In all honesty, the title of this post is more to get people going than it is true. But c’mon, Favre choked in the end just like he always does, so you know I was going to say something about it, right? I know what you’ll all say: We wouldn’t even have made the playoffs with Jackson. Or why aren’t you blaming Adrian for all of his fumbles? So you know what I’m going to do? I’m actually going to defend Favre, just a tiny bit.
Favre, for the most part, played a really tough game. He made some big throws under pressure, and he kept getting up after the Saints kept clobbering him with their blitzes. I’m going to say that Favre took more hits than he should have. Our o-line could have done a better job, however, Favre knew he was going to take a lot of hits against the Saints. That’s what you have to do when a team blitzes that much. They’re going to hit the quarterback some, and you just have to step up and make throws anyhow. And most of the time, he did. I wish we could have ran the ball more to prevent some of the hits on Favre, but even though Adrian had a monster game, he couldn’t be trusted to hold onto the ball. So that’s not Favre’s fault. Then, on the final drive in regulation, we’re moving the ball really well, but once we get to the 33 of NO, Childress and Bevel, or whoever was calling the shots decided that was far enough, and that they’d tighten up big time. I know Longwell is a great kicker, but come on, there’s over a minute to go. Let’s go get down to the 20 and make it a sure thing. Then, the 5 yard penalty happens, and there’s hardly any time to go, so Favre has to force something to avoid attempting a 55 yard FG try. That wasn’t his fault. Now, where it becomes his fault is that he could have ran for a 4-6 yard gain and gotten out of bounds and we still could have kicked a 50 yarder to win it. But Favre felt the pressure and he choked it big time.
Now, the game wasn’t all his fault. Adrian fumbled twice, and then there was the botched handoff with him and Favre, and I’d say they can split the blame 50-50 on that one. Adrian should have given him a bigger window to put the ball in, but Favre should have gotten it in there anyhow. Adrian’s other two fumbles actually didn’t even hurt us, especially since he recovered his own with a brilliant effort on the second one. But Percy gave them 7 points with his, and Berrian cost us 7 points with his. Those, obviously, weren’t Brett’s fault either.
It wasn’t Brett’s fault that 3 straight borderline calls in OT went the way of the Saints. I hate to sound bitter and blame the refs, because we had every chance to win despite 5 turnovers, but the 4th and inches run would have been awful close if they would have realized that he fumbled (I’m convinced that after Thomas fumbled that he recovered behind the marker), then there was the horrible PI call on Leber, and I was yelling at the TV that Jared Allen got tackled in the backfield on that one so it should have been at least off setting penalties, and then the Meachem reception was very close. I think the Meachem one didn’t have enough evidence to overturn, but I felt like we deserved that one after losing out on the previous two close calls.
So hey, it was a fun year, but it was a frustrating year for me as well. But in the end, the signing of Favre wasn’t a big enough difference maker, and since he reverted to his all-time interceptions leader self on his final pass of the season, I stand here vindicated in my objection of Favre in purple. Does that make me feel any better that we lost? No. In fact, I think it makes me feel worse because I saw this coming the entire year. I just thought it would have happened much more often. But the only time it truly counts is in the playoffs, and that’s when it happened.
Just a quick shout-out to my friend Gabe who has his own blog, and I thought I’d link to his so you can all get the perspective of a fan that loved the Favre signing and drank the Favre, pain-killer spiked, Kool-Aid all season long. I’m sure he’ll comment on this game eventually. Well, if he can bring himself to. I think he’s taking this loss pretty hard.