Visit to McCarthy's Hometown...........Kenny Mayne

Friday, September 28, 2007

Where does Favre rank among greats?

An interesting article on asks the question: Where does Favre rank among greats? Michael David Smith from has the story.

If he throws a touchdown pass Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, Brett Favre will surpass Dan Marino and take over sole possession of first place on the all-time touchdown list. Of course, if he throws three interceptions, he'll also surpass George Blanda and take over sole possession of first place on the all-time interception list.

That's one of the things that makes Favre's place among the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game so hard to judge. His daring style means he may have made more great plays — and more bad plays — than any other quarterback in history. So where does Favre rank? Below I'll compare him, head-to-head, against my own subjective list of the 16 best quarterbacks ever. First, here's that list, in alphabetical order:

Troy Aikman, Ken Anderson, Sammy Baugh, Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Dan Fouts, Otto Graham, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Warren Moon, Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Fran Tarkenton, Johnny Unitas, Steve Young

Before we get started, two things about that list: There may be arguments to put Peyton Manning or Tom Brady on it, but I'm leaving active players off because I think it's too hard to make historical judgments when dealing with players who are still in their primes. Favre is far enough along in his career to judge him adequately; we'll have to wait a few more years before we know for sure where we put Manning and Brady.

Secondly, I skewed it a little bit in favor of players whose careers were closer to Favre's. I wanted to include some of the all-time great old-school quarterbacks, like Baugh and Graham, but I left off some others who began their careers before the AFL-NFL merger, like Len Dawson, Sonny Jurgensen, Bobby Layne and Sid Luckman, because the quarterback position was less important in the early days of football, before the passing game was opened up.

Now, let's get to the matchups:

Troy Aikman
The argument many Cowboys fans would make for Aikman is quite simple: Three Super Bowl rings, to one for Favre. But that argument is bogus. Aikman had at least three offensive teammates who either already are or some day will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Larry Allen. Favre didn't get anywhere near the help from his teammates that Aikman got, and when you consider how far ahead Favre is statistically (25,000 more yards, 250 more touchdowns, a higher passer rating), it's an easy choice.
Verdict: Favre

Ken Anderson
Anderson, who spent his entire 16-year career with the Bengals, is probably the best quarterback who's not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a more accurate passer than Favre, and something like the anti-Favre in the sense that he did everything the textbook-perfect way, while Favre likes to freelance. Anderson led the league in passer rating four times, but statistical analysis overrates Anderson because the Bengals' offense (designed by Bill Walsh) had a passing attack that was so far ahead of the rest of the league. Favre could have succeeded in any offense, and that's why he gets the nod over Anderson.
Verdict: Favre

Sammy Baugh
It's nearly impossible to compare a player like Baugh, who played for the Redskins from 1937 to 1952, with a modern quarterback. But let's try anyway. During Baugh's career, he was widely regarded as the best quarterback in football (he was also a very good defensive back and punter, but we won't hold playing only one way against Favre). Favre's longevity is a point in his favor against most quarterbacks, but it really isn't against Baugh, who at the time he retired had played more games than any other player in history. To the extent that we can compare them at all, Baugh was a greater player in his decade and a half in the NFL than Favre has been for the last decade and a half.
Verdict: Baugh

Terry Bradshaw
Similar to Aikman, Bradshaw has more Super Bowl rings than Favre and more Hall of Fame teammates than Favre. Bradshaw was a great player on a great team, but Favre was a great player who made his team great. The distinction is huge, and it's why Favre is a better quarterback than Bradshaw.

Verdict: Favre

John Elway
In terms of their total career résumés, Elway is probably the most similar quarterback to Favre, as they both spent many years with the same team and compiled gaudy career numbers. Favre has, for the most part, surpassed Elway's numbers, including passing Elway two weeks ago for the record for most games won by a starting quarterback. Still, I take Elway over Favre because Elway is one of the few quarterbacks who can rival Favre's arm strength, and Elway's overall talent for the position made him a tougher player for opposing defenses to stop, especially early in his career when he had to carry the Broncos all by himself.

Verdict: Elway

Dan Fouts
Few offenses ever assembled had the firepower of the San Diego Chargers when Fouts was at the helm. Fouts led the league in passing yards for four straight years, something no other quarterback has accomplished. But Fouts was placed into the perfect system to get the most of his talents, with Don Coryell as his coach and Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner, John Jefferson and Wes Chandler as his receivers. Favre has succeeded under several coaches and with a revolving door of wide receivers.

Verdict: Favre

Otto Graham
The Cleveland Browns of the 1940s and 1950s towered over the rest of pro football, winning seven championships in Graham's 10 seasons. That was in large part because coach Paul Brown designed an offense that was far ahead of the rest of football, and Graham was the perfect player to run Brown's offense. He dominated his era in a way that Favre didn't.
Verdict: Graham

Dan Marino
It's a shame that there are still people who think the fact that Marino retired without a Super Bowl ring taints his career. That is really the only argument that makes sense for putting Favre ahead of Marino, and it says more about Marino's teammates than it does about him. Even if Favre breaks all of Marino's records, Marino was the best pure passer ever to play the game.

Verdict: Marino

Joe Montana
The four Super Bowls are great, but they're not the reason Montana is the greatest quarterback in modern NFL history. What set Montana apart was always having complete command of the offense and an incredible ability to make big plays while avoiding turnovers. Favre already has almost twice as many interceptions as Montana had in his career.
Verdict: Montana

Warren Moon
Moon is a tough comparison because it's impossible to know what kind of player he might have been had he not been relegated to Canada until he was 27. But the reason Favre comes out ahead is that Moon was never considered the best player in the league, while Favre has three MVPs to his credit.

Verdict: Favre

Joe Namath
Namath had incredible physical talent and the whole Broadway Joe persona, but he wasn't as great a player as Favre. The good statistics Namath produced early in his career were in large part the result of playing in the old American Football League, a league designed to have high scores and inflated passing statistics. And as much as Favre has been criticized for throwing too many interceptions, in Namath's entire career, he had just two seasons in which he threw more touchdowns than interceptions.

Verdict: Favre

Bart Starr
It's not hard to name the best two quarterbacks in Packers history, but it is hard to say which one was better. Starr led Vince Lombardi's Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls and three other NFL titles in the pre-Super Bowl era, and he's one of the best big-game players in football history. But the Lombardi Packers were so much better than the rest of the league that Starr's job was relatively easy. Favre gets the edge over Starr because he had to carry the Packers on his back in a way that Starr didn't.

Verdict: Favre

Roger Staubach
Staubach is somewhat like Moon in that he got a late start to his career. For Moon it was because NFL general managers couldn't wrap their heads around the fact that a black man can play quarterback; for Staubach it was because he spent five years in the Navy. On top of the time he missed to military service, in three of his 11 seasons Staubach was just a bit player. Staubach achieved a tremendous amount in a career that lasted just eight seasons, but his lack of career longevity means his total accomplishments don't rank with Favre's.
Verdict: Favre

Fran Tarkenton
Before Marino broke them, Tarkenton owned the records for completions, touchdowns and yards. Those are records that Favre broke last year (completions), will break this year (touchdowns) and is likely to break next year (yards). But Tarkenton did it during an NFL career that spanned from 1961 to 1978, a period during which it was significantly harder to rack up big passing numbers. Although Favre led his team to a championship and Tarkenton didn't, Tarkenton's total career is more impressive.

Verdict: Tarkenton

Johnny Unitas
Unitas is, by general acclaim, the greatest quarterback in the history of football. His stats, overall, aren't gaudy by today's standards, although he still owns a DiMaggio-like record of 47 straight games with a touchdown pass (Favre has the second-longest streak, with 36).
Even fans who were born after he retired have seen Unitas line up under center, drop back to pass and deliver a strike downfield hundreds of times, thanks to NFL Films. Unitas' production on the field really did live up to his legend. He's the best ever.

Verdict: Unitas

Steve Young
A tough choice. Young had some absolutely incredible passing seasons, including six different seasons in which he led the league in passer rating. In those seasons, he had stats that Favre couldn't touch. If I could take Young's best half-dozen seasons vs. Favre's best half-dozen seasons, that would be an easy choice: Young in a laugher. But then again, Favre has out-gained Young by more than 25,000 passing yards. (Favre has 58,361 career passing yards; Young retired with 33,124.) Young had six seasons of 3,000 or more passing yards; Favre has had 15. And Young played with better receivers and a more quarterback-friendly offense. Looking at the totalities of their careers, Young falls short.

Verdict: Favre

So there you have it. Favre is the eighth-best quarterback in NFL history, behind Baugh, Elway, Graham, Marino, Montana, Tarkenton and Unitas. Let the arguments begin.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Prince of Power - Fielder Blast 2 HRs to give him 50

Fielder became the youngest player in major league history to reach 50 home runs Tuesday night, socking two out of the park to propel the Brewers to a 9-1 victory over St. Louis at Miller Park.

The Brewers' second consecutive romp over the Cardinals made their seemingly impossible task of catching the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central a bit more possible.

Thanks to Chicago's 4-2 loss in Florida, the gap was narrowed to two games, with five to play for both teams.

"Just keep playing, control what you can control," said manager Ned Yost, who has tried to keep his players focused on a day-by-day approach.

No one is having much luck controlling Fielder these days. With a two-run homer off Braden Looper in the first inning and another two-run shot in the seventh off Kip Wells, the big first baseman reached 50 in a season at 23 years 139 days of age.

The great Willie Mays had been the youngest to hit 50 at 24 years 137 days in 1955.
"Actually, Billy (Hall) told me," Fielder said. "That's an awesome feat. Now my kids can know that one time their dad was pretty good."

Speaking of dads, Fielder normally shies away from talk about the well-documented estrangement with his father, former big-league slugger Cecil Fielder. But he made it clear that one of his primary goals is to escape from the shadow of his father for good.

Fielder said he had no intention of keeping the 50th home run ball, but was hoping for No. 52.
"My dad had 51 (as a season high)," Fielder said. "Then, he can't say anything."

Fielder was not happy about comments his father made in a magazine article earlier in the year, claiming his son never would have been a first-round draft pick if he hadn't paved the way. The two haven't spoken for years and that rift apparently has widened.

That subject resurfaced when Fielder was asked about the "MVP!" chants at Miller Park and if he thought much about winning that award.

"It would be a cool award to get but that's not something I think about," he said, "besides the fact my dad never did it. If I do get it, that shuts him up again."

Fielder said he was "serious" about trumping his father, adding, "A lot of people said that's the only reason I got drafted. That's what drives me. People said I was too big and all this, and the only reason I got drafted was because of the name.

"That's why I'm so passionate about playing. I don't mind people comparing me to him but I'm a completely different player. One day I want people to mention my name and not have to mention his."

As for the recent comments from his father, Fielder said, "You've got to look at who's saying it. Let's be honest. He's not really the brightest guy."

Read More here from Tom Haudricourt's article in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here:


Ok so it's been awhile since my last post. The Packers beat the Chargers 31-24 last Sunday in an exciting game that had fans on the edge of their seats. Favre led the Packers to a come from behind win with a late 4th quarter TD pass to Greg Jennings with a little more than 2 minutes to go in the game. The Packers Defense stepped up and intercepted Phillip Rivers pass to seal the game. Nick Barnett ran back the interception to the 2 yard line and Brandon Jackson ran it in for the insurance score.

Favre had a magical game and tied Dan Marino with 420 career TD passes. Favre was 28-of-35 for 369 yards and three touchdowns. McCarthy put the ball in his hands and let Favre win the game himself. The Pack ran the ball about 19 times and frequently had an empty backfield and 4 receivers spread wide. Favre picked apart the Chargers weak secondary and helped them improve to 3-0 and on top the NFC North Division. Writers from Fox Sports have the Packers ranked 5th in the Power Rankings and fans are excited with the quick start.

Nobody expected the Packers to come out on fire and almost nobody expected them to be 3-0 going into this Sunday's match up against the Vikings.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Despite Win, Badgers fall to #7 in AP & Coaches Poll

While Donovan had started and won a game on the road before, he registered his first fourth-quarter comeback Saturday in the 20-13 victory at UNLV.

Donovan has now won four straight games as a starter, going back to last season, but there is something defining for a quarterback, to huddle the offense in the fourth quarter, needing a touchdown to win the game.

"We knew we needed to put points on the board and take care of what we needed to do," Donovan said Sunday of taking over at the UW 39-yard line, trailing 13-12, with 7 minutes, 33 seconds to play. "There was no doubt in my mind we were going to do it. There was definitely passion in the guys' eyes and a little extra fire you could just feel."

Donovan coolly completed an 8-yard pass to tight end Travis Beckum to start the drive, then connected on a 6-yard pass to Luke Swan on third-and-2 for the initial first down.

Tailback P.J. Hill did a lot of the dirty work, carrying six times for 23 yards and picking up a fourth-and-1 at the Rebels' 38 with a 3-yard run. But it was at the UNLV 29, on first-and-15, following a delay-of-game penalty, that Donovan made what could turn out to be one of the most important plays of the season.

With just about everybody on the defense keying on Hill, UW offensive coordinator Paul Chryst called for naked bootleg by Donovan to the left.

"If you 're a coach up in the box, you tell (the defensive players), 'Hey, here comes 39, here comes 39,' " UW coach Bret Bielema said of Hill's number. "A great call by Paul and ultimately great execution by T.D."

Even though he had told Chryst earlier in the game to give him the ball, Hill was delighted when the bootleg call came. "I loved that play," Hill said. "I was like, It's definitely going to work.' ' '
First, Donovan faked a handoff to Hill, who was going right, along with everybody else on offense except for Swan, who was wide to the left and dragged his defender downfield on a pass route.

When Hill was asked how many defenders were sucked in by the play fake, he smiled and laughed.
"We were watching the film (Sunday) and like the whole defense, line, linebackers," Hill said. "(Donovan) had that one guy to beat and he beat him."

That one guy was linebacker Star Fuimaono, who Donovan initially thought was lined up in the perfect spot to foil the play.

"They had a defense set up that probably could have reacted pretty good to it, with a guy coming off the edge," Donovan said. "That goes back to P.J. doing a good job all day. A lot of their eyes were on P.J."

With Donovan's speed, he had no trouble getting outside of Fuimaono, who made a futile dive. Swan, meanwhile, was downfield at the 15, putting a block on cornerback Geoffery Howard.
That's a hard block to make, since it's out in the open, where holding calls are often made, and lasts for a couple of seconds.

After Donovan got past the block, he was in a race with cornerback Mil'Von James for the end zone. Donovan made an incredible leap from the 3, reaching out the ball with his right hand to swat the pylon for a touchdown with 1:53 left.

Courtesy of Tom Mulhern from today's Wisconsin State Journal:

Packers pull out a win

While Sunday's season opener might not have been pretty, it's still a W in the win column. The Packers got a lot of help from the football gods at Lambeau, recovering 2 fumbled punts, 1 for a TD and the other to setup the winning 42 yard field goal from rookie kicker Mason Crosby. Crosby was 3-3 on field goals, hitting from 53, 37, and the game winner of 42.

The offense looked terrible in the 16-13 win over the Eagles, never reaching the end zone. The obvious hole showed up at RB, with rookie Brandon Jackson only gaining 40 yards on 15 carries. With all the cap money the Packers have, there is some question to what Ted Thompson is thinking sticking with the current RB situation.

If this trend continues, it should be a long season for the Packer offense. While the win was great, future HOF QB Brett Favre isn't getting too excited. "The competitive side of me is not letting me enjoy it as much as I should."

The Packers defense looked great. They held the Eagles to 13 points all day, created turnovers, and made the Eagles offense go 3 and out on many occasions. The D looks to be the strength of this year's Packers.

The Packers travel to NY to take on the Giants next Sunday. The Giants could be without QB Eli Manning who left yesterday's game with a bruised shoulder.