless, whiny or showboats, and teams that I can't stand - and I'd never wish a career-ending injury on any of them, or relish the prospect of it happening. Classy, Pete. I'd point out the fact that Vinatieri wouldn't have been in FG range were it not for the rest of the offensive squad in getting there, nor would he have had a chance to win a game without the defense - but obviously the sacrifice and working together that makes football a TEAM sport is something you wouldn't understand. What happened, you get run off the freshman squad for being a scumbag? Figures we'd find you here on the internet.

    Posted by Bryan December 29, 08 01:42 PM
  1. Can't blame Brett...although he does suck oranges. The Pat's didn't win enough games , period....BUT, considering the injuries, most importantly Brady, they came off doing quite well....I am more impressed with them this year than the year they won every games EXCEPT the Superbowl....That was worse than not making the playoffs...My hat is off to them, Good job guys, plan for a longer next season...PS

    Posted by CouldaWouldaShoulda December 29, 08 01:43 PM
  1. Yea you said it! When I crack jokes about Mr. "Magical, Perfect" FavRUH down here people look at me like I am crazy to say anything but glorious things about him. It's ridiculous and I'm glad you wrote this...waaa I'm going to retire...waaa I might come back....waaaa I want to always be the center of attention. It is funny. I didn't think he would pull if off yesterday but it doesn't matter! Go Falcons ;o)

    Posted by redsox775 December 29, 08 01:44 PM
  1. Welcome to our world over here in Packerland. Farve always lost the big one. That's what the Packer organizion finally figured out. Weren't going to win the big one with Farve under center. One play away from Super Bowl last year. What does Farve do? Throws the pick. Three other receivers were wide open on that play. I know. I sat in the frozen tundra and watched it all unfold.

    Posted by The BeeCharmer December 29, 08 01:45 PM
  1. "Let's not forget that Brady has Vinatieri to thank for 2 of his trophies"

    What an ignorant moron... yeah, lets not forget who drove them down field in the final minutes of each of those games so AV could kick them in the first place. I love when people say Brady owes all his success to AV. Please, yes he's a very clutch kicker, but you sort of need a QB who can set those up for you.

    Posted by Erin December 29, 08 02:02 PM
  1. Bryan, I started four seasons in the Big 10. I'm sure your biggest sports achievement was doing well in your fantasy draft....chump. Hey your wings are ready...

    Posted by Pete December 29, 08 02:02 PM
  1. The article is rediculous in this respect, how can he say the game was over before it began when the Jets led twice in the game. Who here wasn't hopeful when the Jets took the lead in the third quarter. I was. Blaming this on Favre is convenient, but not accurate, remember he led the Jets over the Pats at Foxborough during the regular season. We win that we're in. And you can't rely on other teams and expect it to happen. We put ourselves in this position and we lost out. It happens. Pats fans (like myself) suck it up and enjoy the playoffs. My prediction, an all Pennsylvania Superbowl.

    Posted by ed sargent December 29, 08 02:03 PM
  1. Another sore loser from Boston? Not suprising.

    Posted by Mookie Wilson December 29, 08 02:04 PM
  1. When you were thinking about writing this article, you were really onto something. But then you started tapping on your keyboard and it all went to hell.

    Posted by Neal Madden December 29, 08 02:05 PM
  1. Bash Favre all you want (I'm no fan) but stop blaming him for the Pats' failure to make the play-offs this year and it's loss in the Superbowl last year. Step up and take your losses like a man.

    Posted by Seriously December 29, 08 02:07 PM
  1. Hey Eric, instead of depending on Favre, the Pats could have just done it the right way and won one additional game - including ones against Miami or the Jets earlier in the season, or to the lowly 8-8 Chargers.

    Nah, instead it's just easier to make fun of Favre than to say the Pats had it in their grasp. For someone sick of hearing about the guy, you sure do like to create more press for him.

    Posted by Andrew December 29, 08 02:12 PM
  1. Really, Pete, you started in the Big 10? What years and school? My buddy works for the AD at Michigan State. Does research for the conference meetings. I'm sure he's heard of you. What years, what school? I'll ask him to look up your old program and see what they had to say about you.

    heh heh, "started four years in the Big 10", and you're hanging around a Boston.com sports blog. That's hysterical.

    Posted by Bryan December 29, 08 02:19 PM
  1. I am so depressed today, Damn you Brett Favre!!! You always ruin everything. I hate you! Go to the woods and retire in your wrangler jeans and then pass away into that good night. Why!! Why!!

    Posted by Bill December 29, 08 02:26 PM
  1. Love it.
    Becareful though that the Communistic Liberals of the media don't make you take this down. You are picking on the media's darling.

    "Legend" my ass

    Posted by Chris December 29, 08 02:32 PM
  1. Favre sucks, but don't blame him for the Pat's fate. ESPECIALLY last year.

    Posted by cez December 29, 08 02:36 PM
  1. People in NE don't realize that Brady is no God. He was good in a great system, but probably would have floundered elsewhere. If Cassel can go 11-5, then so could Thigpen, Flacco or Leinart for that matter. Calling Brett Favre overrated is a knee-jerk and sort of stupid reaction indicative of whiney pats fans angry that their team didn't make the playoffs. Remember Hank Steinbrenner whining about the Yankees not making the playoff because they were better than other division winners? Don't put yourself in a position where you need to rely on others.

    Posted by Corksoaker Jones December 29, 08 02:38 PM
  1. Wow, what an annoyed, angry, personal attack ridden article. Eric, is the universe "Wilburcentric"? The pats choked last year, desmon howard won the Superbowl for the packers, and brett farve lost it for the pats last year because he couldn't lead his team over the giants in an NFC division game? Are you serious? I suggest some sort of emotional therapy, does brett remind you of a booze infested uncle that "tucked you in" when you were a kid?

    Posted by Brett Favre December 29, 08 02:38 PM
  1. Hey, congrats to the Dolphins. Great job guys, you deserve it, really. By the way, your season is most likely one week longer than ours. We'll keep a warm spot on the couch for you because like us, you're going to be watching someone else's team on SB Sunday.

    Oh, and there's a better than average chance you're 6-10 next year as well.

    Posted by edsox15 December 29, 08 02:44 PM
  1. Before anyone says Favre "led the Jets past the Pats at Foxboro" lets remember it was because of a coin flip and a bogus penalty. Regardless, I agree that the Patriots don't deserve anything because they didn't control their own fate, which is a sign of a borderline team. At least the lasting image of Favre getting owned while throwing a forward pass will be the last we'll see of that overrated, emotional trainwreck.

    And btw Favre lovers: Do you think you'd EVER see Montana, Brady, Manning, Unitas, etc hem and haw and not make up their minds to play each year? Nope.

    Posted by Classless December 29, 08 02:45 PM
  1. Pete - more like AV has Brady to thank for giving him the ball within range at the end of two superbowls. Those weren't 65 yard field goals, Brady moved the ball and layed it down for Adam to do his job. Nobody in the NFL knew who AV was back when Bledsoe was going 4 and out with 2 minutes left in close games.

    Posted by mike December 29, 08 02:48 PM
  1. Pete-

    You "Started" 4 years in the Big 10 and now your a line cook at Hooters!? Great career move! LOSER.

    Posted by oldguy323 December 29, 08 03:01 PM
  1. As a commentator mentioned, back in (?2002) we needed Brett and the Pack to beat the Jets, so we could go to the playoffs after that amazing comeback vs. the 'phins in the last game. They got shellacked, as Brett was pathetic. I was happy to see them get trashed by Michael Vick and Co., in Lambeau the next weekend in what was supposed to be an automatic playoff win.

    As for the 1997 Super Bowl, the Pats scored 21 points and might have been in a position to win (it was 27-21 late 3rd quarter), were it not for Desmond Howard's TD. Reggie White was unstoppable, but I would hardly call their offensive outuput "totally impotent".

    Lastly, gotta give the Dolphins their due. They won when they had to, and Chad must be laughing his head off.

    Posted by DB December 29, 08 03:23 PM
  1. I dont think you can blame Favre for the Patriots shortcomings. If it makes you feel better to bash one of the only players that has represented the best of the NFL each and every week then I'm not sure how much of a football fan you are anyway.

    Posted by frommaine December 29, 08 03:41 PM
  1. edsox15,

    Miami will only get better with free agency and the draft upcoming. Only an idiot would say otherwise at this point. Win or lose next week, it has been a magical season for Miami and it was a pleasure to watch the Patsies and Jets get eliminated. Enjoy the offseason.

    Miami Dolphins 2008 AFC East Champs

    Posted by Bob Griese December 29, 08 04:05 PM
  1. Pete????? crickets.... Pete????? crickets....Thats what I thought you donkey.

    Posted by citylivin December 29, 08 04:57 PM
  1. Eric "Wilbur"? I remember a talking horse, Mr. Ed, saying "Willll-bur" and now we've got this talking jackass. You're blaming the Patriots misfortunes on Brett Favre, huh? Funny(not really) that you didn't mention how the BRETT FAVRE led Jets beat the Patriots on their home turf earlier this season and how the Patriots would have made the playoffs if they could have beaten the Jets.. You don't think THAT had anything to do with the Patriots' misfortunes, do you? Nah, couldn't be.

    Posted by tommyt December 29, 08 06:06 PM
  1. Please don't put Brady in with true greats like Montana and Elway. It's rather disturbing. At the end of his career when he retires you can make that judgement but not now. He is a very good quarterback working for a really good organization. It would help any quarterback to be on the Patriots. See Matt Cassel. Brady is just as over rated as Favre. You just can't see it becuase most Patriots fans are blinded by what they perceive as the truth. Once again history will tell us how great Tom Brady is. I will not say yeah or nay till then.

    Posted by It's just me December 29, 08 08:29 PM
  1. By practically every measurable statistic, Brady is a better quarterback than Elway and Montana. I am not saying he is better than they were, but he certainly deserves to be compared with them. He has a better lifetime winning percentage, both in the regular season and the playoffs, and a better touchdown to interception ratio. You cannot say he is simply the product of a good system. There have been dozens of good systems, but only one quarterback has thrown 50 touchdowns in a season with a ridiculously low number of interceptions (8).

    Posted by dcfan December 29, 08 09:31 PM
  1. to the guy who said if the fins would have played the colts we wouldnt have this conversation....the fins and pats had the same schedule except pats had pitt and colts..fins had texans and ravens...we both lost both of those games....THE reason pats didnt make it was they lost 30-10 to the chargers and the fins beat the chargers--better conference record....Typical crying from a pats fan.....WILDCAT!!!!

    Posted by WIldcat December 29, 08 10:17 PM
  1. eric wilburn, you sir are a freaking idiot, you should be fired for just waking up in the morning, i have never read a more ridiculous article, pathetic........

    Posted by Tim Martin December 29, 08 11:15 PM
  1. I think that Wilbur is a boob and needs to get over his attack on Favre. Farve made his mark on the NFL and never needed the Pats to make or break him. He didn't cause the loss to the giants and he didn't cause them missing the playoffs. It seems what goes around comes around and the Pats just didn't have it in a tougher division this year. In 06 the sox found that out. this year the Pats just didn't have the right touch. Or just maybe it was that Montana kicker in Miami that taught a team how to win.

    Posted by Greg December 29, 08 11:22 PM
  1. As a Packer fan I have seen every one of Favre's games, which says something because he never missed one. I am a fan of Brett Favre and always will be. However, I am a realist and I know that Brett Favre would not have been successful if it were not for Mike Holmgren. Favre never won a significant playoff game after Holmgren left. Holmgren was a great quarterback coach, probably the best of his time. Favre benefitted from that. I truly believe that Favre would have more superbowl wins had Mike Holmgren stayed in Green Bay.

    Posted by gman December 30, 08 01:08 AM
  1. Nicely put, Eric. Favre is a narcissistic drama queen whose every sentence starts with "I" and who was never as good as the Maddens, Kings and Packer diehards would have you believe. In fact, except for the White-and-Howard SB XXXI trophy, I've never seen him come up big when he needed to.

    Forgive me as well if I don't jump on the Canton train. Big numbers don't make you a big time player.

    Posted by Lisa K. December 30, 08 08:32 AM
  1. Mike Holmgren = Jets head coach......Favre comes back for one more?

    Posted by Bill December 30, 08 08:56 AM
  1. From someone who is on the outside looking in (Baltimore Ravens fan!!!), I'd like to give my opinion on the "Favre" Opera, and some general musings on your division.

    Regardless of my feelings towards New England, missing the playoffs with an 11-5 record is heart-wrenching. They did a hell of a job with back-ups and perseverence. There is a plethora of teams in the playoffs that have no business there (Arizona, San Diego, etc.). Matt Cassel will be gone next year as a starter (sorry but true). I truly feel for Patriots fans, and I know how I would feel if the Ravens had missed out with their 11-5 record.

    Miami did an amazing job this year. The are stingy with the ball, and that's how you win the tough games. They will give the Ravens a great game, and that's what I want. I still think we will have the edge, but it's going to be a close one.

    Buffalo is Buffalo. They could be "that" team every year, but wind up being "that" team. Next year could be their year (how many times have we heard that one???)

    The Jets suck. Plain and simple, you live by the hype, you die by the hype. I've been saying for years that Favre should step away, and that his involvement is always a monumental distraction. They brought in someone they thought could win the tough ones, and he fell to some of the softest teams in the league (San Francisco, Seattle, etc.). He has always been overrated, and I don't think his wins or Super Bowl appearances should merit the reverence. All the fourth quarter heroics would be nothing if he had put his teams in position to win games early. 22 interceptions for an "elite" quarterback is disgusting. I hope he crawls away from the game, and takes all the distraction with him. With all the great drama and storylines that have unfolded this year, do we really need another "favre-watch"???

    With that being said....GO RAVENS!!!

    Posted by Travis Heinicke December 30, 08 11:54 AM
  1. The giants are the greatest team in the world

    Posted by jason hearl December 30, 08 02:03 PM
  1. Favre is, and always will be the best quarterback to play the game.

    Posted by Rick B December 30, 08 08:05 PM
  1. I'm a huge Fins fan, so last year, while enduring a 1-15 season and at the same time an arch enemy was moving frighteningly toward an undefeated season, please forgive me now if I don't show an ounce of sympathy toward the fact that the Patsies just missed the playoffs due to the circus that is Brett Favre. I think you guys had a helluva year considering Brady's situation, be proud of that and when you get TB back say goodbye to Cassel, he'd be crazy to stay and sit on the bench.
    ESPN going off the air was pretty damn funny!

    Posted by Ron Reed December 31, 08 03:48 PM
  1. Favre is a washed up has been.

    He is a dinosaur who needs to retire.

    He was good in the mid 90's but that was over 10 years ago.

    Now it is pathetic and comedic to see him play.

    Posted by jeff January 1, 09 08:46 AM
  1. These comments are amazing! You talk about ESPN having nothing to talk about....what are all you Farve haters going to talk about when he does retire. Who will be the target of your vitriol? Another Hall of Famer perhaps? Sounds like jealousy to me.

    Posted by baxter January 1, 09 10:24 AM
  1. True enough, Pats fans have no room to whine about some other team not coming through for them--and to their credit, I haven't heard the Pats players or coaches do any of that.

    On the issue of Favre though, I'm sorry--I like the guy, but I can't recall a major athlete in my lifetime who has gotten so many free passes for so many egregious mistakes (although, after one season in NY, you realize how much of that was simply from playing in GB). Not coincidentally, however, it is because he is so likeable and a "gunslinger" that people have let Favre off the hook so easily. He did a win a championship, and he was--in the 90s--an awesome player. But he hasn't been nearly that good--2007 regular season excepted--since. Yet, even in 2004, I heard "experts" saying "with a game on the line, there's no one I'd rather have than Brett Favre." Excuse me? Two things stick out that confirm for me that comments like that come from Bizarro World: first, and stunningly NEVER mentioned by anyone, is that Favre once threw 6--that's right, SIX--interceptions in a NFC championship game. How can this not ever be mentioned? Six? Are you kidding me? I'm struggling to remember ANY QB in any NFL game EVER throwing SIX interceptions. And in a conference championship game. If any other QB--Mannings or Brady included--has a game like that, he gets crucified for it, guaranteed. If Tony Romo did it, they'd harrass the poor guy for the rest of his life. Brett Favre? No one even remembers it. Second: last year, my wife and I were driving, listening to the NFC Championship game, when Favre threw that bad INT. Given the field position, I said to my wife (not a football fan), "See dear? This guy, Favre, just threw a bad interception that will undoubtedly cost his team the game. It wasn't just an interception, but it gave the ball to the other team where they don't have to do anything to win except kick a field goal. Yet--mark my words--hardly anyone will make him accountable for it afterward. If the other QB--Eli Manning--had thrown it, they'd crucify him all summer long." My wife said, "So, why is that?" and I said, "I dunno. But no matter what he does, they always seem to forgive him." And, of course, that's exactly what happened. And, by the way, I like Favre and despise Eli Manning, but saw the hypocrisy in that one event from 2000 miles away...

    Brett Favre: most career yards, TDs, INTs...and forgiven, game-killing mistakes.

    Posted by Robert January 5, 09 10:42 AM
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