The AFC East became a little more crowded this week with the arrival of the embattled superstar, known as Brett Favre. His trade to the Jets means the Bills will be facing the future Hall-of-Famer twice this season, and every season Favre decides to throw on the Icy Hot patch one more time. Some fans think the Bills' 2008 playoff dreams have been crushed by the move, but they are forgetting that Favre will have to overcome a lot in order to turn the Jets around into a playoff-caliber team.
First, you have to look at the Jets team. They were 4-12 last season, with two wins coming against the abysmal Miami Dolphins, which shouldn't even count. Sure they made a lot of offseason moves, but I just don't think they'll have much of an impact. One of their biggest acquisitions was signing Alan Faneca to their offensive line, even though Faneca is entering the twilight of his career. Their other big-time acquisition was beast Vernon Gholston, who will be a rookie and thus still unproven in the NFL.
And then came Favre.
He will have the biggest impact of all the acquisitions, but just how big the impact will be is unknown. The impact will rest heavily on the performance of the receivers, particularly Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery. Both of these receivers have had their moments, but they don't show the same reliability Favre had with Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. Cotchery and Coles don't have the same downfield presence that Driver and Jennings have, and Favre loves to have reliable receivers to fall back on. It comes down to the amount of effective weapons he'll have to work with and Favre just simply had more in Green Bay – specifically receivers that did damage after the catch.
Beyond the team, Favre's impact will, of course, rest squarely on him. Moving to a new team after 16 years of being on the same one will be a shock. Moving to a new offensive system will be a shock. Moving to the country's biggest city from the green pastures of Wisconsin will be a shock. Moving into a hotbed of criticism, where every mistake will be on the cover of the Post, will be a shock. Moving into the body of a 39-year old man playing in the NFL will be a shock. How many shocks can one man take? That is a lot to take in and put out of your mind to play a good game of football on Sunday.
There's no doubt Favre will have to endure a hefty helping of pressure this season and turn out a good performance. People are expecting him to live up to all the hype he has received this offseason. Pressure has taken down some of the league's best quarterbacks, but can it take down this era's greatest signal-caller? If he does, he'll very possibly be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.
Even though the mountains the Jets, as a team, and Brett, as a player, have to cross are quite high, there is still the fact that the Bills can outplay the Jets, even with Favre. The Bills have done it before, they've won against Brett Favre. He is human and can be beat. In fact, since joining the Packers in 1992, the Bills are 3-2 against Favre. Another fun fact: Favre is 0-3 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Remember the last Bills win in 2006? A 24-10 victory, where Favre not only got hit in the face with a snap, but also threw two interceptions – one being good for a Bills touchdown return. This came from the 2006 Bills, who weren't exactly playoff bound themselves. Still scared of big, bad Brett? The Bills have slain the dragon in the past, and can do it again, this time with a better team.
So, you Bills fans can run and hide like Chicken Little is beside you and the sky will fall and smash both of you. Or, you could sit back and enjoy your team battling against a legend. I can't guarantee you wins (I'm no Donte Whitner), but I can guarantee you games against the Jets will be 100 percent more exciting. Just be thankful the Bills are still only playing against Tom Brady twice a year.