"The man only got you guys to two Superbowls and HE never really won the one you did win with him her,that honor went to Desmond Howard."
The quote above came from a comment in one of the many relatively recent fanposts. While the point of the comment was to argue against those who think Favre is one of the 5 best QBs of all time, this sentence, which I've heard and read in various forms for 13 years now, is one I've got a problem with. I'm no Favre apologist (I don't think he belongs on a list of the top 5 QBs of all time, and maybe not the top 10 either), but the fact that Howard won the MVP of that game and is still perceived by many as the reason GB won is something I find pretty galling.
I've got no interest in diminishing Howard's impact that season or that game. But his accomplishments that day pale in comparison to Favre's. Statistically, Favre threw 2TDs, ran for a third, threw no interceptions for a total of 246yds. His completion percentage was just over 50%, but was negatively affected by at least three dropped passes, which, when combined with the short passing game utilized by Holmgren in the 4th quarter when the Packers were essentially trying to run out the clock, likely prevented him from approaching 300yds passing. Howard averaged 15 yards on his punt returns and nearly 40yds on kickoff returns. And, of course, he had an extraordinarily well timed 99yd kickoff return for a TD. Given the timing of that return, it was unsurprising to me that Howard won the MVP. Even though I disagreed with it even then.
Examining Favre's biggest plays of the game, in my opinion, makes it clear that his role in GB's victory was bigger than Howard's. His TD passes went for 54 and 81yds respectively. Both came on audibles he called at the line, and thus, were plays that would not have occurred had Favre not seen the coverage mismatches in the defense before the snap. The first came when the game was still 0-0, and the second came when the Packers were down by 4 entering the second quarter, so, unlike Howard's return, both of Favre's biggest passes resulted in lead changes. The distance of both plays alone demonstrates that they weren't the product of a "short field" handed to the offense by Howard.
I've watched that game on tape at least a dozen times, probably less than many of you. Every time I watch it I'm convinced that Favre was the MVP, even though I knew then and know now that Superbowl MVP awards are usually given to the author of the most dramatic play of the game. MVP's aside, the perception by some that GB loses that game without Howard is just flat out wrong. The statement above, which was probably designed to inflame (it worked), is about as wildly inaccurate as can be imagined. I doubt even its author believes that GB wins that game if Favre's not on the roster, regardless of what Howard did.
... rant complete...