January 1, 2009

The Blame Game

Brett Favre’s honeymoon is over in New York. His team mates are now lining up to lay the blame for their late season collapse at his feet. First up, Thomas Jones, responsible for a whopping 23 rushing yards in the Jets game against Miami, believes Favre single-handedly lost the game and the Jets season.

Now, I agree with Thomas Jones that Favre deserved to be benched at one point during this late season slide. However, it was not in the last game against Miami and not because Favre was a bad player. Favre should have been benched against Seattle, when he definitely looked to have lost something on his throws due to a shoulder injury.

Brett Favre is the easy target during the Jets collapse. 2 touchdown tosses vs. 9 interceptions. That is enough to get any quarterback fired in this league, but somehow Favre was given the starting job every week. Some will say it was because the Jets spent too much money to bench him. Some will say that Favre was elitist. Some will say anything to lay the blame on Favre.

Obviously, the bomb-throwers haven’t paid attention to Favre’s career. When his team’s running game falls apart due to a subpar offensive line, Favre takes it on himself to get something going. That leads to interceptions, but it has also lead to the plethora of miracle-moments in Favre’s career.

Unfortunately, no one, especially Thomas Jones is willing to admit maybe, just maybe the rest of the team is at fault as well. Maybe that is why Favre wasn’t benched, because the rest of the team was playing just as shitty.

The irony of course, is that Thomas Jones was directly responsible for Favre feeling pressured to throw more than needed. Jones lackluster performances towards the end of the year lead directly to more pass plays, which lead to the interceptions. Sure, Favre gets the blame for the bad throws, but that doesn’t absolve anyone of the problems that lead to Favre’s bad play.

Earlier in the season, when the Jets were dominating, Favre’s interceptions didn’t matter. The Jets defense was holding up and the running game was running out the clock. As soon as one of those two, the running game, collapsed, Favre’s interceptions started losing games. At the same time, Favre’s arm lead to plenty of wins (remember week 1, fourth and goal, a miracle thrown to the heavens comes down in Jets hands for a winning TD).

What’s even funnier, an overtime catch by a certain Jets receiver on a perfect Brett Favre pass and the Jets are in the playoffs, beating both the comeback kids (Miami) and the best team in football (Patriots). It just goes to show how competitive the NFL has become, something that makes every game worth watching.

Good luck to Brett, he’ll need it to survive this disaster. Shame on Jones, this is the best team sport out there and throwing your teammate under the bus isn’t going to win anyone friends. If anyone is an elitist, it’s Jones, believing any single player loses or wins football games.