QB Brett Favre (Andy King/AP)
Brett Favre takes pride in his 297-game streak of consecutive starts, but is it worth the risk to him and the team to try to extend it against the New York Giants? These are the Giants that have been pounding QBs this year.
It’s been the talk of the NFL for years – the impossible consecutive games streak that Brett Favre has put in over the years. With last Sunday’s start, Favre’s record-setting streak sits at 297 and there is considerable discussion that Favre would like to end his career with a daunting 300 or 301 consecutive starts. But, one has to ask whether it’s worth it for Favre or the team to continue the streak simply for the purposes of continuing it?
The Vikings face the New York Giants this Sunday, a team notorious for knocking quarterbacks out of games. Tony Romo’s season was ended by the Giants and, after being sacked nine times in the first half, Jay Cutler of the Bears was nearly decapitated by the Giants. The laundry list of QB injuries has been a concern to offensive coordinators all season, much less the Vikings and Favre, who is one big hit away from riding off into the gunslinger sunset.
The injury list for Favre is like a rundown of potential body parts. This year alone, he has had ankle, foot, calf, elbow, back, neck and shoulder injuries. The Giants defense seeing a stationary Favre in the pocket will have the effect of waving a red flag at a bull. They will be coming early and often to blitz, attack and pummel Favre. For a team built around its defense and a team that prides itself on putting another notch in its holster for knocking out younger, more agile quarterbacks, you get the feeling that the Giants are eager for the opportunity to get their hands on Favre and put him into retirement … this time for good.
Interim head coach Leslie Frazier said Favre’s streak will have nothing to do with the decision to play him or not.
"If the medical people tell me he's clear and he feels comfortable, he'll play,” Frazier said. “If he's not comfortable, he doesn't feel like he can do the things that he can do, much like on Sunday, he didn't feel that he could go back and do anything other than maybe hand the football off, so it wouldn't be wise to put him out there and ask him to do anything else. So the streak really doesn't come into play. Brett's got to be honest about where he is. I really trust him in that regard. If he can play, he'll tell us. If he can't play, he'll tell us. He'll be honest in that regard."
Favre’s streak of consecutive games played will likely never be touched. Seeing as Jim Marshall’s old record of 270 games stood for 30 years before Favre broke it early last season, the quarterback’s legacy is firmly entrenched. As banged up as he has been all season, it may be time for cooler heads to prevail and let Tarvaris Jackson take his chances with the G-men and let Favre’s streak finally come to an end.
Last night’s Jets-Patriots game was supposed to be a preview of the AFC Championship Game. If it was, the Jets have a long way to go after being pummeled 45-3. The win was the 26th straight home win for QB Tom Brady, which broke a record held by Favre at Lambeau Field.
The Vikings plan to sign running back Lorenzo Booker, who spent the 2010 season playing in Hartford for the fledging UFL league. Initially, the UFL was going to charge a transfer fee of players to the NFL of $150,000 each. That figured was lowered to $25,000 – a price the Vikings were willing to pay. Booker, a third-round pick of the Dolphins in 2007, played for both Miami and Philadelphia before signing with the UFL.
The signing of Booker may be due to depth concerns at running back. The Vikings had just three RBs on the roster – Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart and Albert Young – and two of them are banged up. Although it didn’t look like it Sunday, Peterson is dealing with an ankle injury, and Gerhart suffered a hamstring strain in Sunday’s game. Frazier said he wants to incorporate Booker as a third-down back.
Tyrell Johnson, who got the start last Sunday over Madieu Williams, suffered a knee injury, but Leslie Frazier downplayed the injury as not being too severe – saying it “just got banged up a little bit” – but Johnson was clearly affected by it just trying to walk Monday.
Perhaps the success the Vikings and Cowboys have had since firing their head coaches led to the firing Monday of Denver coach Josh McDaniels, whose team lost 17 of its last 22 games after getting off to a 6-2 start. However, unlike Dallas and Minnesota, Denver didn’t have a hand-picked replacement waiting in the wings, which might make that transition a little more ragged.
It’s hard to believe it took 12 games to accomplish it, but the Vikings are on their first two-game winning streak of the season.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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