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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brett Favre series - Part 2

Roberto Ruiz-Maki

Brett Favre finished at the top of every major statistical category for quarterbacks; I believe that that was more a benefit of his longevity than anything else though. Favre will always be in the hearts of Packers fans, even if he did wear that hideous Vikings jersey (that just made him look fat). There will always be a group of fans that would swear on their child that Favre was the greatest ever. I would like to bring up some statistics that point to the contrary. Yards per attempt index (Y/A+), net yards per attempt index (NY/A+), adjusted yards per attempt index (AY/A+), adjusted net yards per attempt index (ANY/A+), completion percentage index (Cmp%+), passing touchdown percentage index (TD%+), interception percentage index (Int%+), sack percentage index (Sack%+), and passer rating index (Rate+) are all advanced ways of determining whether a quarterback is above average, below average, or average. With a standard deviation of 15, 100 is considered average, while anything below 100 is below average, and anything above 100 is above average. A league leading season usually has scores of around 120, and the highest scores calculated for passers have been in the 140's. Here are all-time great quarterbacks (and Terry Bradshaw) compared to Brett Favre:

B. Favre S. Young J. Montana T. Brady P. Manning T. Bradshaw
Y/A+ 105 123 111 110 114 109
NY/A+ 109 119 116 112 121 108
AY/A+ 106 125 118 115 116 107
ANY/A+ 108 122 121 116 120 107
Cmp%+ 111 125 124 112 119 95
TD%+ 113 120 111 118 118 114
Int%+ 98 113 118 114 106 96
Sack%+ 111 94 111 110 123 103
Rate+ 109 126 123 118 118 105
By just looking at these numbers, you can tell that Favre does not match up with quarterbacks that are considered the best to ever live (except Bradshaw). One thing that really sticks out to me is interception percentage index because every other great (except Bradshaw) was above average in this category, while Favre was below average. Favre matches up much better with Bradshaw, a quarterback who won four Super Bowls because of his team's defense more than anything else. Bradshaw is considered one of the NFL's elite because he won four titles, not because of his passing prowess. Allow me to be blunt; Bradshaw was not great. He was a decent quarterback thrown into a great position (kind of like Trent Dilfer, but with more passing skills). Obviously Favre should still be considered elite, but should he be considered legendary? I do not believe that a player should only be judged by his statistics, so tomorrow I will look into other aspects of Favre's game that pushed him above and beyond other quarterbacks (was it only durability, or was there something more?). I also believe that winning games takes more than a quarterback, so I will look into the players and coaching staffs that Favre was blessed with during his career (is it a coincidence that Favre's best years came during the Mike Holmgren era?).
Check in tomorrow night for the third part of the Favre series.

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