Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner! After months of speculation, conversation and exasperation from NFL fans across the world, Brett Favre has found a new home with the New York Jets after being traded by the Green Bay Packers.
With the Jets having already carried out millions of dollars worth of roster overhauls in the preseason, Favre must be considered the final cherry on the sundae for the team- and rightfully so. Without Favre, our AFC East Preview (based on 1,000 simulations of every single NFL game) showed the Jets missing the playoffs with a lackluster 7-9 record and cited the passing game as "the most exploitable weakness." Also notable was the lack of a definitive starting quarterback, as both Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens shared the responsibility. The Jets ended the season out of the playoffs and 16th in our NFL Power Rankings.
Brett serves to unite the offensive front, dramatically increasing pass effectiveness while bolstering the running game at the same time. With him at the helm, the "new and improved" Jets now rank seventh on our power rankings (behind New England, Indianapolis, Dallas, Minnesota, San Diego and the New York Giants). Under a new field leader, the Jets now are projected to go 10-6 and earn an AFC Wild Card spot which had formerly belonged to the Buffalo Bills. They are even able to advance past Cleveland in the first AFC Wild Card round falling to Spygate rival, the New England Patriots, in the AFC divisional round matchup (not all that surprising, since the Pats end up winning it all). Also, due to trade stipulations, this would mean a second round pick would be returned to the Packers.
After running 1,000 simulated NFL seasons with the Favre/Jets combination in effect, Brett ended the season with 3,604 passing yards to go with 29 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions. On the whole, our simulations projected that a Jets-bound Brett would be the fifth most effective overall QB (above and beyond the #29 and #34 spots held by Pennington and Clemens). These numbers far surpass the previous projected stats for the former two QBs, who combined for 2,743 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns, 14 interceptions and an average completion percentage of 58.4%.
Brett's personal numbers aren't the only impressive figures, however. Our statistics show that others benefit from his presence as well. Thomas Jones advances ten slots to become the #15 Running back in the NFL with Favre on hand. He is also projected to gain 151 more yards (earning 1,476 total yards), score two more rushing touchdowns (bringing his total to 11) and catch an additional receiving touchdown (totaling two). Jesse Chapman is also slated for 116 more receiving yards, while he and fellow RB Leon Washington each get an additional touchdown on the season thanks to Brett.
Wide receivers prosper too, with Jerricho Cotchery elevating his overall positional ranking from #23 to #15 and Laveranues Coles making an even bigger jump from #49 to #36. Each player is blessed with two additional touchdown receptions and both gain a combined 150 total yards on the season. Rookie Dustin Keller and Favre's former teammate Bubba Franks also increase five slots to become the #22 and #23 tight ends in the NFL, respectively. They each gain another touchdown reception as well, with Dustin achieving 50 more yards than in previous projections. Even kicker Mike Nugent feels the Favre effect with 29% more extra point attempts due to Brett's frequent endzone appearances.
Below are two versions of New York's schedule- the first depicts what a season under the Clemens/Pennington combination would have been like, while the second unveils their future with Brett Favre as QB.
New York Jets Schedule (Without Brett Favre):
|2||New England Patriots||19||22-30|
|3||@San Diego Chargers||35||18-30|
|8||Kansas City Chiefs||60||28-18|
|10||St. Louis Rams||49||24-23|
|11||@New England Patriots||10||15-32|
|14||@San Francisco 49ers||22||20-37|
New York Jets Schedule (With Brett Favre):
|2||New England Patriots||33||23-29|
|3||@San Diego Chargers||46||23-30|
|8||Kansas City Chiefs||80||33-18|
|10||St. Louis Rams||74||32-19|
|11||@New England Patriots||31||20-31|
|14||@San Francisco 49ers||62||33-29|
Once again, as would occur under any team with a weak passing offense, Brett has a dramatic effect on his team. Although he does not make it to the SuperBowl like he would on the Vikings or even the NFC Championship game like he would on the Packers, he is still calculated to bring great success to his new team.
Despite the flurry of media attention, criticism and genuine emotion which has surrounded him for the past three months, the most basic truth remains: Brett Favre has more to offer the world of professional football. He has said so and our simulations back him up. The only question left is whether or not Brett will remain happy with his decision to re-enter the NFL world or if he will have another change of heart in the future…regardless, WhatIfSports will be here ready to forecast any decision he makes.
And in somewhat related news, in the latest simulated season (with Brett Favre on the New Jork Jets), Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers to 9-7 and an NFC Wild Card berth.
To see how your favorite team would look with Brett Favre or any NFL great, visit our Dream Teams.
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