I have already seen a ton of criticism of Brett Favre around the web, following his four turnovers in Sunday’s loss against the Miami Dolphins.
I have also seen a number of people defending Favre, claiming that he had no open receivers to throw to.
Below is a poll asking you to tell which performance you thought was the bigger problem: Favre or his pass catchers.
However, you are not going to get away from this without first getting my opinion on the matter.
First, let me say that Percy Harvin should have got the pass that would have been a touchdown but instead ended up as an interception in the second quarter. Some credit has to be given to Vontae Davis for making a heck of a play. However, Favre did throw the ball to a spot where Harvin was forced to stop in his tracks instead of hitting him in stride. I’m not making excuses for Harvin, but that throw could have benefitted from better timing and placement. On third and twelve, the opportunity was also there to make the safe throw to a wide open Adrian Peterson in the middle of the field.
On third and ten, backed against their own endzone, Favre held onto the ball longer than a veteran quarterback should and Cameron Wake was able to pop the ball out of his hands for a Miami defensive touchdown. In this case, I see Percy Harvin streaking open right off the bat but Favre didn’t see him because he wasn’t the primary receiver. After that, Favre is forced to hold the ball for too long because the play called had routes that were timely in their development. Shiancoe was the escape valve on the play, but he was held in to pass block (ineffectively) for too long.
Favre’ second pick came in the third quarter, on a 2nd and 8, in the redzone. Favre zeroed in on Bernard Berrian who had single coverage. Despite the fact that Visanthe Shiancoe was open on the underneath route, Favre never thought twice about giving Berrian a shot at single coverage. It turned out to be a poor decision, and an even worse throw. Berrian never had a chance at that pass, and unless Berrian was supposed to cut inside of the coverage, this one is completely on Favre.
The third and final interception came on a play where Favre was trying to force the ball down the field for a quick strike, despite the fact that Berrian was double covered. The Vikings had over six minutes remaining, down by only four, and it was first down with 10 to go. They also had decent field position. The play action developed and Favre rolled to his right, where Shiancoe released from his pass block and was wide open with room to run. Instead of throwing the safe short route, Favre chose to chuck it down the field and underthrew Berrian by a good five yards, if not more. This one was 100% on Favre, as there was no reason to throw into double coverage and the throw wasn’t very good anyways.
So, my verdict? Brett had decent protection from his offensive line and mediocre play from his receivers. He also had to struggle to deal with some very questionable playcalling. The bottom line, however, is that Favre failed to recognize Visanthe Shiancoe and Adrian Peterson as his top outlets late in the game, despite their consistent production over the last two weeks. His timing was off and he made some very dubious decisions.
Every time Favre dropped back to throw in the second half, I had a certain amount of nervousness that I haven’t felt since Tarvaris Jackson was put in charge of the offense.
There is blame to be placed on the coaching staff and the receivers, but I think Favre is the person on the offense that needs to improve the most in order for this offense to get rolling. Well, second to Fahu Tahi that is.