608-252-6172 firstname.lastname@example.org Four months after Green Bay traded quarterbacking icon Brett Favre to the New York Jets because he waffled — again — on his retirement and the Packers finally decided to move on, the Brett Favre effect is front and center for all to see.
With five games still to play, the historically lousy Jets have doubled their victory total from last season.
Meanwhile, after their 51-29 loss to New Orleans Monday night, the perennially strong Packers have suffered twice as many losses as they did all last season.
If you're doing the math on the most controversial trade in Packers history, it doesn't get any clearer than that.
The Jets were 4-12 last season and — to be fair — acquired help in both lines in addition to trading for the 39-year-old Favre. Still, they're 8-3 and leading the tough AFC East Division.
The Packers were 13-3 last season and basically stood pat personnel-wise, except for replacing Favre with understudy Aaron Rodgers. Now they're 5-6 and trail two teams in the soft NFC North Division.
Favre lovers will look at those numbers and conclude that general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy blew it. Favre haters will point out that the Packers have regressed as a team in other areas and it's wrong to pin the blame on Rodgers.
Guess what? Both sides are right.
Thompson and McCarthy — and make no mistake, McCarthy had as much or more to do with Favre's departure as Thompson did — decided to play for the future instead of the present when they opted for Rodgers over Favre in early August. The Packers' top brass surely hoped the team wouldn't have to pay a short-term penalty for that decision, but it hasn't worked out that way so far.
Although the Packers have secured their future at quarterback and will probably reap a second-round draft pick from the Jets, it is obvious by now that the team would have a better record this season if Favre were under center. He's infinitely more experienced than Rodgers and, despite his age, more gifted athletically.
Of course, none of this is Rodgers' fault. As with any young quarterback, there were going to be growing pains whenever he assumed the starting job.
By his own admission, Rodgers has not played well in his last two road games, both in domes. In losses at Minnesota and New Orleans, he got out of character when things started going bad and was loose with the ball.
It's safe to say that playing in those two domes would not have been an issue with Favre and that the Packers' record would be better today if he were their quarterback.
One reason the Packers dealt Favre was that they decided he could no longer win in cold weather, which means he couldn't win in the playoffs. Of course, they had no assurances that Rodgers could even get them to the playoffs, a destination that now appears shaky at best.
In retrospect, the Favre trade made sense only if you were willing to write off this season as a learning experience for Rodgers.
Given the overall strength of the Packers and the weak state of the NFC North, that seemed like a short-sighted decision four months ago and an even worse decision today.