A few years ago, everyone scoffed at Al Gore for his goofy proclamation that the debate over global warming was \”over.\” Yet I am about to make a similar statement with regard to the only issue in Wisconsin that really matters: After yesterday\’s game, the debate about Brett Favre is now over.
In the aftermath of Favre\’s whole prima donna act, some of you may have simply looked at the New York Jets\’ record, compared it to the Packers\’ record, and made your decision on the validity of the decision to go with Rodgers based on that alone. If you have said something to yourself along the lines of \”we had everyone coming back from a 13-3 record, and now the Jets are good and the Packers aren\’t,\” then I have news for you – and I cannot mince words on this – you are an idiot.
Despite Rodgers\’ herculean effort yesterday (298 yards, 3 TDs), the defense and special teams once again let the team down, giving up 35 points – after forking over 51 points on Monday night. It wouldn\’t have mattered if the Packers alternated Jesus Christ and Barack Obama at quarterback yesterday. It wasn\’t Rodgers\’ fault Mike McCarthy called a ridiculous third down running play with the fullback on the goal line with a minute and a half left – after Rodgers had picked apart the Carolina defense at will while marching them down the field.
Find me a first year quarterback that has had the success Aaron Rodgers has. What he\’s done has been brilliant – it\’s not his fault Mason Crosby missed a potential game-winning field goal in Minnesota by three feet. It\’s not his fault teams return kickoffs to the 50 yard line every time. It\’s not his fault the defense allows one of the top 3 receivers in the NFC to run free with the game on the line. Those of you who are dying to be critical of Ted Thompson are actually right – but because he has failed to put together a decent defensive line, not because of his decision to keep Rodgers over Favre.
So if you\’re still yearning for the days of Brett Favre – the one, incidentally, who did nothing in his team\’s embarrassing home loss to the Broncos – then feel free to jump ship and root for the Jets. We\’ll be over here in Wisconsin with the Pro Bowl quarterback for the next decade, while Jets fans will be dealing with Favre\’s Hamlet routine in the offseason. And when Favre is riding a tractor in a couple years and the Packers are still competitive because of their quarterback, you can send all of us an apology when you come crawling back.
SIDE NOTE: Not to make excuses for the rest of the team – because they have been bad – but has anyone actually looked at how difficult the Packers\’ schedule has been? Not only has it been hard, it may be historically hard. (Also the name of a movie on the Spice Channel.) Through 12 games this year, the Packers have played exactly two teams (Detroit, Seattle) with losing records. The other 10 games have been against teams .500 or better (Minnesota 7-5, Chicago 6-6, Tampa Bay 9-3, Carolina 9-3, Tennessee, 11-1, Dallas 8-4, New Orleans 6-6, Indianapolis 8-4, Atlanta 8-4). Combined, those teams have won 72 and lost 36.
By contrast, of the Packers\’ 13 wins last year, nine came against teams that were .500 or worse:
Philadelphia (8-8), Minnesota twice (8-8), Denver (7-9), KC (4-12), Carolina (7-9), Detroit twice (7-9), Oakland (4-12), Saint Louis (3-13)
Those thinking this team was going 13-3 again with Favre based on what they did last year need to seek medical attention immediately.