Monday, October 27, 2008


DID THE JETS make a mistake in signing Brett Favre and has the gunslinger lost his nerve?

That’s a question many are asking after the Jets struggled to overcome one of the worst teams in the National Football League at the Meadowlands yesterday.

Favre, at 39 years of age deemed surplus to requirements by the Green Bay Packers, rode into New York amid a fanfare of publicity in August.

But, after he threw three interceptions during the Jets’ 28-24 hollow victory over former coach Herm Edwards’ Kansas City Chiefs, you have to wonder whether they’re any better than they would be with either Chad Pennington or Kellen Clemens at quarterback.

Favre has completed 15 passes for touchdowns, but he's also thrown 11 interceptions in seven games. That’s four more than anyone else in the AFC and a number matched in both conferences by only J.T. O’Sullivan of the 2-6 San Francisco 49ers.

There was a huge element of luck about his game-winning touchdown pass to Laveranues Coles, the receiver miraculously making a one-handed catch with the help of a ricochet off Chiefs’ cornerback Dimitri Patterson with one minute remaining.

That floated pass could easily have been interception No. 4. Fortunately for Favre, outshone for most of the afternoon by 24-year-old rookie Tyler Thigpen, making only his second start, there was some redemption. 

Veteran quarterback throws 11 interceptions

With road games coming up in Buffalo (5-2), New England (5-2) and Tennessee (6-0) in three of the next four weeks, defeat would surely have ended the Jets’ hopes of making the playoffs.

Even now, at 4-3, it’s hard to see the Jets winning many – if any – of those games on current form.

Coach Eric Mangini must also take his fair share of blame for allowing Favre to throw the ball so often against a team with the worst run defense in the league. He would have been better served allowing Thomas Jones and Leon Washington to soften up the Chiefs’ center before letting Favre attempt to go deep. It begs the question who's running the Jets...Mangini or Favre?

All this was in stark contrast to the way Eli Manning marshalled the New York Giant’s offense in their come-from-behind win in Pittsburgh.

It would have been easy for Manning and the Giants to become frustrated at having to settle for four field goals rather than touchdowns on their visits to the red zone.

But they didn’t panic, waited patiently for their opportunity, and scored 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull off a huge victory and hand the Steelers only their second defeat.

It wasn’t always pretty but the Giants proved once again that they’re capable of coming up with the big play when it counts.

That’s why the reigning Super Bowl champions have a realistic shot at retaining the trophy, while the Jets’ outside hopes rest in the hands of the all-too-fallible Favre.

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