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Providence Kernel, September 6, 2009
Frerotte Little Help as Steam Roller Bow, 31-24, to Albany
Promoted QB Completes Only 15 of 34, Throws Pick Six
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Charleston Daily Smell, September 6, 2009
Crosby, Washington Hold Off Cannons, 23-17
2 Missed FGs are Difference, Late Bid Stalls at 12-Yard Line
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Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, September 6, 2009
3 TDs for Evans as Cherries Dump Philadelphia, 38-21
Pick Off Favre 5 Times in 2nd Half
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Harrisburg Pay and Rot Ooze, September 6, 2009
New York Gets Fast Start, Beats Hershey Bars, 20-13
Locals Held Scoreless for First 41 Minutes
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Baltimore Sunk, September 7, 2009
Heap, Richmond Rally, Beat Bolts, 31-24
Grant Runs 15 Yards for Winning Score with 0:52 Left
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Hartford Crude Rant, September 8, 2009
Syracuse Comeback Foils Comets, 29-26
Kaeding Misses 44-Yard Kick in Last Minute
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Wilmington Snooze-Terminal, September 6, 2009

Rip Snorter

Nightmarish 2nd Half Has Favre Seeing Red

Once Brett Favre started throwing interceptions early in the second half, he couldn’t stop.

At least it seemed that way.

By the time the clock ran out — mercifully for Favre — he had served up 5 interceptions, one each to 5 Cherries defenders, and Delaware had rolled to a 38‑21 victory over Favre’s Philadelphia Lakers.

Although it may be hard to believe, the second half last night was not the most nightmarish of Favre’s EFL career. That came on opening night of the 2006 season. In the first half that night against Pittsburgh, Favre threw 7 interceptions! Amazingly, Favre regained his equilibrium in the second half and led the Lakers to a 21‑14 win, helped in no small measure by 7 Ironmen turnovers.

Last night Favre was not so lucky.

The Cherries’ defense literally had Favre seeing red — and lots of it. He repeatedly forced balls to covered receivers — and he paid the price. Rattled by pressure from the corners by Ray Edwards and Julius Peppers, and the blitzing of LaMarr Woodley, Favre just plain threw a couple of passes up for grabs.

The recipients of Favre’s generosity were, in chronological order:

  • Brian Dawkins — This was one of the ones Favre threw up for grabs. Five games into the season, Dawkins already has 4 interceptions!
  • Donte Whitner — While on the run Favre was looking for Derrick Ward. He never saw Whitner.
  • Corey Webster — Favre’s intented receiver, Jabar Gaffney, tipped this ball to Webster. Visanthe Shiancoe ran down Webster inside the 5 but his momentum enabled him to — barely — break the plane of the goal line with the ball.
  • Brandon Carr — Favre threw this one up for grabs in the end zone on 4th down.
  • Ray Lewis — The last Favre pick was negated as Lewis, after a 22-yard return, fumbled the ball away to Korey Hall.
  • All told Favre launched 49 aerials — a busy night even though Philadelphia ran the ball effectively — with 17 completions — those to Lakers teammates, that is — a damning completion rate of 34.7%. Almost half of his 167 passing yards were given back in interception returns, including 38 on Webster’s pick six. Favre’s passer rating, you ask — 12.4. Yecch!

    Favre commented after the game on his performance: “I’ve had better nights. I don’t know if I’ve had worse. This ranks right up there. I guess I should say, ‘down there.’ Give credit to [the Delaware] defense. I had a hard time getting good reads.” He added a thinly veiled criticism of coach Birdy Rizzo’s game plan: “In hindsight maybe we should have run the ball more. I mean, we came into the game leading the league in rushing — and [the Cherries] were allowing 5 yards a carry [actually, 5.5]”

    Look out! Could there be a rift between the veteran Lakers quarterback and his coach? With the loss, the Lakers dropped to 1‑4. I can’t say they are in free-fall — yet. But if they go into New York this Saturday and lose to the Emps, the Lakers would be in danger of becoming irrelevant in the Central Division title chase. Philadelphia fans should hope Favre and Rizzo quickly get back on the same page. (That being said, Favre’s point about the game plan has some validity; the Lakers ran the ball only 18 times, with the last 3 attempts coming in garbage time.)

    The performance of Webster, among many good ones by Cherries defenders, is worth highlighting. How often can you say a cornerback whose opposing wide receiver made 9 catches played a great game? Well, Webster did! Dwayne Bowe, with Webster applying coverage, had only 58 receiving yards on his 9 catches — 6.4 yards per catch. Bowe came into the game averaging 12 yards per catch. Twice in the same series in the first quarter, with Philadelphia already ahead 7‑0, Webster made great plays. On first down he stuffed Bowe after a catch for a 1-yard loss. On third down Favre went deep to Bowe and Webster batted the ball out of Bowe’s arms. Then there was the 4th quarter pick six. To top it off Webster led the Cherries with 7 tackles.

    On the offensive side, it was a pretty good night for Delaware, their best since the season opener. Philip Rivers and Lee Evans hooked up for 3 scores, making it look easy in the process. Rookie Donnie Avery had by far his best game, leading all Cherries receivers, even Evans, with 6 catches for 82 yards. LaDainian Tomlinson broke out of his slump with 86 yards on 22 trips. Lakers nose tackle Vince Wilfork went down late in the first half, significantly softening up the middle of the Philadelphia defense. Tomlinson and Antonio Pittman took advantage.

    By the way, this was the second straight game the Cherries’ opposing quarterback posted a ridiculously low passer rating. As low as Favre’s rating was, Providence’s Marc Bulger came in even lower last week — 6.7. The next quarterback the Cherries will face, Hershey’s Joe Flacco, has either been very good or very bad. Check out these fluctuations: Flacco posted 105.7 in an opening win over the Lakers, 24.6 in a loss at Washington, 28.4 in a loss at Richmond, 132.8 against Albany in victory in his first nationally televised game as a professional, and 99.9 last night in defeat against New York. Which Joe Flacco will the Cherries see? The Cherries themselves should have a lot of influence in determining that.

    Joe Flacco, eh? Now where have I heard that name before? …