Teams in the National Football League don’t rebuild.
Things change so much in the NFL that literally 80% of the teams still have a chance for post-season play with four weeks remaining. You can start the season 4-0 and find yourself 6-8 before you know it. You can start 1-3 and be 8-6 with two weeks to play. In the NFL, from season to season, month to month, week to week and, almost, quarter to quarter, things happen along the way that change a team’s fate in ways they simply cannot control. The NFL is the most unpredictable league in all of sport.
You can make book that one of the final four teams from last season (Giants, Packers, Patriots and Chargers) won’t make the playoffs this season, despite the fact that the rosters of those four teams are largely unchanged from a year ago.
The NFL – as we all know – stands for “not for long”, as in, if you’re bad, it won’t be for long…(unless you’re the Lions) and if you’re good, it won’t be for long (Patriots and Colts excepted).
In the Ravens case, they were really bad last year. Odds are it won’t happen again in ’08, although a playoff berth for this year’s edition seems a tad far fetched given the uncertainty at quarterback and an offensive line that is faced with replacing two longtime stalwarts in Jon Ogden and Mike Flynn.
Or is it that far fetched? Maybe not.
And that brings us to the Brett Favre situation.
Leave it to us in Baltimore to create a story from nothing. Favre hasn’t even officially suggested he’d like to return and we’re already filling the airwaves and internet forums with previews on how Favre would fair in purple. It is, however, an intriguing thought to have #4 behind center this September and wondering, naturally, if he could deliver the goods in his first campaign in much the same way Steve McNair did in ’06 before he Roberto-Duran’d-it this past February.
Opportunities to win don’t come along often in the NFL. Now 16 months removed from that crushing home playoff loss to the Colts, it’s fair to say the Ravens have probably not yet recovered from losing that game and squandering a chance to go to the Super Bowl in Miami.
When you have the chance to win in the NFL, you’d better take the bull by the horns. That chance might not come around again for a while.
And that’s why, even if it’s just mid-summer speculation, I say the Ravens should give a Brett Favre acquisition serious consideration.
The Ravens have – in my opinion – about a 30% chance of winning the division in ’08 (all things being equal). But, as we all saw last year when the home team suffered an agonizing slew of injuries to key players, all things AREN’T equal when the dust settles after 16 weeks.
That’s why thinking about Favre is a smart move.
The Ravens aren’t a team that’s rebuilding.
They’re merely a team seeking to rebound from a year that literally NOTHING went right, starting with a pedestrian offense and a quarter-tank quarterback and then piling on with key injuries and a run of bad luck that was unrivaled in all of football.
It would be much easier to rebound in ’08 with an experienced NFL quarterback at the helm. Brett Favre has started more NFL games with a sore throat than our two incumbent “veterans” (Boller and Smith) have played in their respective careers.
It’s a no-brainer, really.
Will there be a cost attached to bringing Favre here? Sure. Nothing’s free. Could that cost be too much for him? Absolutely. But there’s no sense debating THAT point until we at least learn what the price is, right?
For now, at least, we can only consider whether or not Favre gives the Ravens a better chance to win than any other QB on the team’s current roster.
Undeniably, the answer to that is “yes”.