Lombardi blog: October edition

Thoughts on Favre's high number of pass attempts; Koren Robinson and Packers receivers

October 2, 2007
Stats, Run Rates, Trends and History
As I was drivng home last night, I started to wonder how many passes Brett Favre had thrown so far this year and if that pace continues, how many will he have thrown by the end of the season. So I looked it up.

After four games, he has attempted 170 passes. That averages out to 42.5 attempts a game. Over a 16 game season, that works out to 680 pass attempts. The most passes thrown by a team in a season was by the Vikings in 1981. Tommy Kramer (593 tosses), Steve Dils (102 tosses), Wade Wilson (13 attempts) and Ted Brown (with one) all added up to 709 passes attempted. The Patriots in 1994 tried 699 passes, including 70 in one game which went into overtime. The following year, 1995, the Patriots tried to pass 686 times. Drew Bledsoe was the QB both of those years. He currently holds the record for most passes thrown in a season. According to NFL.com, here are the top three seasons for pass attempts:

691 Drew Bledsoe, New England, 1994
655 Warren Moon, Houston, 1991
636 Drew Bledsoe, New England, 1995

If Favre stays on this pace, he will end up second on the all time list. The Patriots played in a playoff game that year, so I wonder if that game is included in Bledsoe's totals. If the answer is yes, then I think it would be safe to say that Favre is on track to throw more passes in a season than any other QB, playoffs or not. Either way, it is a lot of passes.

One side note to this. Bledsoe's coach in those years, Bill Parcells. Not a pass-happy guy to say the least.

As for the running game, it is a completely different story. The Packers have rushed the ball 79 times in four games. That averages out to 19.75 rushes per game. The season run rate would works out to be 316 rushes for the year. According to NFL.com, the lowest rushing total in a season for a team is 211 rushes for the year by the Eagles in 1982. Second place goes to the 49ers with 218 rushing attempts again in 1982. The Oilers round out the bottom three with 225 attempts. Can you guess the year? 1982. That was a strike year and the league only played nine games. The Eagles still ran the ball 23.4 times per game. Last year the Packers rushed the ball 431 times or 26.94 per game. In 2004, the last time the Packers made the playoffs, they rushed the ball 441 times or 27.56 times per game.

October 1, 2007
Koren Robinson
I do not know the timeline pertaining to the possible reinstatement of Koren Robinson. He could be eligible pretty soon. The question is, should the Packers care? With Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and James Jones, do the Packers need him? He can return kicks and might be an upgrade there, but do the potential negatives outweigh what little upside he might bring?

Packer fans know how a good kick returner, like Desmond Howard or Travis WIlliams, can make a big difference in a championship run. But with the potential for Robinson to become a big distraction if he were to fail in his rehab effort, it is worth it?

He would be about the fourth receiver off the bench and has not played organized football in about a year. Even then he did not get a lot of time. Right now everything is going great for the Packers. Could bringing Robinson back upset that karma?

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.

Lombardi blog archives:
September 2007 edition
August 2007 edition
July 2007 edition
June 2007 edition
May 2007 edition
April 2007 edition
March 2007 edition

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