Jets go from 75/1 to 15/1

Jets go from 75/1 to 15/1

Jets go from 75/1 to 15/1
By Brian Edwards

The Brett Favre Fiasco that played out like a circus finally has some finality to it. Favre is now with the Jets and the Packers are now Favre-less.

No matter how this thing plays out in 2008, you have to look at the Jets as huge winners. Even if Favre doesn’t play like the perennial Pro-Bowler and future Hall of Famer that he is, this is still unquestionably a great move by the Big Apple’s ‘other’ team.

In a worst-case scenario, Eric Mangini’s team will be out a third-round pick. If it makes the playoffs and Favre takes 70 percent of the snaps, the conditional pick becomes a second-rounder. But after going 4-12 last year, it’s safe to say the Jets would be thrilled to trade a second-round pick for a playoff berth.
   
If the Jets go to the Super Bowl and Favre takes 80 percent of the snaps, the pick becomes a first-rounder. Again, a Super Bowl appearance in exchange for a first-round pick is a no-brainer.

In other words, there’s no risk for the Jets. I’ve always liked Chad Pennington – who was released to make room for Favre -- but with his elbow and shoulder injuries, his best days are behind him. As for Kellen Clemens, the team’s second-round choice from out of Oregon in 2006, he’s still around and the team also has rookie Erik Ainge, who had an outstanding collegiate career at Tennessee.

How much has the acquisition of Favre impacted the Jets’ numbers in Las Vegas? Consider this: New York opened with 75/1 odds to win the Super Bowl, but that number has been reduced to 15/1 at most betting shops.

As for winning the AFC, that number had gone from 40/1 to 15/1. The Jets’ odds to win the AFC East have been reduced from 8/1 to 5/1. Finally, their season win total has gone from seven to either eight (heavily shaded to the ‘over’) or 8 ½.

Most spots have taken New York’s Week 1 game at Miami off the board. The Jets were previously three-point favorites, but Las Vegas Sports Consultants is now recommending the number be moved to 4 ½.

What about the Packers? They opened with a 7/1 number to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. That is no longer the case with most books listing Green Bay at 25/1. Mike McCarthy’s squad has seen its season win total go from nine to 8 ½.

While I think this is a can’t-lose situation for the Jets, it’s a completely different story in Green Bay.

Did the team spend its entire off-season preparing for life without Favre? Yes. Did the Pack spend a pair of draft picks on quarterbacks? Yes. Was the organization growing tired of wondering if Favre would come back each year? Of course. Was Favre sort of a drama queen the last month or so? No doubt about it.

But with all that said, you have a Packers team that was only an OT loss away from a Super Bowl last year. And at the end of the day, winning is more important than dealing with a little drama from Favre.

Green Bay could’ve had Favre as its starting QB, but it chose Aaron Rodgers instead. We don’t know how things will go for Rodgers. He played well at Dallas last season, but the Cal product has only thrown 59 career passes.

Even while playing sparingly, Rodgers has had some issues with injuries. Will he be able to stay healthy? That’s not a question with Favre, who has never missed a start since taking over for Don Majkowski in the early 1990s.

What if Rodgers is ineffective? What if he gets hurt? What if Favre simultaneously has another All-Pro year with the Jets, while Rodgers and the Packers struggle?

Those are scenarios that will have Green Bay GM Ted Thompson losing sleep in the coming weeks. We don’t know how this thing will play out but we certainly know this: The Jets have nothing to lose and everything to gain, while the Packers have already lost their best player ever – and might look even more foolish if Favre becomes the toast of the Big Apple.

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