The Green Bay Packers closed the 2006 season with four straight wins to even their record at 8-8 and raise expectations for 2007. As usual, the Packers’ fortunes this year will rest pretty much on the play of Brett Favre. Certainly Favre has not been the same quarterback the last two years he was the first 15 years. The question is whether his less than stellar play is the result of the team around him or father time himself. My guess is somewhere in between.Favre’s number the last two years are borderline pedestrian. Last year he improved greatly on his interception total but it came at the expense of his completion percentage, which was an abysmal 56 percent. It would certainly behoove head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson to find Favre a running game. To have to throw the ball over 600 times a year like Favre did last year is ridiculous, especially for a 37-year old quarterback.
I still believe Favre is the best quarterback on the roster to lead this team and given the tools to succeed the Packers can win and he can be a difference in those wins. Favre has never been hurt seriously and while he did have a sore arm at the June OTA’s he seems to be in excellent shape for a man entering his 17th NFL season. If Favre can stay healthy again, the Packers’ quarterback will be the least of their problems.Behind Favre is still the great unknown. Former first-round draft pick Aaron Rodgers has not been able to put any pressure on the Packers to get him on the field. They say Rodgers is getting better but unlike the Philip Rivers-Drew Brees situation in San Diego last year, there is no pressure on the Packers to get Rodgers in the lineup. If Rodgers was so good, it would not be hard to improve on Favre’s stats of the last two years, so to me that means Rodgers is not the answer when No. 4 hangs it up for good.
Behind A-Rodge is Ingle Martin, who by most accounts has not improved any over last year leaving the Packers in the market for a new third-string quarterback, even though Favre took a liking to this youngster last year, much unlike his relationship with Rodgers, but that’s another story. My guess is Martin’s days with the Packers are numbered as it would not surprise me if the Packers brought in a veteran quarterback to be third-string, like New England has done with Vinny Testaverde. Maybe a Daunte Culpepper or even a guy like Jeff George, who wants back in the game.The long term future of the Packers’ quarterbacks is a major question mark right now. As is has been the case for the last 15 years, if Brett goes down, the hopes of the team go with him. Maybe now more than ever.