Friday, December 25, 2009

Favre's late season swoons

A lot of media attention has been paid to Favre's last three games and the contrast between his late season swoon last year vs. this year. The primary difference, as folks like Peter King claim, is that last year, Favre's was due to injury.

You recall last year when Favre had the Jets 8-3 after 11 games, then fell apart in December. Could it happen again? Sure it could. But last year happened because of an injury. Favre's sore this season but not hurt, by all accounts.

The problem with that theory is, last year wasn't the first time Favre's suffered a definitive performance decline late in the season.

If you look at Favre's seasons since '05, he's actually seen a performance decline in the final five games each and every year. And this isn't a small's significant. Since 2005, split Favre's numbers between his first 11 games, and his last 5 games, of the regular season only.

First 11 - 1,269 for 1,934 (65.62%), 14,039 yards (7.26 YPA), 99 TDs, 53 INTs, 92.65 QB rating
Last 5 - 457 for 803 (56.91%), 4,919 yards (6.13 YPA), 16 TDs, 38 INTs, 61.96 QB rating

His QB rating the last five games is two-thirds what it is the first eleven. Far from a meaningless drop. And in case you think this is primarily due to last year's injury and this year's decline, here's the '05 - '07 numbers by themselves.

First 11 - 776 for 1,229 (63.14%), 8,704 yards (7.08 YPA), 55 TDs, 37 INTs, 86.58 QB rating
Last 5 - 295 for 526 (56.08%), 3,217 yards (6.12 YPA), 11 TDs, 25 INTs, 61.47 QB rating

His performance in the final five games in '05 - '07 is virtually identical to his performance these past two season after that 11th game. In fact, these last two years it's actually been better. The difference is that his performance in the first 11 was better in these last two years vs. the former three.

Regardless of that, though, there's still been a significant drop in his performance late in the season since '05. Based on this, I don't think we should be all that shocked that Favre's facing a performance drop this season. And I think we shouldn't be shocked if it continues for the final two this year, and happen again next year if he decides to come back.


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