Favre's End in Sight?

HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK

BRETT FAVRE AT A CROSSROADS
AS VIKINGS VISIT NY JETS

by Mathew Hurley, Managing Editor

Only Brett Favre could find a way to dominate the headlines just after a bye!

*Earlier this week, Favre was back in the news when the Minnesota Vikings acquired Randy Moss from the New England Patriots in a trade. Favre had HORRIBLE passing stats this year (more on that in a moment), and this was seen as a potential season-saver for the Vikes. They get a deep threat who can intimidate defenses again. Favre has a chance to rally the Vikes from a sluggish start and make a playoff run. Every mainstream media sentence about Moss was followed by five sentences about what it meant to Favre.

*A few days ago, a gossipy story hit the mainstream (after sitting just outside of the mainstream since the start of the season) involving inappropriate communications between Favre (when he was with the Jets), and some girl who made a career out of getting noticed by Brent Musburger at a Florida State game many years ago. If the gossip turns out to be true, Favre is looking at a possible suspension...and even a possible closing curtain on his career.

So, which one is it going to be? Will the acquisition of Moss vault the Vikes back into the playoff mix after a 1-2 start? Or, will the media firestorm over a married legend misbehaving be the straw that breaks the camel's resolve?

We have some ideas about that which we'll run through in a second. First, we wanted to crunch some numbers from Favre's appearances earlier this season. It's easy to forget how bad things had gotten after a late Preseason, a lack of healthy pass-catchers, and a stale soap opera that seemed to have everyone sick and tired of wondering what was going to happen next.

Let's review:

FAVRE AT NEW ORLEANS
15-27-1-162 passing
38% team third down conversions
1 team turnover
9 Drive Points

Those are far from normal numbers for Favre, even as an old man! Remember that he had a blockbuster season in 2009. He's supposed to coast past 200 passing yards indoors vs. a team like New Orleans. Third downs weren't horrible. But, the Saints are a 'bend but don't break' defense that will let you move the chains while they try to steal the ball. The Vikings weren't very good at moving the chains. Nine drive points was about league average for the week (those are points scored and allowed on drives of 60 yards or more). Sluggish start, but not the end of the world.

FAVRE VS. MIAMI
22-36-3-208 passing
35% team third down conversions
4 team turnovers
3 Drive Points

These are very bad numbers, because interceptions are bombs that go off on the field that do a lot more damage than everyone realizes. Favre threw three passes to the Dolphins...a team that would go 0-2 in its next two games AT HOME in their most important matchups of the year. In what could have been a lookahead spot, the Miami defense made Favre look awful. Only two teams were worse than Minnesota in the Drive Point category in Week Two. The turnovers were a debacle considering Minnesota was a home team, in a bounce back spot, with a few extra days of preparation after a Monday Night game. Horrible performance!

FAVRE VS. DETROIT
23-34-2-185 passing
27% team third down conversions
3 team turnovers
14 Drive Points

People kind of forgot about this one because Minnesota won 24-10 and covered the spread. They didn't cover because of Favre! He once again dipped below 200 passing yards even though he threw often. Two interceptions is very bad against a soft (but improving) defense like the Lions have. Third down conversions just weren't happening. The 14 Drive Points are obviously acceptable. Just be aware that Michael Vick put a 28 on the board against the same opponent. And, half the total came on a long run by a star running back rather than anything Favre contributed. This was mostly a failing performance too, though the Vikings did get off the schneid before their bye week.

Last week, Favre's stats took a turn for the better because he didn't play! Not doing anything at all is a big improvement over what had been going on.

Now...in fairness, Favre was dealing with a less than stellar receiving corp. The acquisition of Moss PLUS an extra week to get back in the flow timing-wise with the offense could be just what the doctor ordered. Favre got a late start because of his ankle injury. The bye came just at the right time in that regard (though, the Vikes could be so tired after a brutal schedule stretch down the road that they'll have wished for a later bye!).

Or...

*The mercurial Moss is just another poison getting injected into a very sick system.

*The part of the team that resented all the hype Favre got last year is about to turn on him for good after the news went public of the 'family man' possibly behaving like a 15-year old after sneaking a peak at Cinemax when his parents were out of town.

*The brutal schedule stretch is going to break this team for good, sending both Favre and the coach to new futures.

That's the scenario in play heading into tonight's game...which, OH BY THE WAY...is against a New York Jets team that still things Favre robbed them of salary and attention during an aborted visit to Broadway a few weeks ago. A lot of SHARP offenses put up ugly stats on the road against the Jets defense. What ugliness might Favre be capable of if things haven't taken a turn for the better? Get ready for the Jay Cutler comparisons now!

Some additional 'oh by the way's.' Revenge-minded Dallas visits Minnesota next week. Dallas was embarrassed by the Vikings last season in the playoffs. Two weeks from now? On the road at Green Bay. THE GODS ARE TALKING TO YOU BRETT FAVRE...ARE YOU LISTENING?!

Maybe the gods have laid out another path for redemption. Stranger things have happened. What's clear to us is that Monday Night's game could be the beginning of the turnaround...or the de facto end of Favre's career (if that didn't happen already to a guy who loves ignoring people that use terms like 'de facto'). Minnesota could win this game outright to get back to the .500 mark at just the right time. Minnesota could get FLATTENED in one of the ugliest Vikings losses in recent memory.

JIM HURLEY has been talking to his SCOUTS and SOURCES (in the most important 'information' Monday Night game so far this season). He's been looking over printouts with his COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS and STAT HANDICAPPERS to get a sense of the possibilities. If the numbers are right in this case, we're not just talking about a winner...but possibly one of the biggest margin covers of the whole 2010 season in any NFL game. He's been touching base with his WISE GUY CONNECTIONS knowing that public 'dumb money' could influence the line incorrectly in either direction because of this unique matchup. The public loves betting on Brett Favre...AND betting on the Jets!

Face it, if there's ONE GAME ALL SEASON where you need to link up with JIM HURLEY, this is it! Our team handicapping juggernaut is better poised than anyone to get you the money in the game that will make or break your week. Purchase our TV BOMBSHELL by itself online a few hours before kickoff. Or, sign up for the full season and make this the first winner of the rest of your season. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-800-323-4453.

We've said it before...and we'll say it again. Tonight, the words are more meaningful perhaps than at any point in the last five years. DON'T YOU DARE MAKE A MOVE UNTIL YOU HEAR WHAT JIM HURLEY HAS TO SAY!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by VegasSportsMasters.com and JimHurley.com. For more information on JIM HURLEY'S handicapping packages, call 1-800-323-4453.

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