2009 NFL Playoffs: Why Brett Didn’t Run

In the analysis and over-analysis of Brett Favre’s final pass of the 2009 NFC Championship Game, many analysts (and Favre, himself) suggested that running would have been a better choice on that fateful 3rd and 15 play.  I don’t think so.  Here’s why:

Running Was Not An Option

As Favre rolled to his right, the Saints defenders kept an eye on him and played the pass.  Favre is standing three yards BEHIND the line of scrimmage and has 5 Saints defenders close enough to keep him from getting to the 33 yard line.  From where Favre is standing, he’d have to outrun 5 defenders 8 yards.  That wasn’t going to happen.

Perhaps if Bernard Berrian blocks toward the middle and lays out the linebackers eyeing Favre — and Shincoe blocks to the sideline and lays out the DB…maybe, just maybe Favre can outrun the three linemen bearing down on him.  That’s just too much coordination to expect with 15 seconds remaining in an NFC Championship game.

This was a tough play to make and given how fast guys like Remi Ayodele can close ground, Favre really didn’t have a lot of good options.  This play was shaping up as a six-car pile up at the 37 yard line with Favre at the bottom.  The receiver at the sideline is probably the best option.  Maybe Favre had committed to getting the ball in the middle of the field.

Whatever the case, running was not an option.


  1. Okay , you make good points, but running still seems to be an option. Lets go with worst case scenario. A six car pile up at the 37 yard line is a 54 yard FG attempt. It is not likely, but still a makable chance to win the game. If he gets a couple more, then it is more makable…

  2. Thanks, Modi.

    54 in a dome was within Longwell’s range. Next year, every QB will be on the look out for Tracy Porter. After taking down Favre and Manning, he should be up for a sizable raise.

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