Kurt Warner (Getty)
In Minnesota, Brett Favre is having an unprecedented amount of success for a man his age. In Arizona, quarterback Kurt Warner is also getting greater returns the older one gets. If this matchup comes into fruition, it will be the most intriguing story line of the week. But how much longer can these two really play? And who has had the better supporting cast over the years? Andy Bishop evaluates.
The league’s most intriguing individual matchup of the week may not even come to form. Kurt Warner is listed as questionable and Coach Ken Wisenhunt said it will be a game-time decision. Sunday’s viewers would love no more than a Brett Favre vs. Warner battle. The league’s two oldest quarterbacks are at the top of their game and lead two of the most potent offenses in the league. It would be a guaranteed show should the two veterans duel it out.
But why are these old guys seemingly playing at their peak? It comes down to two things: the system and the supporting cast. Brett Favre is back into the same kind of scheme that allowed for maximum productivity while in Green Bay. It was hard to watch Favre last season as he struggled mightily with a completely foreign system.
Warner’s story is similar. He was part of a great offense in St. Louis, but changes to the offense led to his mid-career trouble. The spread offense was his savior in Arizona. It is certainly a little more wide open than what the Greatest Show on Turf had, but it allows Warner to get the ball to his playmakers.
Both Warner and Favre have had great surrounding offenses at times in their careers. Apart from his last two years in St. Louis, Warner has produced when given the opportunity to start. It helped that he had players like Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, and Marshall Faulk at his disposal in St. Louis and the league’s best receiving corps during his 2008 Super Bowl run in Arizona.
Favre never had truly great receiving talent around him, but it was still sufficient enough to aid Favre’s success. This year in Minnesota, he has a trio of speedy, athletic receivers and a tight end that has stepped up his game. And if Favre ever wants to take a break, he can always hand the ball off to the NFL’s best running back.
The talent that has surrounded Favre and Warner has made winning easier but doesn't negate their talent. One man can’t do it all alone.
So with that, let’s go ahead and answer some popular questions being thrown around regarding these two future Hall of Famers…
What is the best team Kurt Warner has quarterbacked?
It has to be the 2000 Rams. Last year's Cardinals come in a close second, and the 1999 Rams in third. Their offense dominated the rest of the league that year, and Warner wasn’t even playing his best. He missed the middle portion of the season and threw a lot of interceptions, but the talent around him was undeniable. Faulk finish with 26 total touchdowns. Bruce and Holt combined for over 3,000 yards receiving. Although the Rams did not win the Super Bowl, they were the better team. If they played that Patriots team 10 times, they would have won nine of those.
What has been Brett Favre’s best team?
The 2009 Minnesota Vikings. People laughed when Favre said earlier this season that this Vikings team is the best he’s been part of. They aren’t doing do any more. With a 10-1 record, the Vikings are clearly an elite team. They not only have a balanced offense, but their defense is ferocious as well. The Green Bay teams of the mid to late 90s were impressive indeed. Favre’s 1996 Super Bowl team would have to rank second on this list. Very talented, but not at the level of the Vikings this year. This team is for real.
How much longer are these two going to play for?
Not much. Both signed two-year contracts prior to this season, and it extremely unlikely either would play beyond that. Favre is playing at his best right now. He currently has a 112.1 passer rating; Favre has never had a rating above 100 for an entire season. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him come back for another year. He is have fun in Minnesota, and he’s winning. But you never know with Brett.
A concussion is always scary, but even more so for an older quarterback. Events like this make quarterbacks put their careers in perspective. Warner hasn’t enjoyed as much success as last year, and with more wear and tear on the body, he could easily walk. He definitely has enough in the tank to go another year or two, and he’s hungry to get back to the Super Bowl and get a ring. So either scenario wouldn’t be a shocker.
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