Can the Arizona Cardinals Start the Demise of Brett Favre and the Vikings

For the first twelve weeks the Minnesota Vikings and their new ageless quarterback Brett Favre have been flying high and they look to extend their four game winning streak when they travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals this weekend. For Favre this has been an almost magical season in which he ranks second in completion percentage (69.3%), touchdowns (24) and QB rating (112.1) as well as ranking eighth in yards (2,874). Quick starts aren't a new thing though for the 19 year veteran, but finishing the season strong has been an issue for the past four years. The final five games of each season have been particularly troublesome for Favre. In fact since 2005 Favre has started the season (first eleven games) with a QB rating of 88.2 and he's finished the season (final five games) with a QB rating of 59.9. Here's a look at his first eleven games of each season.

Comp Att Comp% Yards YPA TD INT
2008 245 347 70.6 2,461 7.1 20 13
2007 291 425 68.4 3,356 7.9 22 8
2006 230 403 57.0 2,634 6.5 14 10
2005 255 401 63.6 2,714 6.8 19 19
Totals 1021 1576 64.8 11,165 7.1 75 50

 

Obviously the past two seasons stand out as particularly good starts and his teams fared pretty good as well. In fact his teams (Packers in 2007 and Jets in 2008) were a combined 18-4, including a very similar 10-1 in 2007. Favre's numbers this season might just be the best yet though. So far he's completing 69% of his passes for just over eight yards per attempt and he's tossed 24 touchdowns versus just three picks. So what have his final five games looked like over the same stretch?

Comp Att Comp% Yards YPA TD INT
2008 98 175 56.0 1,011 5.8 2 9
2007 65 110 59.1 799 7.3 6 7
2006 113 210 53.8 1,251 6.0 4 8
2005 117 206 56.8 1,167 5.7 1 10
Totals 393 701 56.1 4,228 6.0 13 34

 

It's pretty obvious that Favre has stumbled down the stretch for the past four seasons. His completion percentage drops, his touchdowns have plummeted and he's averaged 1.7 interceptions per game. If you focus on the previous two seasons when his teams entered the final five games at 10-1 and 8-3, his teams have won just four of the ten games. So what is the difference between the Brett Favre during the first eleven games of a season and the final five? His sack rate hasn't jumped drastically in any season other than 2005 and the rate even went down in 2007 and 2008. Obviously his biceps injury played a part last year but does that tell the whole story or could his age just cause him to wear down as the season progresses?

One thing that will undoubtedly help Favre this year is Adrian Peterson and the rest of the Vikings powerful running game but his 358 attempts so far this season aren't an incredibly low number at this point in the season. So can the Arizona Cardinals expect Brett Favre to start his implosion this week?

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