But the ongoing deification of Brett Favre is ridiculous. As I’ve said before, Brett Favre is one of the more overrated QBs of all time–a first-ballot Hall of Famer, to be sure, and one of the toughest guys ever to play the position, sure, but way, way overrated. Brett Favre, as the following piece by Sal Paolantonio demonstrates, isn’t even the best Packer QB of all time, and it’s not even all that close.


He retired as the 15th-rated active quarterback. Now, I agree that the stats can be misleading, but he also retired with exactly as many Super Bowl victories as Ben Roethlisberger (who’ll get at least one more), Jim McMahon, and Trent Dilfer. But Paolantonio makes the point that for the final decade of his career, Brett Favre was, on average, average, and in the postseason, he was, arguably, sub-average.

But don’t argue with me; just read the article for yourself.

9 responses »

  1. Byron says:

    Well, I think “average quarterback” is a bit much, don’t you, Chris? He was a durable, great quarterback who had some long stretches of “average”, and whose dumb mistakes were overlooked by folks who loved his image. In my rankings, he’s still the 15th-best QB of all time, which is pretty good, and a first-ballot HOF guy…just not a guy who even belongs in the discussion of “best ever”.

  2. Chris says:

    I couldn’t agree more! The media can certainly build someone up or tear them down without a thorough examination. He was an average QB with a “Hollywood” persona. That seems to be enough for the media to deify him.

  3. Wayde says:

    When you think about all the millions of dollars spent on QB’s in the 17 years Favre played, he was a working man’s hero. Showed up every Sunday to play. Then if you take in consideration, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Bart Starr, John Elway and Tom Brady, multiple Super Bowl champions. That leaves a handful of QB’s with a Super Bowl win. Favre was 3 time MVP, 2 appearences in the Super Bowl, won a Super Bowl, took Green Bay to many playoff games and was an interception away from going back for his 3rd Super Bowl. Dan Marino, Dan Fouts just to name a couple, never won a Super Bowl but are always considered top QB’s in the NFL. I can except his ranking of 15, but in the overall big picture he packed his lunch and showed up for work every day.

  4. Byron says:

    Yeah, he was a lunchpail kind of guy; that’s why the fans loved him, and why they so readily overlooked some of his obvious flaws.

  5. Byron says:

    You’d need to read my criterion in order to understand my ranking. You say, “The bottom line is Favre gave it everything he had when he was on the field, all you had to do was watch the guy play and you would see that!” To which I say, “you are exactly, 100% correct.

    But the issue isn’t how much effort he put forth; for that matter, there have undoubtedly been lesser players who put forth just as much effort, but just weren’t blessed with the tools that Brett Favre had. Nor do I in any way suggest that Brett Favre isn’t a great quarterback; he clearly is. But in order to understand why he comes out 15th (and by the way, subjectively–and that’s all you’re doing, Billy, arguing subjectively–I’d put him a little higher than 15th myself), you’d need to read the numbers I used to arrive at that ranking. Passer rating was taken into account. Championships played in, and championships won, were taken into account. Yeah, there are a lot of variables, and yeah, maybe we ought to take MVP awards into account; I’m working on revising that system I used in order to take both Pro Bowls and MVPs into account. Still, after all that, Favre will probably rank no higher than 10th, and the reason is that you and so many others, as Sal Paloantonio’s article points out, magnify Favre’s strengths and minimize his weaknesses.

    What do you do with the fact that Favre ranks 15th among active players in passer rating? Yeah, it’s difficult to compare players across generations–my rating system minimizes this problem, by the way–but compared with his own generation, he’s middle of the pack, hardly better than average in that respect. What do you do with his below-average playoff record, the fact that he had a penchant for forcing the ball in situations that produced a lot of needless interceptions? Hey, if the category was “gutsiest QB of all time”, he’d get my vote. But objectively, the numbers support the fact that Brett Favre was a great quarterback, but not worthy of being in the discussion, “who was the greatest NFL QB of all time”. If it’s any consolation, though, neither are Dan Marino, John Elway, Joe Namath (the hands-down most overrated QB of all time), or Tom Brady (yet, though that could change).

    Oh, and did you include me in “the media”? That’s a first, my friend! 🙂

  6. Billy says:

    I don’t get it. 15th all time? What, I am not even a packer fan, but come on. Favre who played I believe one year longer than John Elway, who also had a long playing career, has over 100 plus more TD’S than Elway alone. Why is Favre getting ripped for his longevity, to say by him playing so long, he just padded his stats or so. No way, Marino played just as long, thus his hefty stats. The bottom line is you have Favre only 15th all time, 15th give me a break! You can’t compare different eras when trying to rank QB’s all time. There are two many differing variables. He has 3 MVPS, no one else has ever done that, ever!!! It is not or ever was Favre’s fault that the media some how gives him a golden pass on his mistakes. He didn’t ask for it. You, the media gave him the “God of Football status”, not # 4. The bottom line is Favre gave it everything he had when he was on the field, all you had to do was watch the guy play and you would see that!

  7. Chris says:

    No, I don’t think “average” is an inaccurate statement. He certainly had stretches of greatness and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I like him and his enthusiasm for the game, but his longevity gave him the numbers he ended with. And his appeal made his flaws secondary.

  8. Queen S. says:

    Brett Favre was more than “average” and for those who say that his is overrated what?? Brett Favre is one of the best quarterbacks that played in the NFL, Brett Favre loved football and he gave his heart and soul to the game. I have never seen a player play with some much passion. When the packers were down on the scoreboard Brett Favre still wouldn’t give up, he played with broken thumb and he even played while he was mourning his father’s death and how many quarterback’s or even players that you no have done that? Matter fact could you do that yourself? I believe people don’t give Brett Favre enough credit at all, Brett was a back up quarterback for Alanta then become the starting quarterback for the packers and ended up turning that team around.. Brett will be one of the best Quarterbacks in my book!

  9. Byron says:


    You’re right in so much of what you say. Guts, passion, tremendous quarterback, one of the all-time greats. Just a guy whose stats don’t put him at, or near, the very top of the stack. Somewhere around 10th-12th all-time. That’s certainly mighty good.

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