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Raider Pride

Jul 18, 2005
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Portland, OR Local Packer Fans P.M me.
From The Philly Daily News:

Sam Donnellon | Favre gets picked clean

SO HERE'S THE reality of this whacked-out season: If Mike McMahon were the Packers' quarterback, Green Bay might have won yesterday.

Put another way, if Terrell Owens had all his wishes come true, the Eagles might be the team with the 2-9 record today.

If Mike McMahon were the Packers' quarterback, he might have taken a few more underneath routes and tried for fewer home runs than Brett Favre did in the Eagles' 19-14 victory. McMahon might not have responded to the gift-horse roughing call on a last-minute interception by throwing yet another last-minute interception. He might have played it safe and rolled up field goals instead of turning the ball over on go-for-broke bombs in the end zone - twice.

His favorite receiver doubled all game, his offensive weaponry disappearing by the week, Favre completed 15 of 33 passes for 171 yards yesterday, throwing two picks in the process, finding the end zone only once against a defense that has hemorrhaged big plays this season.

Those numbers, so modest against the backdrop of his history, were clearly an offshoot of an offense as decimated as that of the Eagles, an offense that additionally lost tight end Bubba Franks and fullback William Henderson to injury in just a little more than two quarters of play. But they were also attributable to an admittedly jittery gunslinger, now in his 15th season and 36th year, a man who these days seems to be constantly mulling the worth of it all.

For the record, Favre said his decision whether to return for a 16th season will not be based on the way this season has played out. But he also said, "It does dent your confidence a little bit," when asked about playing with all the unfamiliar names that injuries have brought about this year.

"As a quarterback, you don't want to say losing guys affects you because you have to play the game a certain way," Favre said. "But if it makes you a little bit apprehensive on decision-making or timing, it's going to hurt you. It's just going to hurt you. And that's just the truth."

Here's some more truth: Losing his favorite names has Brett Favre playing more desperately, even when it's not necessarily needed. Truth is, if Mike McMahon were the Green Bay quarterback, some of the five previous Packers losses by a field goal or less might have been victories.

Because he wouldn't have tried so hard, so often, to make the big play.

And because a coach might not have allowed him to.

Brett Favre has bought himself the right to shoot now and ask questions later. Regardless of the personnel around him, even if it is a reflection of his frustration level, he has built his reputation over 15 mostly successful seasons as a gunslinger and he has earned the right to, if this is his final season, to go out that way - throwing end-zone prayers to players with whom he has little or no history.

But the truth is this particular team might be better off with almost any other quarterback, any quarterback without that kind of pardon for life. Because the truth is, Favre missed plenty of guys on his own yesterday - overthrowing, underthrowing, holding the ball too long, trying too hard right to the end.

And that's the way it ended yesterday, as it has so often for him this season. Instead of taking advantage of a roughing-the-passer penalty that negated a game-ending desperation interception, Favre reloaded and fired another game-ending desperation interception. Instead of leaping and battling for the ball as some of Favre's more famous receivers have in the past, Robert Ferguson kept running as Rod Hood stepped in front of him and picked off Favre's 50-yard prayer.

Afterward, Favre explained it away as "trying to make a play."

Truth is, there were open men crossing underneath that route, and 59 ticks left on the clock.

Truth is, it was only second down.

Afterward, both he and Packers coach Mike Sherman spoke expansively about fumbled kicks and unfamiliar faces leading to another close loss. Both even spoke of the same dropped pass early in the third quarter by backup fullback Vonta Leach as a "key."

"It's funny how, given that opportunity, some people rise to that occasion and some people don't," Favre said. "I'm one of them. I got an opportunity to play because of injury. And it's a small window. And from my end it is frustrating. William goes down and Vonta comes in and we run that key pass, the only key pass we run all day and it had a chance to be really big and he doesn't catch it. I feel sorry for Vonta. He's a young kid and he's going to make that play. It just goes to show you about this season."

It sure does. Because if a future Hall of Famer feels the need to mention a backup's drop in his postmortem - well, you might be better off with Mike McMahon in there.


Jun 4, 2005
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I can't disagree with one thing the guy said.

It's fairly obvious to others what is happening in Green Bay, but not to the 'faithful'.

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