Troll report: Favre's motivation to return

Cold, Hard Football Facts for May 03, 2009



CHFF reader Rick Stoppe shares his thoughts on Brett Favre. What makes it more compelling than the average "you guys are awesome!" or "you guys suck ass!" emails we receive is its quite fascinating list of winningest quarterbacks in history. Here's Stoppe:
 
Unlike Jerry Rice, who would have sold his soul to catch 10 more passes as his career ended, Brett Favre's ego needs to be stroked a little, as a savior, for his next comeback.
 
Minnesota might just be that stroker. Stroking aside, playing those extra years for these legends may be partly due to the itch, but it's really about the records!
 
Rice's last season, with two teams, netted 30 receptions for 429 yards. This effort was fueled by his desire to make his records insurmountable.  
 
Don't underestimate the worth of those last few yards tacked on to enhance a record. It has the effect of being a deterrent as well as more statistically improvable. Rice's 1,549 catches were in jeopardy until Marvin Harrison  injured his knee in 2007. Emmitt Smith played two extra seasons in Arizona to gain an additional 1,193 yards, making his career total 18,355. The next Barry Sanders to come upon 15,269 yards might not retire in their prime. Sanders, in his last season at age 30, rushed for 1,491 yards. So those extra yards Smith gained in Arizona might keep his record safe. 
 
Dan Marino truly wanted to play another season in Miami but got squeezed out and chose not to play in Minnesota to extend his career. All his records have now been surpassed by Favre.  
 
Favre, for his part, now faces the very real possibility that Manning will eclipse his records. Favre (65,127 yards and 464 TDs) can see Manning's 45,628 and 333 glaring at him in his rearview mirror. At Manning's current rate of 4,000 yds and 30 TDs per season, Manning will pass Favre in both categories in five years. At 33 years old, and never having missed a game, this is possible.
 
The move to an 18-game schedule will further increase the likelihood that Manning will break all these records if Favre doesn't continue to play. Manning averages 250 yards per game, while five years at 18 games equals an additional 10 games. Those 10 games for Manning, if averages hold true, would equal an additional 2,500 yards and nearly 20 TDs to his career totals. Increasingly lax passing rules could also aid Manning.  
 
Favre will likely get another 3,000 yards and 20 TDs if he plays for Minnesota next season. Using those numbers to pad his totals could be Favre's true motivation, forcing Manning to do his magic for six more years, instead of five.   
 
Here are some other records Favre could set or pad, though only two of them (starts and victories) are likely motivation for him to return.
 
CONSECUTIVE STARTS – Favre has started 269 consecutive games. He needs 14 more to surpass Jim Marshall's record of 282. (Marshall set his record playing for the Vikings.)
 
SACKS – Favre has been sacked 469 times, fifth all time. The record is held by John Elway (516). It's possible, in an extraordinarily bad season (47 sacks), that Favre could reach Elway's record. But his average of 26 sacks per season would move him into second all time.
 
FUMBLES – Favre has fumbled 157 times, second all time. With five fumbles in 2009, he'd surpass Warren Moon's record 161.
 
INTERCEPTIONS – Favre's 310 interceptions may, in fact, be his most unbreakable record. He's way ahead of the No. 2 player on the list, George Blanda (277) and no active quarterback is remotely in that ballpark. Kerry Collins (179) is the closest, followed by Manning (165). Given the dramatic decrease in the number of INTS thrown in the modern NFL, it's hard to envision a scenario in which a player will play long enough and recklessly enough to match Favre's INT record.
 
VICTORIES – One area where you can't find fault with Favre is in his record number of victories (169, against 100 losses). Among active quarterbacks, Manning is the closest, and he's not close (117-59). With five more 11-win seasons – no easy feat – Manning would surpass Favre's record as it currently exists. If Favre plays another season, Manning would need to piece together six successful seasons instead of five to own the victories record.
 
The number of victories is Favre's most impressive feat, made more remarkable when you consider that only 10 quarterbacks in the history of the game have won 100 games as a starter. With eight wins or more in 2009, Manning will climb into fourth place this season. Tom Brady (87-24; .783) could join this exclusive list of 100-win QBs in 2009 and remains an outside threat to set the record, provided he maintains his health for about seven seasons – hardly a guarantee – and is able to come close to matching the sucess he had during his first eight years in the league. That situation is hard to envision, too.
 
THE 100-WIN QUARTERBACK CLUB
 
Name
Period
W
L
T
Pct.
1
Brett Favre
1991-2008
169
100
0
.628
2
John Elway
1983-1998
148
82
1
.643
3
Dan Marino
1983-1999
147
93
0
.613
4
Fran Tarkenton
1961-1978
124
109
6
.531
5
Johnny Unitas
1956-1973
119
63
4
.651
6T
Joe Montana
1979-1994
117
47
0
.713
6T
Peyton Manning
1998-Present
117
59
0
.665
8
Terry Bradshaw
1970-1983
107
51
0
.677
9
Warren Moon
1984-2000
102
101
0
.502
10
Jim Kelly
1986-1996
101
59
0
.631

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