Monday, September 28, 2009

The post that never was

My blog post was about 90% written in my head before "The Play" yesterday. In it, I was going to lay into Brett "five yards and a cloud of RAC yardage" Favre and his mediocre play. I was going to make fun of everyone who was chirping about his 77% completion percentage and 110 passer rating and how "all he does is win" when he completed barely 50% of his passes and led the offense to just 13 points (20 minus Percy Harvin's TD return).

Then Favre and Greg Lewis made all that moot.

On the one hand: Happy to be 3-0!

On the other hand: Unhappy because the "Favre is God" crowd will be even more insufferable than usual.

(On the third hand: Disgusted at the media-gasm likely to propagate over the next week leading to Packers/Vikings on Monday night.)

I can try to counter with all sorts of reality-based arguments. Like that, 9 times out of 10, Greg Lewis doesn't make that catch or his left foot scrapes the back goal line. Favre made a hell of a throw -- and probably the first I've seen all year that I would put beyond Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels -- but one pass, which required a miracle catch by a receiver can't overshadow the rest of the drive, game, or season, in which Favre hasn't looked like a quarterback you'd want to pay $12 million for.

But I'll stick with this one simple comparison, to illustrate how much of a difference one play can make, especially this early in the season:

Passer rating A: 94.5
Passer rating B: 87.8

Adjusted Yards Per Attempt A: 6.6
Adjusted Yards Per Attempt B: 6.0

Yards per attempt A: 6.0
Yards per attempt B: 5.6

Yards per completion A: 9.3
Yards per completion B: 8.9

Situation A is Favre's actual stats. Situation B is his stats if Lewis doesn't come down with the ball (and with one extra game-ending incompletion thrown in). That 87.8 passer rating is nice, but it would still be only 15th in the league. With the Lewis catch, he's 16th in AY/A and would be 22nd without it (just ahead of Tom Brady, for whatever that's worth). Brett Favre's numbers still look pretty good, but he's one unlikely play away from looking average, at best.

But regardless of what was likely to happen, what did happen is that Favre made a play as improbable as just about any we've seen and delivered the goods the first time he was really asked to do so in a Vikings uniform. For that I'm grateful and happy. I'm just not ready to crown him yet.


Josh said...

Honestly no one is ready to crown any team in the NFC North and especially not the Vikings. The Vikings have amazing talent, but we are yet to see a Complete game from them. Hopefully the complete game is against the Packers on MNF!

Peter said...

The look-what-happens-to-his-stats-when-we-take-away-one-play thing works for a lot of players, not just Favre. Peterson had a decent day (for a human RB, anyway) with his 19 carries for 85 yards (4.5 YPC) but take away his best run of 35 yards, and suddenly his game is very ugly. 18 carries for 50 yards = 2.8 YPC.

I'm not crowning anyone yet. I have a lot of questions about the 3-0 Vikes, but I'm glad they're winning.

Jason said...

And AP would still have 5.6 yards per carry for the season. In other words, he hasn't had exactly one great play this season.

Peter said...

Ah, I stand corrected. I failed to realize you were looking at Favre's season long (just 3 games, but still) stats.