As a Bear’s fan, I should probably be happy to have Brett Favre retire and not have to face him twice a year. But to be completely honest, it was fun to watch him all those years. The Bears/Packers rivalry is one of the best, if not THE best, in the NFL and I’m sitting here wondering if it will be the same. This move has a ton of implications on the NFC Central, if not the NFC altogether. Two years ago, it wouldn’t have made such a difference if he retired. But after the monster season he and the Packers had last year, I’m wondering where everyone now stands in our division.
The Packers were clicking both defensively and offensively last season, and despite early struggles in the running game, Ryan Grant showed up at the end of the season and played some terrific games. But do I think that Aaron Rodgers or Craig Nall can come in and lead this same team the way that Brett did? Not at all. Just look at what you lose:
– Through 16 seasons, he retires with 5,377 career completions in 8,758 attempts for 61,655 yards, 442 touchdowns and 288 interceptions.
– He was a three-time regular season MVP.- He extended his quarterback-record streak of consecutive regular-season starts to 253 games and if you add the playoffs, the streak stands at 275.
– He broke Dan Marino’s career records for most touchdown passes and most yards passing and John Elway’s record for most career victories by a starting quarterback.
To be completely honest, the NFC Central could go a couple ways next year. I had the Packers as my #1 seed in the division, but now we need to look at the Lions, Vikings and Bears. The Vikings just acquired Bernard Berrian to try and balance their offensive attack with Adrian Peterson. The Lions were 6-2 through the first half of the season last year and looked to be an early favorite for the Dvivision title, only to lose 7 out of their last 8. The Bears turned on their defense late last year and proved they could win, even with Kyle Orton behind center, but they really need to shore up their offense in the offseason (which we are all worried they are NOT doing).
If I had to give you my early pick, I really think the Vikings could make a run if they can have a consistent offense. Their defense played well last year especially against the run, so they are an early favorite. Having said that, if the Bears have a healthy dominating defense like in 2006 and the offense can establish their running game, they have a great shot as well. Who knows though – another QB could prove to be worthy and this young team will be pumped to show the league they can still compete without Brett, no matter how big of a loss that is.I know that anyone in our division and probably in the NFC is both happy and sad to see Brett go. Most people I know talk tons of shit about him, yet they respect him nonetheless. He has been amazing to watch over the last 16 years and I was excited to see what he could do next year with the team that went to the NFC Conference Championship last year and lost a very close game with the Giants (who went on to win the Superbowl).
And to the Chicago Bears, if you’re not going to help your own team with free agency and the draft, then Brett just helped you out a little. For at least two games next season.