NFL Quick Shots: Broken promise doesn’t bother Favre

Matt Trowbridge

All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson promised Brett Favre when the Vikings signed him this summer that the former Packer great would only have to throw 15-20 passes a game with Adrian Peterson on his team.

“He lied,” Favre said with a laugh Sunday after throwing 48 passes for 392 yards and three touchdowns Sunday in a 36-10 win over the Bears.

“I’m no fool,” he said. “I figured we would have to throw it some. I didn’t come just to hand off.”

Favre leads the NFL in passer rating (a career-high 112.1), TD passes (tied with 24) and fewest interceptions (3) and has 2,874 yards.

Peterson battles fumbleitis

Adrian Peterson has lost his title as the NFL’s best running back, and it’s not just because he trails Tennessee’s incredible Chris Johnson by 312 yards (despite 13 more carries). Peterson, after getting stripped twice Sunday by Chicago’s Hunter Hillenmeyer, leads the NFL with six fumbles. He had nine last year, 50 percent more than any other player in the league.

“Some of it is churning for extra yards,” Vikings coach Brad Childress said. “Nonetheless, you can’t give the ball to them.”

“I can be my own biggest enemy,” Peterson said, “in how I try to scratch for every yard. I just have to be more aware and know some guy is going to come in when they have me wrapped up and try to punch the ball out. It’s on me.”

Johnson making history

Titans running back Chris Johnson is on pace to finish with 2,031 yards and is averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Jim Brown (6.4 in 1963) and Barry Sanders (6.1 in 1997) are the only two backs in history to average 6 yards per carry in a 1,300-yard season. And Johnson has been getting better. He had just one 100-yard game the first five weeks but has topped 130 his last six. He also has only one fumble this season and two in his career.

Comparing Johnson to Adrian Peterson is a little like comparing Barry Sanders to Walter Payton. Sanders, named to a record 10 Pro Bowls and second only to Jim Brown with six All-Pro nods, fumbled 41 times. Payton fumbled 86 times, more than any running back in history except for Franco Harris and Tony Dorsett (90 each). No other running back has more than 65 fumbles.

Black coaches make their mark

The Colts are 11-0 and no one has mentioned that their rookie head coach is black. Quick Shots didn’t even realize it until seeing a picture of Jim Caldwell this week. That might be the best sign in years of how far the NFL has come since the Colts’ Tony Dungy and the Bears’ Lovie Smith met in the Super Bowl. This could be the third time in the last four years the winning Super Bowl coach was black, if Pittsburgh and Mike Tomlin repeat or the Colts or Bengals with Marvin Lewis win. Now, if only the NCAA would follow the NFL’s lead and hire qualified black head coaches.

McNabb gets a fourth chance

Donovan McNabb gets credited for leading the Eagles to a 27-24 comeback win over the Redskins by leading Philadelphia to a touchdown and a field goal on its two fourth-quarter drives. But the reason the Eagles trailed the lowly Redskins (3-8) is they started the second half this way: three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, interception. If Jay Cutler ever did that, the Bears would trail by three touchdowns.

Rockford Register Star assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge can be reached at (815) 987-1383