The Best Of Favre's Meltdowns
America Loves Countdowns
Countdown #36: Worst Brett Favre Collapses
It's pretty easy to build a case for Brett Favre as one of the
top five quarterbacks of all time based on his numbers, but I'll leave
that up to someone else. Favre belongs in that exclusive group because
no one performed better in the clutch.... Joe Montana was brilliant in
Bill Walsh's West Coast offense, but if there's a minute left on the
clock and my team needs to go 80 yards for a score, give me Favre.
- Matt Mosley on ESPN.com
Feb 11, 2009
First off, let me say that I am NOT a Brett Favre hater. He was a great QB and I always liked how he played the game. But the one thing that has always driven me nuts during his career is the media worship. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Favre can do no wrong. He is a god. They all bow down to worship at his feet. Nevermind the fact that he has single-handedly blown more big games than most other quarterbacks of his era. That never happened as far as the media is concerned. The excerpt above from ESPN is probably the single most outrageous statement that I have ever seen printed by any major media outlet, and sadly it seems to be commonplace where Favre is concerned.
Recently former Vikings great Fran Tarkenton dared to point out the fact that Favre was always a bad clutch player, saying that, amongst other things, "[Favre] has made more stupid plays than any great quarterback that I've ever seen." Predictably, Tarkenton was ripped by the media, with multiple outlets calling him things like a "grumpy old man" for daring to speak ill of the NFL messiah.
So no offense to Favre, but I feel that it’s about time that someone exposes the sorry excuse for journalism that is the sports media with a list of Favre’s collapses via this week's America Loves Countdowns® series. I can almost guarantee that you will be surprised by the sheer number and magnitude of some of these choke jobs, because the media has made us all forget about them.
2008 Regular Season vs Dolphins
Let’s start with Favre’s most recent collapse. Playing for the Jets in 2008, Favre has his media worshippers abuzz when he propels New York to an 8-3 record. There is even talk of an all-New York Super Bowl as excitement reaches a near fever pitch. Alas, Favre and the Jets go down in a tailspin of interceptions, losing to the likes of Seattle and San Francisco. In the last game of the season, Favre completes the playoff-killing downfall by tossing three picks and being badly outperformed by Chad Pennington, the guy who the Jets unceremoniously dumped so that they could sign Favre at the beginning of the season.
2005 Regular Season vs Bengals
This is the only non-critical game to make the list (it was an early season game which the Packers entered with a 1-5 record), but it is worth mentioning just due to the horrific nature of Favre’s performance. The opportunistic Bengals defense picks him off five times, but due to Cincinnati’s complete lack of heart, Green Bay still has a chance to win the game at the end, especially after a 48-yard pass interference penalty gives them excellent field position. Favre blows it though, ending the game with a sorry looking illegal pass from way beyond the line of scrimmage. After the game, Favre sounds as if he is ready to hang it up for good, saying, "This is way too difficult week-in and week-out. It's hard to make a living that way each week." Fortunately for us, he proceeds to change his mind 76,874 times over the next four years.
1999 Regular Season vs Vikings
Both teams enter a key late-season Monday night game with identical 7-6 records. The winner will be in the drivers seat for an NFC wild card spot while the loser will likely be eliminated from playoff contention. Minnesota takes a 24-20 lead with about nine minutes left in regulation, plenty of time for Favre to mount a comeback. But he proceeds to throw two interceptions in the final minutes of the game, the last coming in the endzone as the final second ticks off the clock. Green Bay misses the playoffs.
1995 NFC Championship Game vs Cowboys
The Packers get themselves into an early 14-3 hole thanks to a costly screen pass interception that Favre throws to Leon Lett. To his credit, Favre battles back and plays a great game – until the 4th quarter, that is. The Cowboys hold a 31-27 lead but the Packers have the ball with the chance to take the lead and go to the Super Bowl. As usual, Favre gets reckless. Scrambling away from pressure, he tries to hurl a deep pass to WR Mark Ingram. The ball is picked off by CB Larry Brown (who will also make a key interception two weeks later at Super Bowl XXX as we all remember). Dallas then ices the game for good.
Super Bowl XXXII vs Broncos
Denver has just scored the go-ahead touchdown. There is 1:45 left in the Super Bowl and the Packers, who still have two of their timeouts, need to go 70 yards to tie the game. This is the moment where legends are made. Joe Montana needed to go 92 yards in the final minutes of Super Bowl XXXIII, and he did it. Ben Roethlisberger needed to go 88 yards in the final minutes of Super Bowl XLIII, and he did it. Could Brett Favre not do it too? After all, this is the exact situation where ESPN.com said that "if there's a minute left on the clock and my team needs to go 80 yards for a score, give me Favre" instead of players like Montana. So what happens? Favre drives the Packers about half of the way, then goes four and out to lose the Super Bowl. Where is the legendary moment? Favre is no Montana. He is no Roethlisberger. He has no career-defining last-second drive to put on his resume, despite what the media would have you believe.
2002 NFC Wild Card Playoffs vs Falcons
In their illustrious history, the Packers have never once lost a playoff game at Lambeau Field as they prepare to meet the Atlanta Falcons in the 2002 NFC playoffs. Even better for Green Bay, snow is falling and the Falcons are a warm-weather dome team. What should be an easy win for the home team quickly turns ugly however, as Atlanta jumps out to a 24-0 halftime lead en route to a shocking 27-7 victory. Favre plays poorly, throwing multiple interceptions and becoming incapable of making any kind of plays to get his team back in the game. Worst of all, he is badly outperformed by Michael Vick, who has less than 1/10th of the talent and heart that Favre is supposed to have.
2004 NFC Wild Card Playoffs vs Vikings
In the 76-year history of post-season play in the NFL, no playoff team has ever produced a worse record over their final 10 games than the 2004 Minnesota Vikings. After starting the season 5-1, they win only three more times to stumble into the post-season with an 8-8 record. The Packers have already beaten them twice, and now they have the seemingly easy task of finishing them off at Lambeau Field. However, Favre throws four interceptions on his way to a 31-17 loss. Daunte Culpepper, who like Michael Vick two year earlier should have no business being on the same field with Favre, throws four touchdown passes and zero interceptions as Favre is shamed out of yet another post-season.
2001 NFC Divisional Playoffs vs Rams
Favre produces arguably the single worst post-season performance ever by an NFL quarterback. He is picked off a record six times. Three of those interceptions are returned for Rams touchdowns, while yet another is returned inside the Green Bay 5 yard line. St. Louis crushes the Packers 45-17 behind an astounding 161 yards in interception returns alone. Their "Greatest Show on Turf" offense doesn’t even need to take the field because Favre has single-handedly given them the game.
2003 NFC Divisional Playoffs vs Eagles
Eagles QB Donovan McNabb has just amazingly converted a 4th and 26 to send the game into overtime. What can Favre do to match that brilliant clutch play? On Green Bay’s first offensive play of overtime, Favre floats a duck over the middle of the field. Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, who looks as if he is waiting to return a punt, patiently waits for the ball to land right into his hands. Dawkins then returns the ball to the Packers 34 yard line, where kicker David Akers is able to nail the game-winning field goal to send Philadelphia to the NFC title game.
2007 NFC Championship Game vs Giants
How many quarterbacks have thrown interceptions in overtime of a playoff game that directly led to their team losing? And how many have done it on MULTIPLE occasions? There is only one name on that exclusive list. In 2007, the Packers host the Giants for the right to go to Super Bowl XLII. Trailing by three in the 4th quarter, Favre throws an interception that should give New York a chance to ice the game, but R.W. McQuarters fumbles the ball and Green Bay is able to tie the game on a field goal, no thanks to Favre. The game goes into overtime and the Packers have the ball. It’s time for Brett Favre to show why "no one else is better in the clutch", as the media claims. But on the second play of overtime, Favre throws an awful interception into the hands of Corey Webster, and this time there is no fumble to save him. The Giants kick the game-winning field goal to shock the Packers. Fittingly, Favre’s final pass in a Packers uniform is an interception.
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