Lombardi: Favre and his records

PackerReport.com's John Lombardi explains why critics of future Hall of Famer Brett Favre have few reasons to rip into the Packers quarterback.

Brett Favre has 403 career TD passes, trailing Dan Marino by 17. Favre is a lock to break the record this year and may do it by mid-season at his current pace.

None of this is news to anyone. It is widely reported that he is now in second place on the all time list. On the flip side, his career accomplishments have created a weird reaction with some people. There are some media outlets and websites that are growing tired of Brett Favre. All of the retirement talk and constant attention paid to everything he says and does has worn some people out. It is understandable that some could have Favre fatigue, but to blame Favre for all of the coverage he gets is not fair.

There are some, most prominently a website, www.profootballtalk,.com that are enamored with Favre in a negative sense. See, in addition to possibly breaking Marino's record for TD passes, Favre is closing in on the career interception record, held by the immortal George Blanda. They have a Photoshop picture of Favre holding a card that lists the number of picks he has to throw to break the record. I have no gripe with this site. I actually read it daily, if not more frequently, but they have it on for Favre.

The folks that are growing tired of Favre and pointing out the number of interceptions he has thrown are trying to take him down a bit. Sure Favre has thrown a lot of touchdowns, but look how many interceptions he has thrown. I guess they think that Favre is overrated or undeserving of the attention he gets.

I can see the argument that says Favre is overrated. I do not agree with it, but some of it rings true. He makes some head-scratching throws. He has not been able engineer a comeback in a long time, and last year he killed his team with a ton of turnovers. Some folks turned against him when he made some comments about Javon Walker who was considering holding out in a contract dispute a few years ago. Others are sick of the incessant retirement talk. Others are just jealous. All of these are legitimate gripes, but ultimately ring hallow with me.

For some reason, these folks dislike Favre and take the struggles of the Packers and lay the blame on Brett. They take delight in seeing the Packers lose and are waiting for Favre to throw another interception so they get a sense of validation. It is sad in some ways. They bask in the failure of Favre and the team much like a fan delights in the success of their team. That is the nature of society these days. Build someone up to tear them down.

These types take comfort is saying that even though Favre will one day hold the record for TD passes, he will more than likely also hold the record for passes intercepted. But what if I could give you a good stat to stick back in their face when they make it?

A total of 26 quarterbacks in NFL history have thrown more than 200 touchdowns, and Favre is fifth best when it comes to touchdown to interception ratio. He trails Steve Young, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning and Marino. All of this is according to ESPN and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

TD to INT. ratio
Young - 2.17 to 1
Montana - 1.96 to 1
Manning - 1.90 to 1
Marino - 1.67 to 1
Favre - 1.55 to 1

Other Notables with 200 Touchdowns
Sonny Jurgensen 1.35 to 1
Jim Kelly - 1.35 to 1
John Elway - 1.33 to 1
Len Dawson - 1.31 to 1
Fran Tarkenton - 1.29 to 1
Warren Moon - 1.25 to 1
Johnny Unitas - 1.15 to 1
Dan Fouts - 1.05 to 1
Terry Bradshaw - 1.01 to 1
Blanda - .85 to 1

You can dislike Favre because he gets a lot of press or for whatever reason sets you off, but it is ridiculous to make light of or be critical of Favre for throwing interceptions throughout his career after looking at that list.

Favre is a characterized as a risk taker, as a guy who can kill you with a bad throw as easily as he can win it with his arm, but his rep as a turnover waiting to happen is exaggerated. He does throw some passes that make me scratch my head and ask what he was thinking. But he has wowed me more than once with a spectacular throw for a long gain or TD. When you throw the ball as much as he does, bad things can happen. But in Favre's case, good things happen more often than the bad and that is what makes him one of the best of all time.

Even those who are tired of him will miss watching him play once his career is over.

John Lombardi

Editor's note: John Lombardi is the grandson of legendary coach Vince Lombardi. His football experience includes stints with two teams in the World League (now NFL Europe); in the scouting departments of the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans; and graduate assistant coach and director of football operations at Vanderbilt. E-mail him at johnlombardi22@yahoo.com.

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