The NFL is a win now business; they do not put too much into past accomplishments and the good old days. The following players and coaches are 10 big names that have had some level of success in the NFL that are really staring at crossroads for their season or their career.
If these gentlemen do not have a good October and early November, they are going to be in miserable shape as the season hits the December homestretch.
1) Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre – This is a no-brainer for the top spot. Where do I begin with all his problems? The Vikings brought back 22 starters from a team that was 12-4 and lost a three-point overtime NFC Championship Game to the New Orleans Saints. Favre had 33 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in 16 regular season games last year; he has seven interceptions already.
The team has battled injuries, most notably losing WR Sidney Rice for at least the first half of the season. That prompted the Vikings to trade for WR Randy Moss, besides acquiring others such as Javon Walker (no longer with team) and Greg Camarillo.
Favre is also battling his own injuries. Ankle surgery that he had in May has not gone as well as hoped, and he already has tendinitis in his throwing arm. Then there is the dark cloud of the Jenn Sterger scandal and whether he will face a suspension under the personal conduct policy for sexual harassment when he was with the New York Jets in 2008. Throw in a 1-3 start to the Vikings season and you have a lot of reason for concern.
The problem for Favre is that he is 41 years old, and if he plays this way for much longer the Vikings are going to be out of the playoff hunt. It makes no sense to continue to play a quarterback that will not be back next year when the team has nothing to play for this year. From an organizational standpoint, they will need to roll with backup QB Tarvaris Jackson. They will need to see what they can do with Jackson this season to determine if they need to draft or sign a free agent quarterback. Normally, that is not a difficult decision, but Favre is a 20-year NFL legend with a record 289 consecutive game streak on the line.
I do not think that Favre will be benched. He is either going to turn the season around and play better with Moss there, or if the Vikings keep losing games his elbow tendinitis and ankle will become so bad that he can no longer play. They will save him the embarrassment of being benched and allow him to end his career like most 40-year-olds: on the injured list.
It’s too early to write him off yet, and I think he will earn the next two starts to show that he can save their season. If he does not start playing better and the team does not start winning, things are going to become ugly in the Twin Cities. If he wants to end his 20-year legacy with a playoff appearance and Super Bowl run, he does not have a lot of time to turn this season around. Given who he is and what he has accomplished in the NFL, he is under the most pressure after four games…