Well after a two week vacation, I am back at the reins of blogging here at Lombardi Ave. Let me tell you, a missed a hell of a few weeks while I was out. I really don’t know where to start, but I’ll do my best.
Brett Favre is gone. To the New York Jets. With the way ESPN was sucking the teet of this story, I just wanted Brett to get traded to end the madness. I remember pushing the Packers to trade Favre to the Jets in July. And I was right. With Favre in New York, Aaron Rodgers is officially the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. I’m still going to wish Favre the best in New York and I’ll probably try to catch a few more Jets games than I would have. That being said, I am NOT becoming a Jets fan. I am NOT buying a Favre Jets jersey. Why not? Because I am a Packers fan. This whole controversy has divided the fans into Packers fans and Favre fans. The Favre fans wanted Brett in Green Bay and wanted him to start over Rodgers. Granted, some Packers fans wanted him to start. But these few did not use the “But he’s Brett Favre!” excuse to have him start. I think Rodgers can lead the team to a ten-win season. I can hear the Favre fans jumping on the Jets bandwagon.
This was an ugly affair, but nothing really comes that easy in the NFL. We all knew he would have somewhat of an “itch” to come back. I can safely say that I am glad he is gone and that the organization can move on.
Now that Favre is in New York, the Jets have all of a sudden gone from pretenders to contenders. But are they really going to be able to make the playoffs in the AFC? I’m going to say no. First off, the AFC is crowded with teams with playoff potential. In the AFC East with the Jets, there are the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are one of my sleeper teams for the 2008. They could definitely sneak into the playoffs in the wild-card. In the AFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns will duel for the division title and the AFC South has four teams that finished at or above .500 in 2007 and two wild-card teams in the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. As usual the Indianapolis Colts are in the driver’s seat for that division while I could definitely see the Houston Texans overtaking the Titans in the division. As for the AFC West, the San Diego Chargers seem to have it under wraps, but never count out the Denver Broncos. There are eleven teams (including the Jets) that I just counted that have the potential to make the playoffs. It’s crowded.
The supporting cast around Favre in New York is remarkably different from the cast in Green Bay. The offensive line has young building blocks in D’Brickashaw Ferguson at left tackle and Nick Mangold at center. Alan Faneca and Damien Woody could fall under the classification of old and overpaid, but it is safe to say that Favre is playing behind a solid offensive line. In the backfield, Thomas Jones has not lived up to his potential in New York. He has hit the 1,000-yard mark multiple times, but he has split a lot of time with Leon Washington. Together they form a good combination, but neither of them have been able to match the support Favre got from Ryan Grant down the stretch last year. The wide receivers in New York are average as well. Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery are solid, but are totally different from the wide receivers Favre had in Green Bay. Favre had speed in Green Bay. Now he has to adjust to possession. With the speed receivers, Favre did not need as much protection from the offensive line as Donald Driver and Greg Jennings could get off of the line fast. Against a good bump-n-run defense that’s putting pressure on him, Favre could have some trouble. Brad Smith does provide some speed, but fact is he is taking forever to develop into a wide receiver. Favre also has long-time Packers teammate Bubba Franks in New York, but there is a reason that the Packers let Bubba go. He’s aging and his production has declined. He may be able to rejuvenate in New York along with Favre, but it is hard to tell.
On the defensive side of the ball, the it is quite possible that the Jets could like total fools this year. The secondary is solid with Justin Miller, Darrelle Revis, and star safety Kerry Rhodes, while Eric Smith made four starts in 2007. The linebacking corps could have some questions. The Jets shipped Jonathan Vilma to the New Orleans Saints in the offseason, clearing the way for David Harris to take over in the middle. Eric Barton is aging somewhat in the middle with Harris while Vernon Gholston will push Bryan Thomas on the outside. The riskiest linebacker signing in the offseason was Calvin Pace, whom the Jets threw a lot of money at and who has had only one good season which happened to be 2007. In the defensive line, the Jets acquired Kris Jenkins from the Carolina Panthers. With this, the Jets put a 4-3 DT in the nose tackle position of a 3-4 defense. Hmm. Eric Mangini could know something. The defensive ends are nothing stellar as well. Fact is, it’s hard to tell if these signings are going to pay off for the Jets.
Everyone seems to have guaranteed the Jets a playoff spot. They seem to forget, however, that they could be stuck with the 2005 and 2006 version of Brett Favre, which was absolutely awful. Was 2007 a fluke?
I really want to wish the best of luck to Favre. So there.
Good luck, Brett. You’ll always be a Packer.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers Alan Faneca Brad Smith Brett Favre Bryan Thomas Bubba Franks Buffalo Bills Cleveland Browns D'Brickashaw Ferguson Damien Woody Darrelle Revis David Harris Denver Broncos Donald Driver Eric Barton Eric Mangini Eric Smith Greg Jennings Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Jerricho Cotchery Jonathan Vilma Justin Miller Kerry Rhodes Kris Jenkins Laveranues Coles Leon Washington New Orleans Saints New York Jets Nick Mangold Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Grant San Diego Chargers Tennessee Titans Thomas Jones Vernon Gholston