Detroit's rookie quarterback was victimized with two interceptions in Sunday's 27-13 loss to Minnesota, and was thoroughly outplayed by an individual that he has often been compared to -- despite a 20-year difference in age and experience.
"He's a little more polished than I (was)," conceded Favre, who completed 23 of 27 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns. "Not only back (then), then but maybe even now. I'm impressed with him. He picked up some blitzes and made some throws but their guys dropped several balls that he made some good reads on."
Stafford's raw talent, beginning with his powerful right arm, has evoked memories from several analysts of a young Favre. Prior to his Hall-of-Fame resume, Favre's gun-slinging mentality was fun to watch, but didn't always yield great results.
Two of Favre's first four NFL passes were intercepted during a brief rookie stint with Atlanta. After being traded to Green Bay in week three, Favre quickly posted a laughable 41.7 QB rating in his first contest with the Packers. He responded by leading the Packers to nine wins in their next 14 games, and two Super Bowl appearances.
In just his second professional start, Stafford finished 18 of 30 for 152 yards and his first career touchdown, but also tossed two interceptions. He has five interception on the year.
Stafford found Calvin Johnson for his first career touchdown toss
In spite of his mistakes, Stafford was comfortable with his performance.
"I think I did a pretty good job, except for that one interception, of being patient," he said. "The defense is trying to test your patience and I was checking it down a lot and letting guys run with it after the catch and that's what you have to do against them especially there late in the game and that was good, and we did a pretty good job of blocking a heck of a defensive line that was trying to bring some pressure on us."
Although many impatient fans are now questioning the sanity of starting Stafford so early, Lions' coach Jim Schwartz tempered questions regarding Stafford's inability to read defenses.
"I don't necessarily concede that because a lot of rookie mistakes at quarterback are misreads," said Schwartz. "They don't know what the defense is doing. Those two (interceptions) were overaggressive. Those two plays were sometimes understanding that discretion is the better part of valor and checking the ball down or throwing an incompletion and sometimes understand that an incompletion is not necessarily a bad play. Those are experienced plays.
"It's not necessarily what you would term 'a rookie mistake' where, 'Hey, they ran a defense that we didn't know.' He fooled the quarterback or one of those. They're just aggressive mistakes."
Favre seemed to agree. And with the proper support, believes Stafford's best is yet to come.
"To the average Joe watching you would have thought nothing of it, but I could tell because of the blitz that we were doing he had actually picked it up in his mind before and threw it behind what we call a drop end or something," he said. "It's pretty impressive. He made a great throw to Calvin right there on our sideline late in the game versus a two-deep, which is a nearly impossible throw.
"So he took some chances, but you know what, you've got to do that. He's got a big arm, he's got a lot of talent. I was impressed with him."