It's been the talk of the NFL for years – the impossible consecutive games streak that Brett Favre has put in over the years. With last Sunday's start, Favre's record-setting streak sits at 297 and there is considerable discussion that Favre would like to end his career with a daunting 300 or 301 consecutive starts. But, one has to ask whether it's worth it for Favre or the team to continue the streak simply for the purposes of continuing it?
The Vikings face the New York Giants this Sunday, a team notorious for knocking quarterbacks out of games. Tony Romo's season was ended by the Giants and, after being sacked nine times in the first half, Jay Cutler of the Bears was nearly decapitated by the Giants. The laundry list of QB injuries has been a concern to offensive coordinators all season, much less the Vikings and Favre, who is one big hit away from riding off into the gunslinger sunset.
The injury list for Favre is like a rundown of potential body parts. This year alone, he has had ankle, foot, calf, elbow, back, neck and shoulder injuries. The Giants defense seeing a stationary Favre in the pocket will have the effect of waving a red flag at a bull. They will be coming early and often to blitz, attack and pummel Favre. For a team built around its defense and a team that prides itself on putting another notch in its holster for knocking out younger, more agile quarterbacks, you get the feeling that the Giants are eager for the opportunity to get their hands on Favre and put him into retirement … this time for good.
Interim head coach Leslie Frazier said Favre's streak will have nothing to do with the decision to play him or not.
"If the medical people tell me he's clear and he feels comfortable, he'll play," Frazier said. "If he's not comfortable, he doesn't feel like he can do the things that he can do, much like on Sunday, he didn't feel that he could go back and do anything other than maybe hand the football off, so it wouldn't be wise to put him out there and ask him to do anything else. So the streak really doesn't come into play. Brett's got to be honest about where he is. I really trust him in that regard. If he can play, he'll tell us. If he can't play, he'll tell us. He'll be honest in that regard."
Favre's streak of consecutive games played will likely never be touched. Seeing as Jim Marshall's old record of 270 games stood for 30 years before Favre broke it early last season, the quarterback's legacy is firmly entrenched. As banged up as he has been all season, it may be time for cooler heads to prevail and let Tarvaris Jackson take his chances with the G-men and let Favre's streak finally come to an end.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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