Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Is This That Schism?

You should be proud. There hasn't been one negative word written about Brett Favre in this space in months. Or weeks. Whatever.

Anyway, the season has been going great for Minnesota. They have won the NFC North with two games to spare, and they still have a shot -- at least mathematically -- at the top seed for the NFC playoffs.

Considering that the widely-held view of head coach Brad Childress is one of pure incompetence, this is a hell of an accomplishment.

Favre's been a big part of that. He's limited his mistakes, thrown the ball with great accuracy, and there have been no complaints about his ability to blend in with his team.

Of course, when you're winning, no one really complains much about anything.

It's when you lose that such things happen.

Sunday night, the Vikings got stomped, 26-7, by the lowly Carolina Panthers. In the midst of that loss, Childress and Favre appeared to have a bit of a spat on the sideline. We found out after the game -- from the notoriously bigmouthed Favre -- that the spat was the result of Childress trying to take Favre out of the game.

Sounds like Favre politely told his coach to eat it.

Cue the complaining.

Virtually every football media outlet had a story Monday about Childress trying to pull Favre from Sunday's game, and it wasn't long before other examples were drawn up of this happening. Not only that, but it sounds like Favre's public acknowledgment of Sunday's events didn't sit too well with the bearded head coach. Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes that this isn't huge news at Winter Park.

But all is not well between Brad and Brett, and the primary difference centers on the quarterback's penchant to check out of runs and into passes. According to one team member, Favre has expressed frustration for much of the season about Childress' unwillingness to let him audible more.

And you all thought Packer fans' "It's all about Brett" mantra was just sour grapes.

It is all about Brett. He wants to throw the ball. Handing off is boring. Favre might not care about the fact that he owns the NFL's all-time record for touchdown passes, but he sure seems to enjoy adding to that mark at every available opportunity.

Meanwhile, Childress wants a quarterback that runs the called play. He knows he can't handcuff Favre, because Favre will simply go back to the farm, and then it's Childress -- not Favre -- that has the egg all over his face.

But it is driving him to the point of frustration.

To make matters worse, teams are playing more coverage against the Vikings, because the offensive line isn't blocking as well as it did earlier this season. That means Favre has to hold the ball longer than he should, and it opens him up to sacks and hits he shouldn't be taking.

All might not be well in Minnesota, but let's remember that they're still on track for no worse than the No. 2 playoff seed, meaning they will play any NFC playoff games indoors, and they play the Bears on Monday night. ESPN will try to build up this storyline (just like they did with the schism story before an ESPN-televised Vikings preseason game), and Childress and Favre will destroy it by being on the same page during the game. This story can go away just as quickly as it showed up, because this team is still 11-3, and it's hard to sneeze at that record.


SHOW said...

Everything ends badly or else it wouldn't end.

- Cocktail

(of course, this was pre-Brett ... with him, everything ends in absolute catastrophe. I can't wait until the Packers beat the Vikes in the playoffs)

/Bears fan
//has to enjoy something in 2009

Goon said...

I think if Favre sees something in the defense in front of him and wants to audible so be it. I sick and tired of Childress and his game plans that absolutely have no creativity to them at all. On the broadcast last night Farve said he hasn't audibled that much this season I think it was like 19 times.

If I was a defensive coordinator
I could probably predict the Vikes play calling because it is so predictable. The Vikes wont’ win a game in the post season and we will be stuck with Childress for 6 more years.