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A year-by-year look at Favre's best games

Posted Mar 3, 2008

To come up with a list of quarterback Brett Favre's greatest games is a daunting task. For a player who started the last 275 Green Bay Packers games, regular season and playoffs, if only one out of every 10 games were great, that would still produce more than two dozen games to discuss.

And Favre certainly has played well more often than one out of every 10 times, so there's no way a reasonable list will hit all his highlights.

But we'll try it this way. Beginning with Favre's first season as a Packer in 1992, here is one of the most memorable performances of each of his 16 seasons as Green Bay's starting signal caller:

1992: Sept. 20, vs. Cincinnati

Favre's first meaningful appearance as a Packer came as a fill-in for Don Majkowski, who injured his ankle in the opening period. Down 20-10 midway through the fourth quarter, Favre leads the Packers back with an 88-yard drive, capped by a 5-yard TD pass to Sterling Sharpe. After a Bengals field goal makes it 23-17, Favre takes over on his own 8-yard line with just 1:07 left. A 42-yard pass to Sharpe sets up his dramatic 35-yard TD strike to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds left for a 24-23 victory. Favre completes 22 of 39 passes for 289 yards and the two TDs, and beginning the following week against Pittsburgh, no one else starts a game at quarterback for the Packers for 15 years.

1993: Wild Card playoff, Jan. 8, 1994, at Detroit

Trailing the Lions 24-21 and driving late in the game, Favre scrambles to his left, plants and launches a long throw all the way back across to the right side of the field that finds Sharpe wide open for a miraculous 40-yard touchdown with 55 seconds left. The 28-24 victory, with Favre throwing three TDs to Sharpe, is Green Bay's first playoff victory since the 1982 postseason, exactly 11 years to the day (Jan. 8, 1983) since a 41-16 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

1994: Dec. 18, vs. Atlanta, at Milwaukee County Stadium

The Packers' final game in Milwaukee, after 62 years, comes down to the final seconds. Behind 17-14, Green Bay is on the Falcons' 9-yard line with 21 seconds left when Favre rolls right and finds just enough daylight to dive across the goal line for the game-winning touchdown with only 14 seconds left. The 21-17 win, in which Favre completed 29 of 44 passes for 321 yards and two TDs, keeps the Packers' playoff hopes alive, and a win the following week gets them into the postseason for the second straight year.

1995: Nov. 12, vs. Chicago

With his playing status due to a severely sprained ankle uncertain until the morning of the game, Favre charges out of the Lambeau Field tunnel to a raucous ovation and proceeds to complete 25 of 33 passes for 336 yards and a franchise-record-tying five touchdowns, with no interceptions, in a 35-28 win over the Bears in the 150th meeting between the rivals. The win pulled the Packers into a tie with Chicago for the NFC Central lead.

1996: Super Bowl XXXI, Jan. 26, 1997, vs. New England at New Orleans Superdome

So many memories from this one, beginning with the 54-yard TD pass to Andre Rison on the Packers' second play from scrimmage. Favre added a then-Super Bowl record 81-yard TD pass to Antonio Freeman, finishing 14-of-27 for 246 yards and capping a three-game postseason during which he was remarkably consistent, with passer ratings of 107.4, 107.3 and 107.9. Favre foreshadowed the efficient finish to the championship season with a dynamite outing in the season opener at Tampa Bay, completing 20 of 27 passes for 247 yards and four TDs in a 34-3 romp.

1997: Sept. 21, vs. Minnesota

Favre broke Bart Starr's franchise record of 152 touchdown passes by throwing five in a 38-32 win over the Vikings. Completing 18 of 31 throws for 266 yards, Favre had scoring strikes to Freeman (2), Robert Brooks, Terry Mickens and Mark Chmura as the Packers jumped ahead 31-7 and then held on.

1998: Sept. 27, at Carolina

In his third and final five-touchdown effort, Favre completes 27 of 45 passes for 388 yards, with three of the TD passes going to Derrick Mayes, as the Packers rallied from deficits of 10-0 and 20-13 to post a 37-30 road win.

1999: Sept. 26, vs. Minnesota

In an opening month of the season that featured three dramatic comebacks, Favre's rally to beat the Vikings 23-20 was perhaps the most improbable. Trailing by four points and facing fourth down from the Minnesota 23-yard line with no timeouts and the final seconds ticking away, Favre rifled a touchdown pass to Corey Bradford with 12 seconds left to cap a 77-yard drive. Within the season's first four weeks, Favre also engineered last-minute comebacks to beat Oakland and Tampa Bay in his one season with Mike McCarthy as his quarterbacks coach.

2000: Dec. 17, at Minnesota

During the Packers' four straight wins to close the season, Favre was at his best in the Metrodome, completing 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns, without an interception, in leading the Packers to a 33-28 win over the NFC Central-leading Vikings.

2001: Oct. 14, vs. Baltimore

Against the league's top-ranked defense and the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens, Favre and the Packers were nearly flawless in an impressive 31-23 victory. Favre completed 27 of 34 throws for 337 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. He completed passes to nine different receivers in a game the Packers dominated 31-10 through 3 1/2 quarters. Another dynamite game on a big stage came less than two months later, on Dec. 3 in Jacksonville on Monday Night Football, when Favre (24-of-42, 362 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) brought the Packers back from a 21-7 deficit late in the third quarter to win 28-21 on his own 6-yard TD run with 1:30 left.

2002: Oct. 7, vs. Chicago at Champaign, Ill.

On a Monday night with the Bears playing in their temporary home in central Illinois, Favre got the Packers out of the blocks quickly with an 85-yard TD pass to Donald Driver just four minutes into the game and Green Bay never looked back in a 34-21 win. Coming in, Favre needed 262 yards to reach 40,000 career, and he got there by halftime. He finished 22-of-33 for 359 yards and three TDs with no INTs.

2003: Dec. 22, at Oakland

Some might call this the greatest performance of Favre's career. Just one day after the sudden death of his father Irv, Favre took the field on a Monday Night in Oakland and compiled a team-record and personal-best quarterback rating of 154.9 by completing 22-of-30 passes for 399 yards and four TDs, with no INTs. All four touchdowns, including two on acrobatic catches by Wesley Walls and Javon Walker, and 311 yards came in the first half to give Green Bay a 31-7 lead on its way to a 41-7 victory. The four TD passes moved him past Fran Tarkenton and into second place on the NFL's all-time list.

2004: Dec. 24, at Minnesota

With the NFC North title on the line on Christmas Eve day, Favre overcame his own crucial mistake to lead the Packers back in a dramatic road victory. After throwing an interception that Vikings' linebacker Chris Claiborne returned 15 yards for a TD, giving Minnesota a 31-24 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Favre rallied the offense for 10 points and a 34-24 win. An 80-yard drive, capped by a fourth-down pass to Driver for a 3-yard score, tied the game and then a 76-yard march set up Ryan Longwell's game-winning field goal. Favre finished 30-of-43 for 365 yards and three TDs, with the one INT.

2005: Oct. 9, vs. New Orleans

A rough season for the Packers and Favre was at least looking up on this day. Favre posted a season-high 130.9 passer rating with 19 completions in 27 attempts for 215 yards and three TDs in a 52-3 blowout win. A week earlier, Favre might have played one of his most valiant games in defeat, leading the Packers back from a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit on a Monday night at Carolina with two TDs and two 2-point conversions, only to end up about 10 yards from a potential game-tying field goal in a 32-29 loss.

2006: Sept. 24, at Detroit

Turning in an incredibly efficient performance to get Head Coach Mike McCarthy his first victory, Favre was 25-of-36 for 340 yards with three TDs, no INTs, and a season-high 127.1 passer rating in a 31-24 victory at Ford Field. He threw his 400th career TD pass, a 75-yard catch-and-run by rookie Greg Jennings. Favre turned in a similar performance at the Metrodome, turning the game in Green Bay's favor with an 82-yard TD pass to Driver right before halftime, giving the Packers the lead for good in a 23-17 win. Favre finished 24-of-42 for 347 yards, two TDs and no INTs.

2007: Oct. 29, at Denver

Talk about a difficult year to pick just one, when Favre had 10 games with a QB rating above 100, including when he broke Dan Marino's career touchdown pass record at Minnesota (Sept. 30) and when he completed a franchise-record 20 straight passes on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit (Nov. 22). But the Monday Night showdown against the Broncos took the cake. A 79-yard touchdown pass to James Jones for the Packers' first score, and an 82-yard bomb to Greg Jennings on the first play of overtime for a scintillating 19-13 victory. Favre was 21-of-27 for 331 yards with the two TDs for a rating of 142.4, his highest in a game with at least 20 pass attempts since that Monday Nighter in Oakland four years prior.

So, there you have it. Not a comprehensive list by any means, but a look at some of the biggest highlights during each of Favre's 16 seasons under center in Green Bay.

Fittingly, around half of the games given mention here came against rivals Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota, against whom Favre was 64-34 in his career (including playoffs), a .653 winning percentage, which tops his overall career winning percentage of .632.

 
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