Wednesday, December 24
Favre's play brilliant and inspiring
By John Madden
The Green Bay Packers routed the Oakland Raiders 41-7 on Monday Night Football. It looks like the Packers have picked now to find their stride and peak going into the postseason. Their offensive line is one of the best in the league and one reason why is because they've been together the entire season. They are picking up stunts and blitzes as well as blocking for the run. Also, the receiving corps has been playing well the last couple of weeks and Brett Favre was able to complete passes to 12 different receivers Monday night!
It's amazing that this time last year, the Raiders were preparing to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and a year later they only have four wins. I'm not sure this team ever recovered from their Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Injuries played a role in their downfall, but even before the injury bug hit them, they didn't look like the same team as last year.
Having said all those things about the game, this game was really all about Brett Favre. On Sunday, his wife called one of his closest friends on the team (Doug Pederson) and asked him to sit down with Brett and break the news to him face to face that his father had died. After hearing the news and dealing with his emotions, Favre was faced with a tough decision: Should he play the game, go home or go home and come back? He decided to play the game and my feeling is that there was no right or wrong answer. There may be some people who say it wasn't the right decision, but he did what he felt he had to do and what his family wanted him to do. This was a decision that had to be made by Brett Favre and should be supported.
Across the board, the Packers did an amazing job supporting their leader. On Sunday night, the Packers held a team meeting and he told his teammates he didn't want one of those "Win it for me" kind of games. His teammates may not have said it, but they definitely played like it was all for Favre. No matter where he threw the ball, his receivers found a way to make the catch. They did whatever it took to make the play!
Of course, Favre played a pretty amazing game also. I can't remember a performance like that where someone comes in and just totally dominates the game! He completed his first nine passes and his quarterback rating was a perfect 158.3 for most of the night. I couldn't imagine having that kind of night under those circumstances.
This game was a blowout, but it wasn't about that. It was about a Hall of Fame player stepping up in trying times and playing one of the best games he's ever played!