By: Mike Saver/Saver-Sports.com
October 07, 2010

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Flashback to 1996. The '85 Patriots had been embarassed by the Bears, 46-10 in Super Bowl XX. Now, they had a second chance at becoming world champions. After a paltry 0-2 start to the season, the '96 Patriots fought their way to an 11-5 record. With Drew Bledsoe at the helm, New England disposed of Pittsburgh and Jacksonville in the playoffs to make it to the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history. There they met Brett Favre, whose 246 yards and 2 touchdowns crushed those dreams.

Ever since then, Brett Favre has continued to find ways to screw the New England Patriots.

In 2008, Favre decided to come out of retirement for the first of many times. After finding that the Packers had already handed the keys over to Aaron Rodgers, he requested a trade. Where does he end up? With the Patriots' struggling division rival, New York Jets, whom happen to be coached by Belichick's number one enemy, Eric Mangini.

Favre's lone year with the Jets destroyed the Patriots' season. 2008, of course, was the year that Tom Brady went down for the year in Week 1. However, the Patriots were managing to put together a respectable record with Matt Cassel under center. Then, in Week 11 - a prime time game against the Jets - Favre again overcame the Patriots, beating them at Gillette in overtime 34-31. The loss knocked the Patriots down to 2-2 in the division and helped to push their playoff hopes out of their hands.

Conveniently, the Jets started to fall apart after that game. After knocking off the undefeated Titans and becoming a fashionable Super Bowl pick, Favre began to show his age. With an undisclosed injury, he started willing his team to defeat - throwing interception after interception. Of course, this was good for the Patriots. The further the Jets fell down the ladder, the closer the Pats were to a playoff berth. However, the Dolphins just wouldn't go away.

With things out of their hands, the Pats ironically had to root for Favre in the last game of the season. It was the Jets versus the Dolphins, if the Jets won it would make the Patriots AFC East champions. If the Jets lost the Patriots would miss the playoffs for only the third time under the Belichick regime. Sure enough, when the Patriots needed Favre the most he screwed them - throwing a late game pick (one of 3) to seal the game for the Dolphins. Despite their impressive 11-5 record, New England was forced to sit out of the post-season.

This brings us to today's trade of Randy Moss to Brett Favre's Minnesota Vikings. It's hard to imagine that Favre did not play a significant part in getting this deal going. After all, in 2007 when the Patriots acquired Moss, Favre was rallying for his Packers to seal the deal. According to former Packer exec, Andrew Brandt, Favre was fuming when the deal couldn't get done.

"Brett was livid...I truly empathized with Brett," said Brandt. "He had befriended and admired Randy for years and the two of them had dreamed of playing together. Here was an opportunity for us to make it a reality. But ultimately, we stood on our principles requiring more than a one-year commitment."

"I told Brett to trust what we had at the position; that Greg Jennings would be a star in a couple years. He said he didn't have a couple of years. Brett offered to give up some of his salary for the following season -- although that was his last season with the Packers (see below) -- to bring in Randy. I told that was much appreciated but we would never take his money away from him to sign another player."

Then after Moss's record breaking 2007 year, the Packers again had a chance to sign him. Moss ultimately re-signed with the Patriots and Favre was not happy. Brandt points out that Moss signed with New England on March 3rd and Favre announced his retirement the very next day.

Now, here we are. Favre is with the Minnesota Vikings who (with Sidney Rice sidelined with an injury and Percy Harvin fighting migraines and a hip issue) have some serious issues at receiver.

Randy Moss has been vocal about his expectations to not remain a Patriot at the end of the year. With Favre rallying for the Packers to sign Moss in '07 and '08, it's hard to imagine him not begging them to trade for him this year. It helps that the Vikings - unlike the Packers - seem to be willing to do anything and everything for Favre.

Head coach Brad Childress personally picked up Favre from the airport when he first arrived in Minnesota. This off-season Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson and Ryan Longwell flew out to the veteran quarterback's Mississippi ranch in a successful effort to beg him to return. If Favre told the Vikings front office he wanted them to trade for Randy Moss, why wouldn't they?

Obviously, he's not alone in this. The fact that Belichick is giving up a first ballot Hall of Fame receiver who's consistently put up big numbers for just a third round pick is heart wrenching. Yet, whenever there's bad news for the Patriots, it seems Favre's name just keeps coming up.

And, just how bad is the news of Randy Moss leaving the Patriots?

According to ESPN's Tim Graham, pretty bad. Accuscore projected the Pats were given a 40.4% chance of winning the AFC East and a 63.4% chance of making the playoffs with Moss. Without him, they drop to 33.2% for the AFC East and 52.9% for the post-season.

Look's like Brett Favre really screwed the Pats this time. Good job ol' gunslinger. See you on Halloween.

Mike Saver is a regular contributor to PatsFans.com and covers Boston Sports for Saver-Sports.com and CelticsLife.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @SaverSports, as well as Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/saversports)


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