Has ‘Favre watch’ just begun?

Now that the Vikings are done after Sunday’s overtime loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship, what are your thoughts on Brett Favre? Does he come back? Was that his last throw?

And when do we start the unofficial “Favre Watch” here at the NFP and in every other sports blog in America?

I felt bad for Favre last night because let’s be honest — the Saints were trying to knock him out of the game. As I wrote in my Sunday Rewind this morning, New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams designed a game plan that would produce hits on the QB. Yes, they gave up a ton of yards, but the idea was to hit Favre and force turnovers.

And it worked.

But what’s going to be lost in all the discussion today is how well Favre stood up to the pressure. He was physically beaten by the middle of the third quarter. Let’s give him credit for that because he played like a warrior.

But I also know that those exact comments won’t stand up to the scrutiny he’s going to face today for throwing that pick at the end of regulation. That one throw will be talked about all winter, spring and summer.

Just as his throw was in OT of the 2007 NFC Championship game. A bad decision in a crucial situation that got his team beat. Yes, there are plenty of other culprits on the Vikings roster today who took a big role in the loss, who put the ball on the ground and gave scoring opportunities to Drew Brees and the Saints. But we all know better when it comes to Favre.

He’ll take the heat, and as a QB, well, that’s just how it works in the NFL — especially after the drama of last summer. I don’t want to say that Favre has opened himself up to being overly criticized today, but I expect that to be the general sentiment among NFP readers.

The “show” that took place last August — complete with private jets and car rides from head coaches — is going to be talked about.

But I still feel for him, because if that was his last throw — in a Vikings uniform no less — I find it hard to sit here and rip the guy for coming back. He was too good this season, won a playoff game and made the Vikings a better football team than they were in 2008.

Those are just the facts, and obviously a Super Bowl appearance would have settled that argument, but I still believe it.

Going forward? That’s the real question. What happens now? Will there be reporters hanging around his hometown in Mississippi come late July, and will Favre once again emerge as the Vikes’ starting QB in Week 1, or even Week 2, of the 2010 season?

We can all speculate, but none of us knows the real answer. And I would bet Favre doesn’t, either, although he reportedly told ESPN's Ed Werder that it was "highly unlikely" that he'd play again, according to Adam Schefter's Twitter page.

Nonetheless, speculation will continue and we’ll revisit this again. If we think the pass Favre threw put an end to the media coverage on his career, we’re all kidding ourselves.

I’m saying early August — but what do I know?

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

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