When you've been playing as long as Packers quarterback Brett Favre has, the preseason might seem like an unenviable chore. Boring and unnecessary may also fit the description for a player of Favre's caliber.
But for someone who has accomplished so much in such a legendary career, Favre performed Thursday night like a man fighting for his NFL life.
Instead of just going through the motions with little effort, Favre played nearly flawless and led the Packers to their only touchdown of the evening on a 12-play, 80 yard drive in the second quarter. The drive culminated with Favre finding wide receiver Donald Driver on a 23-yard strike.
A key play came when the 15-year veteran connected with wide receiver/punt returner Antonio Chatman on a fourth and four from the San Diego 37 yard line for a first down. Just two plays later, Favre and Driver gave the crowd of 69,611 fans something to cheer about as the Packers took the 7-0 lead.
Favre completed seven out of eight passes on the drive and ended the game nine out of 10 for 91 yards.
After capping his night in fashion, Favre traded his helmet for a baseball cap and watched his teammates for the last two and a half quarters. According to the Packers gunslinger, the first team offense did it's job.
"We accomplished one goal: we went down the field and scored...put some points on the board," Favre said.
"We did some things well. Overall I was pleased with the performance. For the first preseason game we played well and we should do well in certain areas."
However, Favre has been around long enough to know it's just one game and there's always room for improvement, saying, "we don't want to get too excited as we still have a lot of work to do."
As always, the key to the Packers offense remains it's offensive line. After losing starting guards Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera in the offseason, Favre and company will have to rely on a couple new faces to fill the void. According to Favre, the men protecting him performed just fine.
"I haven't watched the film yet, but I felt like the protection was really good," Favre explained. "We didn't run the ball as well as we would have liked, but it was OK. We had a rookie, William Whitticker, at guard and that worked out pretty good, too."
While it doesn't hurt that Favre has several weapons in the likes of Driver, Ahman Green, and Javon Walker at his disposal, Head Coach Mike Sherman admitted that Favre was on top of his game for an August contest.
"He certainly did have a good night," Sherman said. "He was into the game.
"I said to someone on the headphones, I think it was Tom (Rossley, the Packers offensive coordinator), I think it was the best start he's had since I've been here. Usually he has to knock the kinks out a little bit, but he did a pretty good job tonight and it's as good as I can remember."
Favre, who hired a personal trainer in the offseason for the first time in his career, appeared to be in midseason form. Whether that has more to do with him being in the best shape he's been in a long time or just the simple fact that he's one of the all-time greats and can get the job done with little practice is up for debate.
Either way, it's awfully hard to argue with the results.