The NFL misses a Kodak moment
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 02, 2008
The NFL and its broadcast partner CBS blew a Kodak moment when they failed to stop the Jets-Bills game to mark a milestone that seemed literally unthinkable just a few years ago.
Brett Favre's 300th interception – easily the top mark in league history.
The No. 2 man on the all-time INT list is George Blanda (277 picks), whose career began in 1949 and ended three weeks ago. (Actually, the oldest player ever retired in 1976, at age 48 ... but you get the picture.)
We, and you, knew Favre would reach the 300 milestone here in 2008. After all, he joined the Jets with a record 288 picks in his career. And the last time he threw fewer than 12 picks in a season was back in his rookie year of 1991 with Atlanta , when Favre mustered just two INTs on four attempts.
Ahh, the good ol' days.
So 300 was inevitable, provided Favre stayed healthy. And, well, nobody can doubt the guy's physical constitution. We've thrown out our backs clicking the remote too quickly. Favre hasn't missed a game since the start of the Clinton Administration in a sport where the basic goal of the other 11 guys on the field is to shatter his spine into a million tiny pieces.
The guy can take a punch.
So Favre deserves plenty of credit. After all, he's the all-time leader in every other category in league history, too: from passing TDs and yards; to having fun out there and slinging the ball; to undeserved hype and letting down fans in the playoffs.
We just didn't know he'd reach this magical tri-centennial by the half-way point of the 2008 season. But with a league-leading 12 picks through eight games, Favre has shocked many observers with his determined quest for history.
Let the record also show that Favre's Jets won at Buffalo , 26-17, and that the Jets are 5-3 halfway through 2008, after a dreadful 4-12 season in 2007.
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Favre's passer rating of 87.8 is a perfectly mediocre 15th in the NFL today, behind such quarterbacking legends as Kyle Orton (90.8), Trent Edwards (90.8), Matt Schaub (91.) and Jason Campbell (100.5) – and, yes, even behind former Jets QB Pennington (95.2) and current Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (95.3). His passer rating is barely ahead of that of Matt Cassel – a guy who, famously now, hadn't thrown a pass in anger since high school.
Since then, his play has been a borderline disaster: 3 TD passes and 8 picks against – other than Buffalo – some of the worst teams in football (Cincy, Oakland , Kansas City).
It's a sharp contrast from the way he started his days in the Meadolowands, with 12 TDs and 4 INTs.
- Favre's passer ratings in his first four games with the Jets were 125.9, 86.5, 92.5 and 123.7.
Favre's passer ratings in his last four games with the Jets were 73.9, 47.8, 76.0 and 73.7.
Anybody else noticed a trend?
Blanda, the former all-time INT leader, played until he was 48. Favre just turned 39. And, unless he turns full-time kicker like Blanda did late in his career, it's doubtful that Favre could match Blanda's record for longevity.
But Favre has proven the doubters wrong before.
So here's something to look forward to: If Favre comes out of retirement for each of the next nine years, he has a very good shot of blowing past 500 INTs.
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