To audible or not. According to reports, the heated discussion that Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre and Coach Brad Childress had in the third quarter in a Week 15 game at Carolina was not about Childress wanting to remove Favre to avoid getting hit or injured.
Instead, Childress apparently had had enough of Favre calling so many audibles at the line of scrimmage, turning running plays into passing plays, and wanted to bench his quarterback for that reason.
The 26-7 loss was Minnesota’s second in three games and was the worst, point-wise, for the Vikings this season. Favre, who went 17 of 27 for 224 yards and an interception, failed to throw a touchdown pass for only the second time this year.
“No way being up 7-6 and getting banged around a little bit would I consider coming out,” Favre said. “I said, ‘I’m staying in the game. I’m playing.’”
In the off-season, Childress helped convince Favre to come out of retirement for a shot at winning another Super Bowl. The 40-year-old veteran has guided the Vikings to an NFC North title.
But Childress likes to have control of his quarterbacks, especially the number of audibles that they call. Favre enjoys using his experience and film-study to change plays that he thinks will work better.
“I think there are times I see things that maybe I feel like we could get to or a change that maybe at the line of scrimmage I could get to,” Favre said. “I know our offense starts with Adrian Peterson and that’s where it ends, and we have to get that back on track and we’re working towards it. I don’t think anything major has to happen other than we have to play better.”
Favre showed his displeasure with Childress during the Carolina game, something he’s not afraid of doing. “I think I’m an emotional player and sometimes I wear my frustration on my sleeve,” Favre said. “So what. A lot of guys are that way.”
Favre and Childress met last week to iron things out. But if the Vikings reach the Super Bowl, Favre might audible all he wants. “I came in here for one reason,” Favre said about winning a Super Bowl. “I don’t have much time to get it done. In the end, the only thing that matters is winning.”
- Return To .500: Tennessee is the first team in league history to get back to .500 after starting 0-6. The Titans improved to 7-7 after beating Miami in Week 15.
- Running Wild: Cleveland running back Jerome Harrison set a franchise record with 286 rushing yards in the Browns’ 41-34 win over Kansas City on Dec. 20. Harrison, who scored three touchdowns, broke Jim Brown’s single-game team mark of 237 yards in 1957 and 1961. It was the third-highest total in NFL history, behind Adrian Peterson (296) and Jamal Lewis (295). On top of that, teammate Joshua Cribbs had kickoff returns of 100 and 103 yards for scores.
Here’s the list of players with two or more kick returns for touchdowns this season, through Week 15:
- Joshua Cribbs, Browns, 3 kickoff returns for TDs, longest 103 yards.
- Ted Ginn Jr., Dolphins, 2 kickoff returns, longest 101 yards.
- Percy Harvin, Vikings, 2 kickoff returns, longest 101 yards.
- Patrick Crayton, Cowboys, 2 punt returns, longest 85 yards.
- DeSean Jackson, Eagles, 2 punt returns, longest 82 yards.
Did You Know?
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (503 yards) and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (383 yards) combined for 886 passing yards in their game in Week 15. It’s the highest passing yardage total in NFL history in a game that did not have an interception.
Roethlisberger also became the third player in NFL history to pass for 500 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in a game. Y.A. Title and Warren Moon were the others.
“I don’t know what’s going to be a decision maker or breaker but you look at average attendance and, at the end of the day, they’re going to find a team to take out there (to Los Angeles). They (the fans) have to show that they want the team to stay there.” – New England, and former Jacksonville, running back Fred Taylor on the prospect of the Jaguars moving to L.A.
Copyright © 2009 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.