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Note: Perhaps it was a sign from above that while creating this piece lightning struck, the power went out and I lost the article.
En garde! Brett Favre is fencing again.
What side he lands on depends which media report you believe. The swarm of NFL insiders are all over it. And by all over it I mean their Sources: say text messages indicate he's retiring. Did I say retiring? I'm sorry, what I meant to say is he will play if he's healthy. What's that? He's going to be a guest singer on Glee? He
does have that cameo in "There's Something About Mary" to work with.
Umm, it's August Brett. It's time to stop with the Southern charm sideshow. You are a man! You are 40! However, this act reeks of teenage stubbornness.
This isn't Hollywood Brett. This isn't deciding between buying a hi-def television or not. Do you want to play football or retire to your 400 acre Xanadu and snuggle with your Rosebud down in Mississippi? I'm sure Dr. James Andrews is available on Line 2 - 24 hours a day if you need him. You are stunting the growth of your team by keeping quiet. The Minnesota Vikings can't wait forever.
But they will.
From a purely statistical viewpoint Minnesota has reason to be patient. If his ankle is sturdy enough, #4 should have little reason to hang 'em up now considering he's coming off the best statistical season of his career. Last year, Favre threw 33 touchdowns compared to only 7 interceptions. His 2009 QB rating of 107.2 crushed his previous career high. The computers believe the Minnesota Vikings are Super Bowl contenders with a healthy Favre behind center. However, if he choses to kick back in some Wranglers come Sundays this fall, that's where Whatifsports.com answers the call.
Following yesterday's media blitz that Favre would indeed retire, (only for reports to surface today that say he hasn't made up his mind) Whatifsports.com's NFL simulation engine went to work. We reset the Vikings' depth charts and simulated Minnesota's 2010 regular season to see how much of an impact Favre's absence would truly have on the team's success.
Life Without Favre
More Action JacksonTarvaris is 2nd on Minnesota's depth chart
Remember as a kid when your mom would take you into a store and pinch the back of you arm before instructing "Don't touch anything."
I wonder if that how Tarvaris Jackson feels right now. He's so close to snatching the keys to the Porsche, but Favre, by keeping quiet, is pinching the back of Jackson's arm saying "don't touch anything." After all, this is Favre's team until the ole' gunslinger retires for the 84th time.
Jackson appeared in 12 games during the 2007 season and 9 games in 2008 before Favre took over last season. His 294 passing attempts in 2007 ranked towards the bottom of starting quarterbacks that season. His role was mainly to turn and hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson.
It's no mystery that if Jackson were to take over for Favre in 2010, the Vikings record would suffer. Profound I know. The computers believe Minnesota will drop two games to 9-7 with Jackson at QB. Jackson will throw for over 600 fewer yards and 8 fewer passing touchdowns.
However, the most alarming stat from the computer simulation is that at 9-7, the Vikings will not make the playoffs.
One minute it looked as if Sage Rosenfels was going to be a hero in Houston. Then the quarterback was flipped over and fumbled the football only to find himself a season later holding a clipboard in Minnesota. And yet, Rosenfels still has a crack at the starting gig if Favre decided to retire.
The third-stringer did not play in a game for the Vikings in 2009. As a member of the Texans he played in 6 games in 2008 and 9 games in 2007 in which he threw 15 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.
If the former Iowa State Cyclone gets the nod and runs the Vikings' offense this season, you will see more passing yards, more touchdowns and more interceptions thrown compared to Jackson. What you won't see is Week 18, 19, 20 or 21. Because like Jackson, the computers believe Rosenfels can only muster up a 9-7 record.
Sidney Rice's 2010 Stats
You're Leaving Me?Sidney Rice's fantasy value soared with Favre
If you played fantasy football in 2009, you know about Sidney Rice. The Minnesota Vikings' deep threat became a household name once Favre came to town. Rice recorded 83 receptions for over 1300 yards and eight touchdowns. Before all the Favre: Retirement 3.0 talk, Rice was considered a top 5 fantasy wide receiver this season.
As you can see, even with Favre out of the picture, Rice will still rack up 1000-plus yards this season, but the computers believe his touches in the end zone will take a hit by two.
It will be Adrian Peterson benefiting the most from Favre's departure as the bulldozer would increase his production by over 100 yards if Favre did not return. He was projected to gain 1444 yards this season, but would push that output over 1600 total rushing yards if Tarvaris or Sage were the quarterback in Minnesota.
Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.