With Favre, Packers Go Far
What If? Brett Favre's Impact on the 2008 Green Bay Packers By Nicole Green and Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com Aug. 5th, 2008
Brett Favre is a Packer again, at least for now, and while his potential influence as a player for the Minnesota Vikings was already determined ( here), we have likewise calculated his potential influence on this season's Green Bay Packers team.
Whether he plays for the Packers this season or not (and it clearly appears headed toward not at the moment), we specialize in the "what if" questions. "What if Brett Favre were to come back and play for the team he led for 16 years without skipping a beat?" is definitely one of those questions. Our pre-season, pre-Favre, with Aaron Rodgers Power Rankings placed the Packers 14th overall. After simulating every game in the 2008 NFL season 100 times, the team was predicted to go 9-7 and earn the Wild Card in the NFC behind the Vikings (11-5) in the NFC North.
Brett Favre's comeback would mend what was anticipated to be the team's most exploitable weakness, pass offense, and would bump the Packers up to the fourth spot in our power rankings behind New England, Indianapolis and Dallas. Doing the exact same simulated analysis with Favre as the starter in all 16 games, Green Bay competes in the 2008 NFC Championship, making it a step further than our projection without him, yet the team still loses to the Dallas Cowboys on the road. The team's record improves to 11-5.
Favre would rank second on our fantasy football rankings for quarterbacks, just behind New Englands Tom Brady, with 4,033 passing yards, 33 TDs and 13 INTs. Originally, Aaron Rodgers and Brian Brohm (Rodgers' fragility meant four starts for Brohm) combined for 3,291 passing yards, 22 TDs and 15 INTs.
With Favre on hand, improvement at other positions is evident as well. RB Ryan Grant advances from the 11th spot to the eighth in our fantasy projections for the running backs. Prior to Favre's addition, Grant gained 1,550 total yards and scored 13 touchdowns. These numbers increased to 1,640 total yards and 15 touchdowns with Favre at QB.
Favre also enhances the performance of wide receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, who our fantasy projections for WR previously ranked 22nd and 31st, respectively. The two would improve to 12th and 18th with the new-old QB. Favre's addition, allows nine touchdowns for Jennings and eight for Driver. Before, Jennings and Driver were predicted to score six touchdowns each.
Tight end Donald Lee benefits with Favre at QB, too. He advances from to the 12th to the ninth position on our fantasy rankings, increasing predicted touchdowns from 3 to 5 and receiving yards from 517 to 606.
Packers' kicker Mason Crosby increases point scored from 151 with Rodgers/Brohm to 156 with Favre. In whole, the team averages exactly five points per game more with Favre under center than with Rodgers/Brohm.
An updated schedule and season results is featured below:
Projected 2008 Results Before Favre:
|WEEK||OPPONENT||WIN %||AVE SCORE|
|4||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||57||21-20|
|12||@New Orleans Saints||55||26-24|
Projected 2008 Results With Favre:
|WEEK||OPPONENT||WIN %||AVE SCORE|
|4||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||79||26-20|
|12||@New Orleans Saints||66||34-28|
As shown, Favre's presence would make the Packers more competitive. The winning percentage increases in almost every scheduled game with the addition of Favre. Further, the Packers are victorious over the Vikings and the Panthers, teams against which they were originally predicted to lose.
Once again, Favre could prove to be a huge influence in each game and the overall season outcome (unfortunately, he may have influence on every game whether he participates in it or not). Though the team for which he will play is indefinite, whichever jersey he wears, he will undoubtedly be a driving force to his team's success and will have impact on the 2008 NFL season. Stick around for Favre Analysis Part III...
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