Favre discusses his subpar season


Nov 23, 2005
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Fontana, CA
He says he hasn't lost confidence
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Posted: Dec. 19, 2006

Green Bay - Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre probably doesn't know he ranks 24th in the National Football League in passer rating or that he's as close to setting the all-time career passing touchdowns record (needs seven) as he is to setting the career interceptions record.

Brett Favre has thrown 17 TDs with 15 INTs and is on his way to finishing with the worst completion percentage of his career.

He isn't oblivious, however, to his difficulties finding a groove this season or the fact he's not the same quarterback he was 10 years ago. What he - and probably the Packers, too - would like to know for sure is whether he's a victim of being thrust into a rebuilding situation or if his skills are diminishing.

Two days before playing what could be his last home game in a career that has spanned 15 seasons in Green Bay, Favre made no announcement about his future. But he did address some of his poor play, the most recent of which came in the Packers' uninspired 17-9 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday at Lambeau Field.

In four of his last five games, Favre's passer rating has been below 60. Not coincidentally, the Packers have lost three of them.

"From a production standpoint, I think I've left some things out there, plays to be made," Favre said Tuesday. "And I could always say that. But I also have proof in the past. You throw 30-plus touchdowns a year, you kind of get used to doing that. Then all of a sudden, you struggle to throw a touchdown pass and you start wondering, 'Is it me? Is it the system? Is it the guys around you?' "

Favre said he's always pointed the finger at himself first because there have been seasons before when he's had to make the best of it because of injuries around him and has managed to put up decent numbers. This year, that hasn't been the case very often. He has thrown for 17 touchdowns with 15 interceptions and is on his way to finishing with the worst completion percentage of his career.

He needs two touchdown passes to tie his lowest output in a season in which he has started 16 games (19 in 1993) and is in danger of finishing with a passer rating of below 75 for the second consecutive year. His interceptions are high, but because he has attempted more passes than any quarterback in the NFL, his percentage is 2.9, which ranks 15th in the league.

Despite his struggles, Favre hasn't lost confidence.

"I do still feel like I can make those plays," he said. "And it's frustrating to me and disappointing when I don't."

Except for the stinker on Sunday, in all but one of the Packers' previous five victories Favre had a passer rating of 100 or better. In the one he didn't he posted a 90.9.

That means that generally when Favre is on, the Packers win. When he is off, as has been the case in all but two early defeats to New Orleans and St. Louis, the Packers lose.

It raises the question: If he had a better running game - the Packers rank 19th in rushing offense - or didn't have to sacrifice receivers going out on patterns to help keep him protected when he passes, would he be on more often? Favre wasn't going down that road Tuesday, but when pressed about whether he felt he still had the goods to be a winner, he didn't hesitate.

"I feel pretty good in a sense that I'm out there practicing every day and knowing that and seeing the plays that I make and the throws I make, I know I can do it," said Favre, adding that off-season ankle surgery should help him if he decides to return next year. "If I said I were to retire I know I would feel guilty that, 'Man, I still have some talent here to use. I'd hate to waste it.'

"There are probably a lot of guys who have done that. I don't see that. I still see that I can make those throws and make guys. . . you know for me, I'm never going to rush for 100 yards in a game, but if I can make the first guy miss and make a play then I know I still have it."

Publicly, coach Mike McCarthy already has suggested that he wants Favre back next season, although it's clear that he, like previous Packers coaches, gets frustrated with his quarterback's decision-making. If the Packers improve their running game and get the deep threat they have lacked since Javon Walker was here and healthy, maybe his decision-making improves.

Or maybe not.

Favre seems to be more comfortable with the rebuilding process than he was last off-season, so there is a chance he and the Packers will find out whether he still has it next year. The losing part has become old - the Packers have lost twice as many games as they've won since the start of the '05 season - and that seems to be what is dragging on him the most.

"I was in here Sunday and I thought we lost the game," Favre said. "It's tougher to get over those things. It's tough to wake up after a win and get the body moving, but at least it's a win. And I want to feel like I'm producing. I felt like I kept Detroit in the game the other day. That's tough to deal with.

"A loss sticks with you forever. I'm at that point where either I shake that or run myself ragged."

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