|Packers ignoring Favre's shaky performances in most recent playoff games|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 10 January 2008 14:05|
Or maybe there's simply a statute of limitations on the relevance of past performances in pro football. After all, Favre is thriving under the new offense being run by second-year coach Mike McCarthy - so much so he's already talking about coming back next year.
Either way, the Packers aren't putting very much thought into Favre's recent playoff performances going into Saturday's divisional playoff game against Seattle at Lambeau Field. McCarthy said he and his assistants didn't watch film of those games, an indication they don't think it's relevant.
``I don't think it factors into how we're going to play this game, or how he's playing today,'' McCarthy said. ``It's not like we arrived here five or six weeks ago. We've been here. This is our second year. We have history with Brett. You can see the progress we've made with Brett running this style of offense. I don't really feel it's to our benefit to go back and look at those games.''
If coaches did want to dig up some of those tapes, they might want to try the ``horror'' section of the Packers' video vault.
Green Bay is 2-4 in playoff games since a first post-Holmgren playoff appearance in January 2002 - including two losses at Lambeau. The Packers failed to score more than 17 points in each of their four playoff losses.
Favre threw 14 interceptions in those six games, a number skewed greatly by his six-interception eyesore at St. Louis in '02, and a four-interception clunker in the Packers' most recent playoff appearance against Minnesota in January 2005.
But the man who coached Favre to two Super Bowl runs in the 1990s and who now is charged with stopping him as Seahawks head coach, didn't think those statistics tell a story worth listening to.
``I think it's hard to bunch them all together,'' Holmgren said. ``I would never do that. I think you look at what he's done most recently - and he's had a marvelous year. My goodness. He has really played well this year, and that's the Brett we're going to have to play against and prepare for. We know that.''
Favre, meanwhile, is more focused on how he's going to avoid Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney than getting caught up in some sort of morose history lesson.
But in the run-up to Saturday's game, Favre did concede having only one Super Bowl victory bothers him - keeping in mind, of course, that some great players never even win one.
``I'm disappointed we didn't win more Super Bowls,'' Favre said. ``But you know, I'm not ashamed by anything I did. I'm disappointed in some of those games.''
As much as Favre would like to change the results of some of those games, Favre said he wouldn't change much about the way he prepared for them.
``I'd like to think that we would have or should have won more playoff games, which in turn lead to a chance at the Super Bowl, at least,'' Favre said. ``But I don't know if I would have done anything much different. I think I would have prepared and played the same way. It's just, you have a tendency to remember those because of what they represent.''
Favre already has erased plenty of bad recent memories under McCarthy.
The career-worst 29 interceptions he threw in the 2005 regular season? Forgotten, replaced by a smarter, more disciplined - and ultimately more dangerous - quarterback playing in a system that usually depends on the quarterback to throw the ball quickly and accurately, putting his wide receivers in position to run for long gains after the catch.
Favre completed a career-high 66.5 percent of his passes this season. And after cutting his interception total to 18 in 2006, he threw only 15 in 2007.
Favre is even talking about returning for next season, telling his hometown paper he was leaning toward playing again.
``For the first time in three years, I haven't thought this could be my last game,'' Favre said, according to a story that was posted on the Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald's Web site on Thursday. ``I would like to continue longer.''
McCarthy clearly has lassoed Favre's maverick, up-for-grabs tendencies, but is hesitant to take credit for making Favre play more carefully.
``Ultimately, he deserves it, because he's the one that actually did it,'' McCarthy said. ``Do we emphasize it? Yes. Does he want to hear about it publicly? Probably not. But it's something that's been emphasized since the day we got here.''
Favre's favorite receiver, Donald Driver, joked that the Packers are relying on their receivers to make plays because of Favre's advanced age.
``Oh, yeah. He's an old man now. He can't do the things he used to do,'' Driver said with a smile. ``We try to take the pressure off of him, so if he gets the ball to us, then we make sure that we capitalize on everything that we have to do.''
Tight end Bubba Franks said that an offensive scheme that emphasizes having receivers run for yards after the catch rather than throwing downfield makes Favre more likely to succeed.
``He's playing in a system,'' Franks said. ``He doesn't have to do too much. He just does his job and (we) make sure everybody else does their job. We won't have a problem. It's going to be a good game.''