GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- It might have been Brett Favre's final
fling at Lambeau Field, and it wasn't pretty.
But after nearly throwing the game away, Favre helped the Green
Bay Packers pull out yet another come-from-behind victory.
Favre threw an interception for a touchdown in the third
quarter, then rallied the Packers for a late field goal and a 9-7
victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
Packers kicker Dave Rayner, who had missed two field goals
earlier in the game, hit a 44-yarder with 1:34 remaining. "It was
probably the most nervous I had ever been in my entire life, but it
worked out," Rayner said.
It was the 36th game-winning comeback for Favre, who has not yet
announced whether he will play next season and did not speak with
reporters following the game.
He held the ball aloft after the final gun, and hugged a couple
of former teammates now with the Vikings, safety Darren Sharper and
kicker Ryan Longwell. He also saluted his family in a Lambeau
skybox, along with the fans surrounding the tunnel to the locker
"I'm hoping he comes back and I get more opportunities [for
interceptions]," said Sharper, who picked off Favre's next pass
after the TD return. "Talking to him after the game, he looked
like he didn't know either."
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said he talked with the three-time
MVP before the game -- and as far as McCarthy is concerned, Favre is
still under contract. "We're going to take the time and talk about
it after the season," he said.
For now, the quarterback helped the Packers (7-8) keep their
faint playoff hopes alive.
"I'm trying to stay away from that 'p-word,"' McCarthy said.
The Vikings (6-9) managed only three first downs all game, the
lowest total in a game in team history.
"You can't have 9 out of 13 series go three and out and beat
anybody," Vikings coach Brad Childress said.
But it didn't seem to matter after cornerback Fred Smoot
returned Favre's pass 47 yards for a touchdown late in the third
quarter, giving Minnesota a 7-6 lead.
Favre looked down the left sideline for rookie receiver Greg
Jennings, but threw the ball directly into Smoot's hands as
Jennings continued running down the field. Smoot tried to celebrate
by doing a "Lambeau Leap" into the stands but was pushed back
onto the field by fans.
"When Smoot took his TD back to score, I thought we had the
game right there," Sharper said.
After throwing the interception to Smoot, Favre threw the
interception to Sharper on the Packers' next offensive play.
Favre rallied the Packers for a potential go-ahead drive early
in the fourth, but tight end Bubba Franks fumbled near the goal
line -- the third time in the game the Packers drove deep into
Vikings territory but came away empty-handed.
Favre drove the Packers right back into Vikings territory in the
final three minutes with a 36-yard pass to wide receiver Ruvell
Martin. The drive stalled on Packers penalties on back-to-back
plays before Rayner delivered the winning kick.
"I just think it shows [Rayner's] resiliency," McCarthy said.
"I had full confidence he would make that kick."
Favre finished the game 26-for-50 for 285 yards with the two
interceptions. He didn't throw a touchdown for the second straight
game, meaning he still needs eight more TD passes to break Dan
Marino's career record of 420.
Favre won ugly for the second week in a row -- he threw three
interceptions in a victory over Detroit on Sunday -- but he
certainly outperformed Vikings rookie Tarvaris Jackson, who was
making the first start of his career.
Jackson, a second-round draft pick out of Alabama State, was
10-for-20 for 50 yards and one interception. "I just couldn't find
my check-downs," Jackson said. "I didn't want to force it."
Childress said he would stick with Jackson, even though "the
numbers aren't going to bear out that he did anything of merit."
Despite the Vikings' shoddy offensive performance, it seemed
like Green Bay might make enough mistakes to lose.
"When you have as many opportunities as we did in the red zone
and only come away with three points, it's only a matter of time
that momentum may go against you," McCarthy said.
But Green Bay did win, and Favre could wind up playing for more
than another week this season.
"I'm hoping that he comes back, but you never know," Packers'
wide receiver Donald Driver said. "We're all going to sit back and
Mark Tauscher started at right tackle for Green Bay after
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went to the locker room with a shoulder injury, but returned. ...
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